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Championing gender inclusion and energy transition

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By Dr Valentina Dedi, Lead Economic Advisor at KBR, and Vice President at Access for Women in Energy 


Governments worldwide have made commitments to tackle climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, which in turn has put increasing pressure on the energy sector to shift its reliance on fossil fuels to greener sources. Whilst solar, wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) have attracted excitement, the energy transition is driven by a change in preference rather than economics.  


Looking ahead, we must strive for a diversified energy system over the next two decades to ensure meeting climate commitments can be sustained. However, policy complexities, and uncertainties around geopolitics and markets remain challenging. This is affecting the feasibility and timeline of many energy transition projects. 


Meeting the challenges 


Traditional energy companies find themselves caught between maintaining current profitability and ensuring future sustainability by embracing energy transition initiatives. Accessing capital for investments in oil and gas projects, for example, has become increasingly challenging as banks and asset managers shift away from financing fossil fuels. This requires businesses to incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into their strategies. 


Energy transition projects also require traditional energy companies to pivot and change their strategy with respect to operations and logistics. However, it's important to emphasise that the oil and gas industry will still hold a significant share of the energy supply mix, helping drive global economic growth, especially in developing and emerging countries. 


Promoting gender inclusion in the energy sector 


Creating an equitable environment for women and fostering gender parity in leadership positions within the energy sector is crucial. Several strategies and initiatives that corporations and governments can implement to promote a future of work for women include: 


  • Adopting transparent policies that ensure gender diversity, equal pay, and equal opportunities for promotion 

  • Encouraging gender diversity at the leadership level through mentoring programmes and leadership training 

  • Facilitating work attachment and reintegration through return-to-work or career training programmes 

  • Launching awareness-raising campaigns that challenge traditional stereotypes of the energy sector 

  • Engaging men in the conversation and promoting gender equality as a collective effort is also vital 


Navigating the energy transition 


As the world navigates the complexities of the energy transition, these insights serve as a valuable guide for companies and governments alike. By embracing ESG factors, promoting gender inclusion, and investing in sustainable technologies, the energy sector can pave the way for a greener and more inclusive future. 


At KBR, we are committed to supporting the energy transition and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. With experts leading the way, we are well-positioned to tackle the challenges ahead and drive positive change in the energy sector. 

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