The Clean Energy Council is proud to announce the ten recipients of the 2023 Chloe Munro Scholarship for Transformational Leadership.
Another hugely popular round, each of the applications were reviewed by a scholarship committee and selected based on their demonstrated excellence in their field, commitment to the clean energy industry and leadership potential.
Each recipient will receive a fully funded scholarship to undertake one of two courses offered by Education Provider, Women & Leadership Australia. Three recipients will undertake the Executive Ready course, a seven-month development program for middle to senior leaders, and seven recipients will undertake the Leading Edge course, a four-month development program for early career leaders and managers.
The high number and quality of applications made the selection process very competitive. We would like to thank all applicants for their interest in the scholarship and for taking the time required to complete the application process.
Supporting female leaders in the clean energy industry is crucial for developing diversity of thought, innovation, and equitable representation. Women bring unique perspectives that can drive sustainable solutions and address the industry's complex challenges. By promoting gender parity, the sector can tap into a broader talent pool, enhancing creativity and competitiveness. To increase women's presence in renewables, targeted efforts are essential. These include providing educational opportunities in STEM fields from an early age, offering mentorship and sponsorship programs, establishing inclusive workplace policies, and highlighting female role models. These are all the things (and more) that RES in Australia and globally is driving. Encouraging a culture of inclusion and breaking down gender biases will not only attract more women to the clean energy sector but also create a more resilient and diverse industry for the future. There is nothing better than women supporting women to succeed together.
Dr. Madeline Taylor
Women are at the centre of a just energy transition. I believe in supporting and mentoring other women in the energy transition, developing leadership skills, and a network of supportive women is crucial to ensuring female leadership drives the energy transition.
National Development Lead E&P
It's worth the effort! I would advise women to avail of every opportunity to network, and extend their peer network through industry events, and active participation in energy sector groups, never underestimating the value every one of us can bring through our unique experiences and perspectives. It has also been my experience that there is a vast network of experienced women out there who are only too willing to share their knowledge, and connections, to maximise participation in the industry for all our benefit - seek support and I believe there are always people there to give it.
We need more female role models in the clean energy industry to show women broadly what they can aspire to. More diverse perspectives lead to more innovation, better decision making and overall, more progress for the industry.
There is a myriad of improvements that need to be made to increase women in renewables, however.I think it starts with visibility of women in positions of leadership. Giving young women a role model to aspire to and showcasing a pathway to achieving this.
Hydrogen Business Development Manager
I am a big believer in the phrase "you can't be what you can't see". Gender equality in the renewables sector can unlock the full potential of women now and for generations to come; to shape, influence and advance industry. Embracing diversity means embracing our different experiences and talents to ensure a more sustainable, fair and impactful future for all. The fast-growing renewables sector presents an exciting opportunity to welcome a workforce transitioning from other industries. To do this requires inclusive recruitment practices, flexible work environments and encouragement of more women to pursue STEM disciplines at all levels of education, providing support via mentorship and skills development.
It has been proven that diversity is important for growth. Different backgrounds, personalities and ideas will play a major role in growth and change. Change is needed. The idea that "it has always been done like this why change?" is outdated just like the idea that only men can lead industry. As such inclusion of female leaders, and the experiences that only they can bring to the table is most important.The biggest improvement that I can see that could be made is the practical method of ensuring woman in male dominated roles especially in trade and project management are supported in their return to work after starting a family. There needs to be a breakdown of generational ideas that once you have a family its back to the desk for you. Woman need to be supported in these roles when returning to work so that once they are ready and willing (as their families grow), they are experienced and more then capable of moving into more challenging leadership roles with confidence.
Climate change is one, if not the biggest, challenge humanity has ever faced. Clean energy transformation is at the front of this wicked problem, and for it to succeed, there must be fair and equal representation. Women must be part of the decision-making for transformational and structural change, and we have a great opportunity and responsibility to take the lead on this. Women will be confronted throughout their entire careers with the fact that there is a long way to go for equal representation. However, each milestone will demonstrate things can be done differently, and the pathway will be much more manageable for future generations. We are at an inflection point, and this is an excellent opportunity to be part of the change and evolution of humanity, not only for environmental and climate reasons but also as a more equal society.
Supporting female leaders is critical in the clean energy industry. We have approximately 20 years to radically transform our energy system to be clean, affordable, and reliable. Diverse and representative perspectives in leadership are not simply ‘nice to have’ ¬– they’re vital for our success. I’ve been fortunate to experience incredible and diverse female leadership at DEECA and have seen firsthand what an important role this plays in progressing the energy transition.In terms of improvements, we need to ensure the presence of female leadership but also its visibility! This means showcasing our great women on panels and in media opportunities. By doing so, we break the ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ barrier, inspiring the next generation of female talent.Lastly, don’t assume you don’t have a role to play because you are in the majority! Everyone can be a valuable ally. Perhaps you can elevate the voice of someone who rarely gets their say in meetings? Or ensures a new starter gets pay-parity with their male counterparts? The actions of allies can often be lower effort and higher impact compared to what a woman or minority might achieve by advocating for themselves.
There are plenty of smart, talented, skilled female leaders in the industry that deserve to be recognised and empowered. It is important because diversity in our leaders leads to a better outcome for the entire energy transition, from the technical engineering outcomes, to better outcomes for the people working on this problem. Improvements to increase the number of women in renewables is making sure we nurture young talent and ensuring that, when they are reader, leadership positions in the industry are filled with talented women leaders.
The 2023 round was made possible by the generous support of our partners.
Chloe Munro AO was a leader and pioneer of the clean energy industry. Throughout her lifetime, she played an integral role in accelerating Australia’s transition to renewable energy and served as an inspiration to many – especially women working in the sector.
On 25 August 2021, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning hosted a commemoration of Chloe’s exceptional career and life achievements. The video of the commemoration can be viewed below.