Conference on “Women Engagement in Energy”
USAID, in close collaboration with Georgian Renewable Energy Development Association (GREDA), held a conference on February 17, at the Presidential Palace entitled “Women Engagement in Energy”.
The palace venue provided an opportunity for conference participants and sector leaders to discuss the significance of new technologies, the opportunities for women professionals in the sector, and to raise the awareness of those already working in the sector of the opportunities that increased female participation can bring to energy markets. The event brought together universities, students, representatives of the public and private sectors, and organizations specializing in gender issues.
H.E. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia opened the Conference.
The event also featured welcome remarks by David Hoffman, USAID/Georgia Acting Mission Director; Maia Melikidze, Commissioner, Georgian Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, Giorgi Chikovani, General Director of Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation and Rob Taylor, Chief of Party, USAID Securing Georgia’s Energy Future Program. The conference was organized with funding from the American People through USAID.
The conference offered a platform for women professionals in the energy sector to share insight, offer presentations on various pivotal topics and discuss the challenges and opportunities existing in the energy field. While gender representation is nearly balanced in the lower echelons, there is a persistent lack of women in leadership positions. In addition, nearly 20% of Georgia’s energy sector employees will be retired in 5 years. These facts present a golden opportunity to use the energy transition as a catalyst for equitable changes in the energy sector.
"Female engagement in the sector can be an effective solution to the existing cadre deficit in the sector. According to Sakstat data, today only 17% of the total number of employees
are women engaged in the energy sector. Globally, this figure reaches 30-40%. It is also significant that only 5% of women are employed in the so-called STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related positions, while the international rate is as high as 30%. Such events will help students learn about the opportunities and employment
in the field," said Irina Petriashvili, the GREDA Deputy Executive Director.
“We firmly believe that more voices equal better outcomes. Today more than ever, is important for champions—who have a following, influence, and power, to work together to level the playing fields and career opportunities for women and ethnic minorities. Put more simply, if the leaders are on board, everyone will follow.” Rob Taylor, Chief of Party, USAID’s Securing Georgia’s Energy Future.