Building off U.S. Secretary of Energy Granholm and Mexican Secretary of Energy Rocio Nahle’s Women in Energy roundtable in January, the Department of Energy, and the Mexican Business Coordinating Council (CCE) hosted a conference in Merida, Mexico this week on closing the gender gap in the energy sector. In the United States, women make up only 27 percent of the STEM (Science Technology Energy Mathematics) fields, and as of 2018, Mexican women counted for only 3 percent of the energy sector workforce. With its rapid growth, the Mexican energy industry presents a ripe opportunity to close the gender gap by enabling women to provide leadership and influence the growth and direction of the sector.
At the workshop, five panels of senior women leaders in the energy sector shared their career experience and discussed ways to remove barriers to achieving more women in leadership roles in the sector. According to an OECD study, women bring new perspectives to the workplace and improve collaboration, and that an increased number of qualified women in organizational leadership yields better performance overall. Adopting a gender perspective ensures that the contributions of women – their skills and views – are represented in a growing industry.
“To tackle the climate crisis and reach our shared clean energy goals, we need diverse perspectives at the table” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Beth Urbanas. “Removing barriers to having more women in leadership roles in the energy sector is a key part of that solution and reaching our goal of a net-zero economy by 2050.
This event complements DOE’s efforts to inspire diversification in STEM fields and the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment initiative. It also kicked off Mexico’s own Women in Energy Program being led by CCE. The United States looks forward to continuing to its partnership with Mexico to work towards longer-term engagement with government, academia, and non-profit organizations to advance women’s leadership in clean energy.