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Leaders' pledge to galvanise renewable energy leaders to champion gender diversity

Better gender diversity across the renewable energy industry requires leaders from both genders to step up and drive change, the Clean Energy Council said in launching its Women in Renewables Leaders’ Pledge tonight.

Natalie Collard, Clean Energy Council Executive General Manager of Industry Development and Chair of the Women in Renewables initiative, said that many of the renewable energy industry’s leading figures have declared their support for greater gender diversity in the industry by signing the Leaders’ Pledge.

“The Leaders’ Pledge is about walking the talk; taking individual responsibility to be a champion for positive change and inclusion. We encourage anyone who self-identifies as a leader to join executives across the renewable energy industry and beyond by signing the pledge,” Ms Collard said.

“We need genuine champions of inclusivity at all levels of industry to empower and promote the achievements of women. One powerful way we’re asking leaders to do this is the Panel Pledge, which effectively means saying no to appearing at events or on panels which do not include gender diversity,” she said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said studies have shown that better diversity leads to improved decision-making and profitability for organisations.

“More than 750 women are now in the Women in Renewables network after two years and 12 events, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tonight’s launch of the Leaders’ Pledge is an important step towards achieving greater gender diversity in the renewable energy industry,” Mr Thornton said.

The Women in Renewables Leaders’ Pledge was officially launched this evening at the NAB Gala Dinner during the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Some senior members of the energy industry have already signed the Leaders’ Pledge and made supportive statements as follows:

Geoff Culbert, GE: “Meeting Australia's biggest challenges like energy will require creativity and collaboration from diverse teams. It's imperative that we take action to balance gender diversity and inclusion across the industry.”

Steve Davy, Hydro Tasmania: “There is no place in the modern energy sector for boys’ clubs, I am committed to creating fair work environments.”

Catherine Tanna, Energy Australia: “There’s a strong link between diversity and company performance, but the benefits go far beyond such a simple measure. It’s about wellbeing and providing opportunities, including the chance for people to do the best work of their careers. When people ask me ‘why does EnergyAustralia make diversity and inclusion a priority?’ the answer is simple – it’s the right thing to do.”

Michael Thorpe, Commonwealth Bank of Australia: “We are pleased to support the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables Leaders’ Pledge, and actively demonstrate our leadership when driving gender diversity in our industry and across the bank. Diversity and inclusion is an essential part of Commonwealth Bank’s vision and culture, and we are proud to be an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality as recognised by WGEA.”

John Titchen, Goldwind Australia: “One thing that is abundantly clear is that all facets of the energy sector are changing rapidly. I am committed to ensuring that talented women working in energy, renewable energy and outside the sector are given every opportunity to achieve their full career potential, and to promote the efforts of those who achieve success.”

Rachel Watson, Pacific Hydro: “The Leaders’ Pledge provides a powerful platform from which leaders can champion the concepts of inclusivity and diversity. As a relatively young industry, we have a fantastic opportunity to actively pursue gender diversity as a key enabler of growth and innovation in the renewable energy sector.”

Those who want to sign the Leaders' Pledge can do so via a link on the Clean Energy Council website.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.