This is the second of two blogs related to the Women4Climate event that took place on Feb. 26 in Mexico City. To get to know more about this international movement and the role of women in counteracting the effects of climate change, read our previous blog.
The Women4Climate event in Mexico City created productive spaces for women and men to discuss and share ideas to counteract the effects of climate change. Participants highlighted the need to include more female leaders in the international effort to counteract the effects of climate change and pointed to higher number of women mayors among the C40 cities, from only four in 2015 to 16 now.
While attracting ever more female mayors to the movement is vital to provide stronger examples to encourage other women to reach higher decision-making positions, it is equally important to highlight the approach and design of the W4C Mentorship program that started in France in 2017 and which was brought to Mexico this year.
To date, the program has recognized 20 female emerging leaders, 10 in Mexico and 10 in Paris, to share their knowledge and experiences with other women. Among the Mexican leaders are Adriana Ruíz, co-founder of Sustenta Estrategia Ambiental, a company that uses organic residues to generate power through compact bio-digestors, Mariana Paredes, creator of the Energy Efficiency Fund to promote rational use of energy in housing and small and medium enterprises, and Diana Peniche, who is looking at ways to use rain to harvest energy.
MERM AND REDMEREE, NATIONAL MOVEMENTS
Beyond the international achievements of the Women4Climate movement, Mexico is starting to see more women in strategic decision-making roles in the domestic energy industry. Among them is Patricia Tatto, founder of Women in Renewable Energies Mexico (MERM), an initiative that aims to provide female leaders in the renewable energies sector with more tools to become empowered game-changers to counteract the effects of climate change. To know more about MERM and the importance of including more women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers read our blog here.
Another Mexican initiative is the Network of Women in Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (REDMEREE). According to Sandra Caballero, coordinator of REDMEREE, the association is working for the creation of a wide network in Mexico to attract more girls and young women toward the clean energies sector. The association has created a Young Promise Scholarship to support the studies of young women and has also created important synergies with diverse institutions to make sure that women have opportunities to certify themselves in the renewables and energy efficiency sectors. According to Elsa Bernal, Operations Director at CITRUS, REDMEREE is supported by GIZ, CITRUS and 47 other leading institutions in this effort. “As part of REDMEREE, CITRUS is a key driver in promoting the development and certification of more women in the industry and attracting newer generations of women to REDMEREE to boost their professional development.” (Do not miss our blog next Wednesday, March 20, to get to know more about the REDMEREE network and its achievements.)
Without a doubt Mexico has already had success in terms of gender equality, inclusion and counteracting the effects of climate change. Says Montserrat Ramiro, one of the two women commissioners at CRE: “Gender equality creates diversity, which enriches professional environments and decision-making processes, leading to better outcomes. Therefore, it does not only benefit Mexico’s energy transition but its economy and society in general.” Ramiro also highlights the importance of having men realize the benefits they also receive when encouraging gender equality. “Gender equality is not only about women, it is also about men. If men are not encouraged to take advantage of flexibility and enjoy the same benefits women have and vice versa, gender equality will remain an aspiration and not a reality,” she says.
To get to know more leader’s opinions on the role of gender equality in Mexico’s energy transition, read Mexico Energy Review 2018’s Roundtable in Chapter 14.
For more articles on Mexico’s energy industry, check out our blog!