OWC’s Luany Dantas reflects on her experience being part of GWEC’s Women in Wind Global Leadership Program 2021 and how driving diversity in renewables can be part of ensuring that the energy transition is a just transition.
According to the January 2020 IRENA/Women in Wind report “Wind energy: A gender perspective”, only c 21% of the global wind energy workforce are women, and 8% of senior management roles in the global wind energy sector are held by women.
To promote gender diversity and advance the role of women as agents of change in society and promote best practices within the wind industry, The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) partnered with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET), launched the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program in 2019. Luany was one of 21 participants chosen from 19 countries with a unique focus on emerging markets, in Luany’s case Brazil, to take part in the year-long program designed to accelerate the careers of women in the wind industry, support their pathway to leadership positions and foster a global network of mentorship, knowledge-sharing, and empowerment.
What has been your experience so far in the programme?
So far, my experience has been amazing. I could say that I have already broadened my horizons through the program. I have exchanged experiences and joined dynamic and empowering conversations about challenges that we as women are faced within the industry.
In addition to that, we had our first webinar training which was on Offshore Wind which was very exciting and enriching for me due to my focus in this industry. I also had the first guidance section with my mentor, she shared insights on how to build a career vision in the long term and develop an awareness of the blind spots in my career.
What are your objectives for the programme?
I recognise the importance of education and training as part of my professional development, and I understand that the mentoring and networking opportunities afforded by the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, will provide me with the support needed to succeed and thrive in my profession and within the wind industry.
I hope that I can gain more expertise and expand my network with female leaders in the wind sector. Also, I think adopting a new perspective, knowing how to act or react in certain high-pressure situations, being able to adapt to change, and being open to a variety of opinions is very important to advance my career in the sector and I firmly believe the program will help me with all the above.
Is improving diversity part of ensuring that the energy transition is a ‘just’ transition?
I feel it is definitely important. Being a Naval Architect, I come from an oil and gas market background, however, I have always been passionate about renewable energy and in 2015, I decided to take a Master’s degree in offshore wind. At this stage a ‘just’ transition, for instance moving away from coal towards clean energy, but doing so in a way that also takes sight of, for instance, workers losing out on coal jobs, or taking first nations into account in the early development of projects, was a key topic in the environmental space.
We must ensure that during the transition we do not damage the environment or our societies, two wrongs don’t make a right. So, for me, ensuring we improve diversity in the renewables sector is part of making sure we achieve the necessary energy transition while improving our environment and societies in the process, so ensuring the transition is a ‘just’ one.
And a final thought, Luany?
As part of the Women in Wind program, we are encouraged to reflect on how to inspire change and to increase gender diversity in our industry.
I believe that women are extremely talented and can bring to the table skills and experiences that are uniquely valuable. I honestly wish that we can balance the numbers, so that leadership becomes more “gender-neutral” in the future with more women in senior roles and directorships.
I believe, having women hold key positions in major wind projects will encourage other women, especially those at a young age, to pursue a career in wind energy industry.
About the program: The program features 12 mentors that include industry leaders, executives and experts from across the globe. Each mentee is designated to one mentor with a focus on providing mentorship, fostering knowledge and skills-sharing on monthly virtual interactions to prepare the next generation of women leaders in wind through concrete career goals, road-mapping and network-building opportunities. With the objective to offer multidimensional training, 5 knowledge-transfer webinars covering industry topics and a study tour and conference in Europe are offered on the program which also includes an online storytelling campaign.