In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Clean Energy Council today announced the recipient of the inaugural Developing Women Directors Scholarship, which aims to improve the gender balance in leadership and board positions across the renewable energy sector.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton congratulated AllGrid Energy Marketing and Alliance Manager Deborah Oberon on becoming the first, and a very worthy, recipient of the scholarship.

“The Clean Energy Council is proud to award the inaugural Developing Women Directors Scholarship to Deborah Oberon from AllGrid Energy, who is already an exceptional leader in the renewable energy sector,” Mr Thornton said.

“We received more than 30 applications from a range of talented women for the scholarship, and the selection panel was spoilt for choice when it came to choosing a recipient. We were overwhelmed by the talent among the women of the sector, reinforcing the benefit of the scholarship to encourage women to step up to board roles.

“Deborah was the stand out candidate due to her commitment and passion for the industry and diversity of life experience. The selection panel felt that Deborah will take full advantage of this scholarship, and through her leadership and business acumen, has the potential to make a positive and sustained contribution to board rooms across the renewable energy sector for many years to come.”

Ms Oberon said she was honoured to be awarded the Developing Women Directors Scholarship, and looked forward to taking full advantage of the program.

“It is truly a great honour to win this scholarship. Research consistently shows that gender parity on boards delivers a range of better business outcomes and reduces the significant pay gap that exists between men and women,” Ms Oberon said.

“I find it incredibly exciting to be a part of the clean energy industry. As the traditional energy models begin to shift and change, this industry is an essential part of the pathway to a sustainable future.

“This industry has the potential to provide an inspiring foundation for other industries to evolve their corporate cultures to offer a level playing field for women, and more holistic models of inclusion.”

Mr Thornton said the scholarship was just one small way the clean energy industry was working to achieve a better gender balance at all levels.

“The global theme for International Women’s Day today is ‘Pledge for Parity’, and this scholarship aims to achieve that by helping women take the next step in their career by completing the Australian Institute of Directors Foundations of Directorship course,” he said.

“Through this annual scholarship, the clean energy industry hopes to see a direct increase in the representation of women on company boards, and build leadership capability and skills across the industry.”

The Clean Energy Council thanks selection panel members Rachel Watson, Pacific Hydro General Manager, Group Services and Clean Energy Council board member, and Anna Skarbek, ClimateWorks CEO.

For more information on the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables initiative or to sign up to the mailing list, visit cleanenergycouncil.org.au/women. To arrange an interview, please contact Communications Manager Laura Szekfy on 0410 277 393.