New World Bank report addresses gender equality in the hydropower sector

A game-changing report published by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) today, assesses women’s participation in the hydropower sector.

The report, entitled, ‘Power with full force: Getting to gender equality in the hydropower sector’ draws out five key recommendations for stakeholders to consider when closing the remaining gender gaps in the sector:

  • Start with education and implement actions to remove constraints on the numbers of women who pursue STEM degrees.
  • Identify gender gaps in the workplace and enact policies to close them.
  • Raise awareness to promote hydropower as an appealing career for women.
  • Provide mentoring, role models, and networking opportunities for women.
  • Include more men in the gender inequality discussion and encourage them to be proactive to reduce the gaps.

The report highlights barriers to gender equality in the sector and identifies mechanisms for getting over those barriers to further women’s participation in the hydropower workforce at all levels.

On launching the report, IHA Interim Head of Policy, Debbie Gray commented:

“One of the most important things we can do to close the gender gap in the hydropower sector is to talk about it. We need to take stock and evaluate what the gender gaps are in the sector and find solutions to close those gaps. Publishing this report continues the conversation in the industry while providing practical, concrete and specific recommendations that different stakeholders can put into place.”

The report challenges the hydropower sector to fulfil its crucial role in the transition to low carbon energy systems by accessing the broadest possible pool of talent.

However, while the hydropower sector is expected to employ3.7 million people in 2050, the share of women in the sector’s labour force is currently only 25%. Building an inclusive and balanced workforce that offers equal opportunities for both men and women is economically and socially beneficial. The report finds, that to leverage the talents and skills of diverse individuals, the hydropower sector should continue its efforts to be more inclusive and welcoming to women.

This report was published by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and is based on research and analysis performed by the International Hydropower Association in collaboration with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET).

Read the full study here.

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