Exploring the many benefits of closing the gender gap in the energy sector

By Michael Wiedemann, President, Energy Sector, DHL

Diversity is good for every industry, bringing in fresh ideas that can generate economic and social benefits. On International Women’s Day, let’s take the opportunity to consider how the energy sector can do better at attracting, retaining and promoting women. As the energy sector’s workforce ages and new skills such as AI and robotics come to the fore, attracting and keeping talented people, especially women, should be top of every company’s agenda.

The energy sector is entering a new era where production is shifting from oil and gas to renewable sources. Nearly 25% of regulated electric utilities in the U.S. are now run by women, which is triple their representation in the Fortune 500. This is a positive sign that things are moving in the right direction. But is change happening fast enough? 

If the number of women in leadership positions at power and utilities companies continues to improve at its current rate, it would take over 72 years to achieve equal gender representation in the boardroom. Clearly, more could be done to accelerate the pace of change.

So, how can the energy sector make the industry a more attractive place for women to work? As someone with daughters, I think inspiring girls to consider careers in energy while they are still in school is one answer. With a study showing that women occupy 45% of the industry’s administrative jobs versus 28% of its science, technology, engineering, and math positions, investing in proactively recruiting them to STEM roles is another.

This International Women’s Day offers us all a chance to reflect on how we can build a more diverse world, where gender does not limit the impact that someone can make. What are your thoughts?

Published: March 2020


Images: shutterstock, DHL