• Supported by its Principal Partner Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, WiSER held the sixth annual Forum at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW)
• Forum to be held virtually under the theme of ‘Energy access for all: empowering women to accelerate sustainable development’
Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER), one of Masdar’s outreach platforms, explored the positive impact of energy access on inclusive sustainable development at its virtual Annual Forum, held as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022.
The sixth WiSER Annual Forum is the flagship event of the WiSER platform, which is dedicated to empowering women so they may play a greater role in carrying forward the sustainability agenda.
Supported by Principal Partner Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, the 2022 Forum was held under the theme, ‘Energy access for all: empowering women to accelerate sustainable development’. The invite-only roundtable event, explored the barriers women face in accessing clean electricity, energy financing, and other resources that prevent them from participating in, and benefiting from, clean energy developments and policies. It also addressed the challenges women face in finding jobs in the clean energy sector, where currently only 22 percent of the workforce is female, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Importantly, participants in the Forum will discuss how institutions and individuals can improve women’s access to energy finance and further support women-led energy entrepreneurship.
“As we head into the next 50, the role of women in sustainability finds more resonance than ever before. In the UAE, women are fully supported – Our leadership believes in women’s role in shaping lives and empowers them to lead central efforts towards sustainability and clean energy,” said Eng. Amal Al Braiki, Strategic Affairs Executive Director at the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy. “Women have distinct experiences and excel at the soft skills needed for business leadership. Therefore, they bring new perspectives and important insights to inform policies and decision-making to better serve the community. We look forward to this year’s WiSER Forum to discuss global women’s access to clean energy access and ways to promote their role in energy sustainability.”
“There is a growing recognition of the positive impact that inclusive energy access has on the development of women, children, and all of society,” said Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar. “The WiSER Forum will address a critically important issue of our time – the need to improve women’s access to reliable and sustainable sources of energy, as well as to other key resources, so they can directly contribute to and benefit from the development of new technologies and policies shaping our future, which is essential to achieving gender parity and all the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
The resulting insights from the Forum’s discussions will contribute to the latest WiSER white paper, which will advance understanding of the complex issues behind inclusive sustainable development and offer tangible solutions to improve energy access for all. Previous white papers produced by WiSER have explored the impact of artificial intelligence on gender parity, and the role of women in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Forum also marked the first event of the year for the new intake of WiSER Pioneers – a year-long program offering women aged 25 to 35 access to educational workshops and global networking opportunities with industry experts.
Speakers for the 2022 Forum included: Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Founder and CEO, Alliances for Global Sustainability; H.E. Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; Tayba Al Hashemi, CEO, ADNOC Sour Gas; Fatema Al Nuaimi, CEO, ADNOC LNG; Anne-Marie Choho, Director General - Executive Vice-President, SETEC; James Baker, CEO, National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester; Joanna Osawe, President and CEO, Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE); Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO, Solar Sister; Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder and President, Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF); Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO, ENGIE Energy Access; Sophia Brecknell, Deputy Head of Mission, UAE, at the British Embassy; and Sarah Casey, Managing Director, Climate Council, and many more.
For more information about the WiSER Annual Forum, visit www.abudhabisustainabiltyweek.com