This article is the last one in the series related to international women’s day and to the Women4Climate event. Check out our blogs to find out more about the Women4Climate event that took place in Mexico City on Feb. 26, and the role of associations on gender equality efforts.
The importance of including more women to counter the effects of climate change has been previously explained, and among the various reasons, a broader view of the problems and possible solutions can be found, together with a more empathic and bottom-up approach. While ensuring that more women enter decision-making positions is one of the objectives of the Women in Renewable Energies Mexico Association (MERM) – check our blog to find out more – another approach is followed by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Women’s Network (REDMEREE).
REDMEREE is the outcome of the pioneering work on gender and energy projects in urban areas managed by GIZ’s Sustainable Energy Program. This network was launched on April 2016 by key stakeholders of the Mexican energy industry and representatives of the Ministry of Energy.
With a bottom-up approach in mind, REDMEREE is working toward increasing the number of women interested in and working on the Mexican energy industry with three lines of action: skills development, leadership and empowerment and knowledge management. REDMEREE’s activities in creating opportunities for women include developing over 40 institutional partnerships, some of them with companies that offer internships or employment opportunities to its members, co-organizing workshops and visits to industrial facilities and providing scholarships for female students to participate in specialized forums.
But beyond creating opportunities, the association has the objective of reaching a new culture of gender equality as Sandra Caballero, coordinator of REDMEREE, explains. “We have to fight the root of the problem that causes women to shy away from a career in energy, which relies on stereotypes and roles assigned to men and women.”
The association has a strong approach to empowering women and raising awareness among men about the challenges women face in the energy industry, together with the benefits of their inclusion. According to Caballero following a 1.5 empowering approach is vital, and it has been the key for the wide acceptance of the network in 15 states with a network of over 600 members, both men and women. “Thanks to our horizontal approach where the benefits and workload are shared our members do not only empower themselves but also become proxies of the association, therefore becoming jointly responsible for the empowerment of other members,” explains Caballero. By following this approach, REDMEREE has become the national representative of the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition.
Thanks to its hard work the association has already achieved major milestones such as creating a mentoring program where the leading mentor is Lourdes Melgar, former Deputy Minister of Hydrocarbons at the Ministry of Energy. It has also launched a scholarship to support the college studies of a female student, through a strategic partnership with ANES, for certifications in the solar sector. With more projects in the pipeline Caballero is excited about the opportunities REDMEREE is creating. “We want to empower future generations to live up to their potential,” she says. “Our goal is to become true agents of change.”
For more articles on Mexico’s energy industry, check out our blog!