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2019-11-25 | News

High level of gender research presented at the EfD Annual Meeting

Rebecca Klege

This year a high number of gender research papers was presented by environmental economists at the EfD Annual Meeting. The gender analysis is growing and a program to strengthen women within environmental economics takes shape.

Within EfD 20 gender analysis has been made in EfD discussions papers, and around 100 papers includes gender perspectives. The plan is to increase gender analysis more. And to strengthen the gender perspective within environmental economics WinEED started one year ago and are now on the way to take form.

WinEED is a network targeted at strengthening the capacity of women in environmental economics to become senior leaders. It was inaugurated one year ago and is in the process of creating a 5 years strategic plan to build a foundation for supporting female leaders in the field.

While the number of female environmental economists has been increasing during the years, as the field has matured, women remain underrepresented at the senior level, especially in developing countries. The result is a shortage of role models and mentors for young female academics and students.

- We have to build a strategy so early career women don’t fall out. We need mentorship and capacity building, says Rebecca Klege, researcher at the EfD center in South Africa.

Rebecca Klege is also one of the researchers who are presenting at the EfD Annual meeting on gender analysis in the energy sector in Rwanda.

- Many thought it wouldn’t be profitable to have women in the private sector. But the results from my research shows that women are as competitive as men in the renewable energy sector, under conducive business models such as working together in a group, she says.

This research has encouraged the partner company involved in the research to adopt the new business model to include more women. This model is being rolled out in 272 villages.

- We didn’t foresee that we could have such a big impact on the private energy sector when we started the project. Now even other sectors can adopt this business model. That’s the next step to broaden our impact on policy in the sector, she says.

Rebecca Klege is from Ghana, she is determined to continue with impactful research in the field of environmental economics with focus on Africa.

Another researcher who presented a research about gender is Simon Wagura Ndiritu from Kenya. He has analyzing the impact having women serve on the boards of Kenyan companies. One of his research findings reveals that when women is a part of the management, the probability to implement the environment management system ISO 14001 increases, which also is a part of mitigating climate change.

The findings contribute to the understanding of the role gender equality in the workplace can play in improving profitability, value creation and promote sustainability strategies.

- The plan is now to have a session with 100 top companies in January to tell the results and ask for concrete commitments to implement ISO 14001, says Simon Wagura Ndiritu.