The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), in partnership with the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the Global Women's Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET), has launched a survey which focuses on the role of women in all parts of the hydropower sector.
The survey is part of a study which will identify and encourage best practice and practical approaches on gender equality in the hydropower sector. All practitioners, in the hydropower sector, both women and men, are encouraged to respond.
The partners say that women remain underrepresented in the hydropower sector - as they are in the energy sector in general - yet how underrepresented is difficult to determine as sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics on employment in the sector are scarce. Hydropower generates almost two thirds of renewable energy electricity, and it employs over two million people globally. It has therefore the potential to make a significant contribution to improving diversity and gender equality across the energy workforce. With an increased global focus on maximizing the potential of hydropower comes the opportunity and the need to address barriers and gaps for women in relation to recruitment, retention, and promotion. Access to quality jobs and assets are key levers of change for women, communities, businesses, and economies. In developing countries, particularly, they are also fundamental drivers of economic growth, poverty reduction, and shared prosperity.
The study, which will be led by IHA, focuses on developing countries. It will seek to determine the share of women in different functions in hydropower companies, and to identify the main barriers to entry and advancement of women, as well as effective strategies to address those barriers.
As part of the study, the online survey targets various stakeholders within the hydropower sector, including private companies, public utilities, governmental and non-governmental organizations. It aims to collect quantitative and qualitative data on women’s participation in this sector.