At the Third Clean Energy Ministerial in London recently , the U.S. Department of Energy announced a three-part plan to help implement the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment initiative or “C3E” – a Ministerial program aimed at attracting more women to clean energy careers and supporting their advancement into leadership positions. This new program, pursued in partnership with the MIT Energy Initiative, is designed to translate the goals of C3E into concrete, meaningful action in the United States.“The Department of Energy is committed to advancing American leadership in the global clean energy economy and capturing the new markets and jobs of the 21st century. We will be more successful in these endeavors if we harness the talents of all of our citizens,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Through the U.S. C3E initiative announced today, we are excited to join with MIT to ensure we are leveraging the skills and experiences of women nationwide to help solve important national and international energy challenges.”
MIT President Susan Hockfield, highlighting the importance of this partnership, noted that, “Inventing a sustainable energy future represents the defining challenge of our time. To make progress against a problem of such scale, complexity and global scope demands the fullest range and depth of talent, ideas and commitment; by definition, then, women must play essential roles in the drive toward transformative energy innovations. MIT is pleased to join with DOE to help develop and implement the C3E Initiative, and to sponsor both the Women in Clean Energy Symposium and the awards program this fall.”The new components of the U.S. C3E action plan were announced this week at the Clean Energy Ministerial, a global forum of the energy ministers and leaders of 23 governments, joining together to promote policies and programs to advance clean energy technology, share best practices and lessons learned, and encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Sweden’s Minister of Information Technology & Energy, Anna-Karin Hatt, and South Africa’s Director General of Energy, Nelisiwe Magubane, delivered keynote addresses at the C3E event, followed by a moderated panel discussion on the policies and programs that have been effective in increasing women’s participation in the clean energy workforce.
These new activities help deliver on the U.S. commitment to C3E, launched by nine governments at the first Clean Energy Ministerial in July 2010. Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States each committed to undertake meaningful activities to advance women in clean energy and close the gender gap in their own national contexts and link their efforts wherever possible. Each country is developing its own implementation plan, tailored to its unique workforce and industry needs and talents.