Students in schools and universities need to be made more aware of career choices in energy – especially young women.
Promoting career opportunities in higher education institutions could boost the number of women in the sector, suggested speakers in a session on the lack of women in the energy industry at the Energy Live 2012 event in London today.
Aneysha Minocha, Director of Energy Services at GSH said: “Whilst I was studying at University, [energy] wasn’t a natural choice because it wasn’t one of the options on the table… One of the things the industry needs to do is open up those choices to make people more aware of what those choices are and what careers in renewable energy, low carbon or energy efficiency look like.”
For one woman on the panel who previously worked at a coal power station and now works as a Performance Engineer keeping wind turbines in top shape for npower, it’s actually up to women to get into the sector.
Edwina Vernon said: “Having been at a 40-year old coal power station, you’ve got people that’ve been there since the power station began with very traditional views. But there was never any discrimination. From my point of view, I felt I had to prove myself a little bit more being in that environment but you end up having quite a sort of banter in that area. It’s a nice atmosphere to be in as well.”
Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Agency added that there is a particular skills shortage in the renewable energy sector which applied regardless of gender.
A recent report by the Institute of Physics showed no girls took physics in half of mixed comprehensive schools in the UK last year.