The African Energy Chamber has launched The African Women Business Energy Network, that not only celebrates but also empowers women in the energy sector.
As the energy industry grows, so does the need for more women to work in it. The African Women Business Energy Network (AWBEN) is a platform designed to advocate for women’s career advancement in the energy industry by connecting them and African women-owned businesses to highly competitive market opportunities and multinational buyers. This initiative considers the advancement of women in the energy industry to be critical.
Despite accounting for 39% of the global labor force, women account for only 22% of the traditional energy sector, according to the International Energy Agency. The figures are even lower at the management level. Furthermore, the barriers that women face in the energy sector are similar to those that they face in other sectors of the economy. However, the challenges of the energy sector are more pressing because the sector is undergoing transformation; clean energy transitions will necessitate the adoption of innovative solutions and business models, as well as increased participation from a diverse talent pool.
The energy industry lacks representation, and AWBEN was formed to address these issues. AWBEN seeks to promote the advancement of women in energy and women-owned businesses on the African continent, as well as to direct business capital into the hands of women in the region. AWBEN’s key initiatives to expand its reach and impact include inciting collaboration among African women in the energy industry, hosting mentorship programs and empowering women to take ownership of their personal and professional development, providing coaching and sponsorship opportunities for girls in STEM, creating avenues to encourage more African women-participation and leadership roles in the energy industry, and leveraging digital technology to improve participation.
“STEM is a significant investment in leveling the playing field for women in the energy industry. Girls’ ambitions as adults are shaped by the choices imposed on them in school. We must be deliberate about how girls are trained from the start of their education. They should not be restricted because of their gender. Women should be allowed to learn as much as their male counterparts, whether in STEM or otherwise, so that they have equal opportunities in their careers.” said Grace Orife, CEO of Adelaar Energy and Advisory Board member of the African Energy Chamber.
“We need to empower more African women to benefit from the oil and gas industry, whether it’s through on-the-ground jobs at drilling sites, professional positions, leadership roles, or business opportunities for women-owned businesses,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
The Chamber is a signatory to the Equal by 30 Campaign and is committed to gender equality initiatives as well as providing practical support to women in order to improve representation and capitalize on the industry’s socioeconomic benefits. We will continue to drive our commitment to African women in the energy industry through the African Women Business Energy Network and provide a dedicated platform for support.