The Women in Wind program has been running since 2019, helping accelerate the careers of women in the wind industry. Mentees have come from all parts of the globe – Vietnam to Russia, Brazil to Kenya… There have been many different voices in the scheme, helping build a global network of professionals in the wind industry.
One of those mentees, Jeanette Gitobu, is now the Director of the scheme, welcoming a new cohort of mentees for the 2022/23 cycle. We asked Jeanette to outline five things about the scheme that inspire her ahead of this year’s program.
1 | Bringing up the first fifty
This year will see us pass the milestone of 50 mentees. It is incredible to think that so many women in the wind industry have been a part of this scheme and helped push the industry on by bringing more diverse voices into key areas of the sector.
Our report in 2020 found that only 21% of the global wind energy work force were women, with only 8% of senior management roles held by women. Those numbers are clearly not good enough, and it is exciting to see the Women in Wind scheme making a difference to those numbers.
“…only 21% of the global wind energy work force were women, with only 8% of senior management roles held by women. Those numbers are clearly not good enough…” Jeanette Gitobu, Women in Wind Director, GWEC Tweet
2| Mentorship in action
Mentorship is at the heart of the scheme and before, during and after the pandemic we have seen the value of this support from our mentors. From ‘world tours’ in the safety of a zoom call, to finally meeting up in person in the Blue Zone at COP26, it’s been brilliant to see the support our mentors and mentees provide each other no matter what the industry, and world, is dealing with.
One of the rewarding challenges of running this scheme is creating an array of different courses, webinars, presentations and events to keep mentors and mentees connected. We hold monthly meetings between our mentors and mentees, but we offer so much more throughout the year, and hopefully this year will see even more opportunities with some COVID restrictions loosening.
We have knowledge transfer webinars and skill-building courses that help draw out key pieces of knowledge and learned experience for our mentees. We also set-up networking opportunities at international energy events to support our mentees putting what they’ve learned into practice and start growing their own networks.
It is through these events that we hoped to drive further change by giving the Women in Wind mentees a platform to engage with the industry.
“One of the rewarding challenges of running this scheme is creating an array of different courses, webinars, presentations and events to keep mentors and mentees connected.“ Jeanette Gitobu, Women in Wind Director, GWEC Tweet
4| Children’s books!
Yes, that’s right, Women in Wind published a children’s book. It started with a dream to inspire children and adults alike; to make it clear that the energy transition needs them. We wanted to show the many opportunities the clean energy sector offers. GWEC worked in collaboration with six women: from Algeria, Poland, Canada, South Africa and Belgium in addition to amazing children from 25 different countries who formed an editorial committee for the book. They sent more than 1,000 questions to the people whose stories were features in the book!
Check out When I Grow Up here!
5| Being an ally
The Women in Wind program wants to take the industry with us, so that is why we built a resource center with information in there for people in the industry – and some bedtime stories!
For example, there is this guide to the best practices for gender diversity in talent recruitment. The guide supports employers in the clean energy sector to strengthen their hiring practices by adopting greater diversity in their approach to the workforce.
The application window for this year’s Women in Wind scheme is currently open. You can go here to apply. Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is a member-based organisation that represents the entire wind energy sector. The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organisations and institutions in more than 80 countries, including manufacturers, developers, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies. Find out more