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International Women's Day: Approaching 10 years of Women in Renewables

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting on nearly a decade of the CEC’s Women in Renewables program and of change in the energy industry.

The Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables program is approaching its 10th anniversary.

The program is a tangible embodiment of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which asks us to invest in women and accelerate progress.

Over the past decade, Women in Renewables has championed female empowerment and workplace diversity for the sector, sponsoring speaking programs, formal mentorship, scholarships and job opportunities.

For many, recently released WGEA data on the gender pay gap were a sobering reminder of the work still to be done in achieving equitable and inclusive workplaces.

And yet as we reflect on the past decade of Women in Renewables, it is clear the clean energy industry has seen seismic change.

Women now represent 39% of the Australian Clean energy workforce, compared with just 23% in oil and gas, and 16% in coal.

The CEC’s Chief Operating Officer, Ashliegh Dalmau, sees significant change being driven by the strengths of the senior women in the organisation.

“You accelerate progress by taking a seat at the table and you bring a chair with you. You invite someone to sit in the chair next to you,” Dalmau said.

“And in the renewables sector, the women are supporting one another. They are literally bringing another chair to the table.”

Ashliegh sees a tangible return on investment the Women in Renewables Chloe Munroe Scholarship.

“Over the past decade, the Women in Renewables program has matured and we are now seeing the next generation of leaders emerge from the scholarship and the mentoring program with a ready-made network of people who will support and advance them throughout their careers in the sector.”

International Womens Day Ashleigh Dalmau

As a marker of this progress, a new generation of women are taking their place in leadership teams across the industry.

CEC Policy Director for Offshore Wind Morgan Rossiter took part in the Women in Renewables Mentorship program, which helps women form connections and build lasting relationships across the energy sector to support their career progression.

Morgan was mentored by Chair of the Australian Energy Market Commission Anna Collyer. Following her mentorship, in September 2023 she was appointed to her current policy directorship.

Before joining the CEC, she had spent over 10 years working in the oil and gas industry across Australia and Singapore, where she says she saw “a bigger change in train and was fortunate to have had supportive male mentors in that very male dominated environment.”

Morgan says it was the Women in Renewables mentor program, though, that helped her clarify her thinking on approaching a leadership position.

“The mentorship was the chance to have someone outside the organisation to help me focus and strategise on this next stage of my career and think about how I wanted to approach going for that promotion.

“Actually sitting down and thinking – what do I want to deliver in this job in the near term and the long term? And why? How will it deliver value to the CEC and the industry? The mentorship gave me the space and agency to make clear for myself how best to approach this new role from the beginning.”

“When I think about the industry, and particularly coming into offshore wind, I see this strong contingent of enthusiastic and effective women who really do support each other and build connections.”

International Womens Day Morgan Rossiter

Our leaders of the future are equally important.

April Golder joined the CEC as a Women in Renewables Intern in 2023. She has since worked across renewables best practice, decarbonisation, and energy policy while she completes her Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne. She was involved in running the 2023 Chloe Munro Scholarship and late last year joined CEC delegates at the United Nations’ climate change conference.

“My entire life I have been passionate about protecting Australia’s unique ecosystems and incredible biodiversity. In the face of an urgently warming climate, renewable energy represents one of the most realistic and effective means of climate change mitigation,” she said.

“I love working at the CEC and being surrounded by intelligent and passionate people who make progress everyday towards a clean energy future.

“And I feel so lucky to work in a workplace which promotes integrity, inclusivity, and values-driven work. Before I had even started at the CEC, I already knew about the CEC’s reputation as a champion for women in renewables, owing to the amazing work of Dr Anita Talberg, the CEC’s Director of Workforce Development.”

The Clean Energy Council's Women in Renewables initiative enables and champions women working in the renewable energy industry. Through building a united community of people who share a collective mission and vision, we will support women to step up as empowered leaders within their organisations.

For more information or to get involved visit Women in Renewables | Clean Energy Council.

International Womens Day April Golder