Climate change underscores the need for innovative solutions to tackle the world’s greatest challenge. One imperative is adopting sustainable and renewable energy to guarantee a better tomorrow. But firms must not forget the enormous contribution gender equality can make to this goal.
Ensuring diversity and inclusion in all business operations is crucial. It is widely recognized that a diverse workforce leads to better decision-making and improved performance. Nevertheless, the renewable energy industry still struggles with the underrepresentation of women, who face numerous challenges and barriers to entry.
This is a problem because women have a crucial role to play in the transition to renewable energy and a sustainable future.
Gender equality and women's empowerment have been linked to numerous sustainability benefits. Studies have shown that gender equality and women's empowerment can lead to improved health outcomes, increased educational attainment, and reduced poverty rates. These outcomes can help create more resilient communities and a more sustainable planet.
For these reasons, Schneider Electric is committed to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment through various initiatives, including our World Woman Foundation to promote the role of women in the energy sector.
The initiative aims to increase the number of women in leadership positions in the energy industry, providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. In the past half-decade, it has established a group of 300 individuals who are actively creating change, providing mentorship to 55,000 graduates through our Global Mentorship Program across 20 different countries.
We provide training and education opportunities to empower women and promote diversity in our workforce. Through programs such as eMentoring Youth in STEM, we aim to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In our Schneider Electric office in Nairobi, Kenya, women take up 40% of senior leadership roles versus the 30% target that was set to be met by 2025. Additionally, and in 2023 only, 60% of our new graduate hires are female. We have also applied various amendments to our leave policies and adopted the global leave policy of five months maternity leave, two weeks self-care leave and two weeks care leave to support our employees who have responsibilities in supporting parents, in laws and extended relatives. Also, we continue with our capacity building programs and initiatives for women and girls through our “Women in Schneider Electric” WiSE initiatives.
Going beyond Africa, In the Middle East, and under a public private partnership initiative launched by the United Arab Emirates’ UAE Gender Balance Council, Schneider is one of 18 companies that publicly pledged to support women workforce empowerment and boost female participation in leadership and technical roles, in aspiration to inspire the wider industry to act towards achieving the UN’s SDG 5 – achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
In addition to these initiatives, Schneider Electric is also committed to promoting sustainable practices in our operations and throughout our supply chain. We believe that sustainability and gender equality go hand in hand, and we are committed to integrating these values into every aspect of our business.
For one, we have set ambitious sustainability targets for ourselves, including our goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. We are also committed to responsible sourcing, ensuring that our suppliers meet our high standards for social and environmental responsibility.
This is why Schneider Electric has been recognized by Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index for the fifth year in a row.
We understand that achieving gender equality and women's empowerment is not just the right thing to do - it is also essential for creating a more sustainable and equitable world. As a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management, we are committed to driving progress in these areas and building a better future.
The transition to renewable energy and sustainability is a critical challenge that we must all face together. However, we cannot achieve these goals without addressing the issue of gender equality and women's empowerment.
The only way forward is by working in partnership to promote diversity and inclusion, thereby building a brighter tomorrow for our communities and the planet.
Amel Chadli, Vice President Digital Energy & EM Software for Middle East & Africa, Schneider Electric