International initiative challenges public and private sector organizations to accelerate the participation of women in the clean energy sector
Chalk River, ON, June 08, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce its support for the ‘Equal by 30’ campaign, an international commitment by public and private sector organizations to promote gender diversity and to help accelerate the participation of women in the clean energy sector. Equal by 30 seeks to bring together leadership from across the energy sector to achieve equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women by 2030.
Today, the energy sector is one of the most gender imbalanced industries in the world. Women represent only 35 per cent of the clean energy workforce internationally, and that number drops to 25 per cent in Canada. While the number of women working at CNL has grown to represent approximately 30 per cent of its workforce in recent years, CNL recognizes that further action is required to improve gender diversity in its operations.
“CNL is proud to throw its support behind Equal by 30, a truly important initiative that seeks to close the gender gap by 2030,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL’s President & CEO. “It’s well understood that women face structural and cultural challenges in the energy sector, and that action is needed to address this issue. Thanks to initiatives like Equal by 30, there is growing momentum and public interest in expanding women’s participation in these sectors to close the gender gap. We applaud Natural Resources Canada for acting as the driving force behind this initiative in Canada, and we offer our full support to put gender equality at the heart of the global transition to clean energy.”
Led by Sweden and Canada, and with signatories that include Italy, Finland and a number of private sector companies, Equal by 30 asks participants to endorse principles and take concrete action to accelerate women’s participation in the clean energy sector. Achieving the transition to clean energy will require the adoption of innovative solutions and business models, and greater participation from a diverse talent pool. It will also depend on our ability to harness all possible talent in service of the breakthrough ideas and solutions that will transform our world.
Even modest changes, like putting women on hiring boards, or promoting a woman into a leadership role, can have meaningful impacts for an organization’s culture and communities. There is also growing evidence that higher participation of women in leadership roles in the private sector is good for business.
“Participating in this program is not only the right thing to do, but it also has positive business impacts,” commented Esther Zdolec, CNL’s Vice-President of Human Resources. “Studies show that increasing the number of women in senior and leadership roles has a beneficial impact on a company’s bottom line, and leads to many other societal improvements. Overall, choosing to support Equal by 30 was an easy decision.”
The announcement continues CNL’s efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in science, technology and innovation. Earlier this year, CNL announced it would produce a new national publication in partnership with the Foundation for Student Science and Technology (FSST) that is designed to inform, inspire and spark discussion about the opportunities for women in these fields. Among other goals, the publication seeks to help young women establish and build peer networks of support, encouragement and information, and serve as a compendium of formal and informal scientific and social research, development programs, and other work in this area. Codenamed Project W, the inaugural issue will launch in the Spring of 2018.
While the campaign identifies 2030 as the target date for institutional improvements, Equal by 30 participants will be discussing their progress at the 2019 Clean Energy Ministerial, which will be held in Vancouver in May 2019.
For more information on CNL, please visit www.cnl.ca.
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Director, Corporate Communications