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This Debate will aim at reviewing the current situation with gender participation in the energy sector and at identifying which policies and measures should be pursued to ensure equal opportunities in this sector. It will also address the extent to which affirmative actions could be used to address the current gender imbalance, and how these actions could be compatible with a merit-based approach to entry into the sector.


The energy transition, with the penetration of new processes and technologies, will provide a unique opportunity also to address the current gender imbalance in the energy sector. While gender is increasingly a multi-dimensional notion, the main focus in the energy sector is currently on the male-female composition of the workforce.

Because of the multi-disciplinary dimension, renewable energies and other developments associated with the energy transition (e.g. decentralised energy systems) seem to exert an appeal on women, and provide greater opportunities to them, than the more traditional fossil fuel industry. According to the results of a recent survey carried out by IRENA1, women represent 32% of the full-time employees in the renewable energy sector – substantially higher than the 22% average in the global oil and gas industry. Still, in renewables, women’s participation is much lower in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs than in administration.

Despite the appeal of the new technologies at the basis of the energy transition, women still face persistent barriers to entry, to remain in the workforce, and to advance. Removing these barriers is essential to meet the growing demand for skills in an expanding industry.

Draft Programme

Introduction to the Debate and Opening Presentations

14.00 – 14.05   Introduction to the Debate

Alberto Pototschnig | Florence School of Regulation

14.05 – 14.15   Opening address

Paula Abreu Marques | Head of Unit, Interinstitutional and Member States, European Commission

14.15 – 14.25   The energy transition: a gender perspective

Rabia Ferroukhi| Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre, IRENA

Panel Discussion: Introductory Remarks, Polls and Comments


Ilaria Conti | Florence School of Regulation

Alberto Pototschnig | Florence School of Regulation

14.25 – 14.50   Introductory remarks from the panellists
Silvia Manessi |Head of HR, ACER
Jennie Stephens | Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affair, Northeastern University

14.50 – 14.55   Polls

14.55 – 15.15   Comments on the polls outcome and Q&A from the audience

15.20 – 15.30   The FSR Energybase project and Concluding remarks
Elena Iorio
| Florence School of Regulation
Alberto Pototschnig | Florence School of Regulation


Hosts: Leigh Hancher and Alberto Pototschnig (FSR)

The focus of this series is on recent court cases, regulatory decisions, EU legislation, or public consultations to be discussed by a panel of experts.

This event will be live-streamed and recorded. Highlights and presentations will be made available online.

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