In 2017, the Lights on Women project started off as a spontaneous editorial initiative within the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) that was meant to:
- Shed light on the identity and careers of women professionals in the energy sector
- Champion gender equality in the energy sector
- Promote equal opportunities for men and women
- Carry an internal audit of our activities under a gender lens
The project shaped up to be an organized venture which permeated all the aspects of the work at the FSR: training, events and knowledge-making.
These are the values that have inspired – and will keep inspiring – our work:
- From women for women
The project is female-led and female-centred.
- Changing the industry (and the workplace) from the inside
Perceptions of gender roles are an important barrier to entry into the energy sector. Therefore, the overturning of gender roles and gender mainstreaming* can have an impact on broadening perceptions as well as specific workplace practices.
- Gender studies, inclusivity, intersectionality
The project aligns with gender studies literature in advocating for equal rights for women. Also, it aims to take an intersectional approach to gender issues as intersectionalism contributes to influencing and advancing not only equality among genders but also, for example, in race, class, sexual orientation, and physical ability.
Our commitment to advocacy is aimed at bringing gender issues to the forefront of the discussion and at educating decision-makers and the public about specific issues with the scope of stimulating policy change.
The three main actions carried out by the Lights on Women initiative are the following:
- The Lights on Women blog
The blog aims to shed light on the identity and careers of women professionals in the energy, climate and sustainability sectors. It also provides a platform where women professionals can be seen and heard, and exchange with like-minded peers.
- The Lights on Women Scholarship
As a school, The Florence School of Regulation’s mission is to educate and train energy professionals. The LoW scholarships are meant for women from all backgrounds, nationalities and seniorities and have the following objectives:
- providing financial support for women at every stage of their career
- providing opportunities for continuing education
- upskilling women so that they can overcome gender barriers in employment.
- The Energybase
The Energybase is a database for women in the energy, climate and sustainability sectors. The Energybase is a multi-side, matchmaking platform where the demand for diverse talent meets supply.Our two users are talents (women in energy, climate and sustainability) and searchers (companies and institutions looking to diversify their talent pool). The two user types will be matched through the database and will be able to connect and exchange.Its objectives:
- Increase gender diversity in conferences, expert panels, research, media appearances, boards and hiring
- Connect female professionals with global energy stakeholders to facilitate engagement and exchange
- Ensure women’s contributions are acknowledged by showcasing their talent to increase their visibility, representation, and participation and boost their careers
- Provide insights into the status of women’s participation in the energy sector and address the data gap.
Goals for 2023
In 2022, as gender inequality remains rampant in the energy and climate sectors, we at the Florence School of Regulation (EUI) believe that it is time to address it and find actionable solutions.
In order to respond to the urgency that this matter demands, the FSR is making a pledge to our fellow academics, and our community of regulators, policymakers and students.
These are the actions the school (and its dedicated initiative, Lights on Women) commits towards in 2023:
- To organize and streamline our Lights on Women and FSR activities (events, training, blog and campaigns) to achieve global gender justice and equality goals;
- To provide a platform (Lights on Women) that champions women and establishes a safe space for discussion and growth;
- To educate, train, mentor and upskill female professionals to break down barriers in the energy sector;
- Gender equality training for men: defeating unconscious bias and ordinary sexism through gender-equality competence development activities;
- Advocate for women: strengthening the visibility of the diverse roles women are already playing in specific areas (i.e. the energy transition) as agents of social and economic transformation;
- To add an intersectional dimension to our actions, to include the various experiences of women of colour, marginalized women, immigrant women, women at an economic disadvantage, and other groups;
- To create new career advancement opportunities through calls for instructors and vacancies and to be mindful of offering equal opportunities as an employer;
- To implement actions that actively improve and sustain gender equality and diversity at our institute (in panels, executive education and research);
- To monitor, survey and audit the state of the workplace (and of the sector) concerning gender equality and inclusivity. To assess the impact of our actions, be transparent about findings and adjust accordingly to this assessment;
- To partner up with and learn from initiatives that have consistent goals and vision to ours.