Photo essays - 25/September/2018

A breath of fresh air

The all women Finnish Wind Power Association offers a breath of fresh air in the male-dominated world of the energy industry

“Reducing gender inequality makes economic sense apart from being the right thing to do,” concludes a World Bank report from May 2018. The United Nations Development Programme estimates that ensuring the full participation of women in the economy could boost global GDP by as much as $28 trillion per year by 2025. Despite such evidence, the energy industry remains one of the most gender imbalanced sectors says the International Energy Agency, with women only faring slightly better in the renewables world, where the International Renewable Energy Agency estimates they represent around 35% of the workforce

 

Anna Tihonen, Communications Officer

Heidi Paalatie, Operations Manager

 

The Finnish Wind Power Association is the first to admit it is not the biggest nor the most powerful organisation in the energy world, but it is creating its own mini revolution with a team, from board level to CEO to communications officer, of only women. Heidi Paalatie, the association’s operations manager, insists the lack of men is unintentional. While all female companies are no better than all male ones in the long run, the organisation offers hope the energy industry can diversify its workforce for the benefit of all as it transitions away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources

Marja Kaitaniemi, Chairperson of the BoardAnni Mikkonen, Chief Executive Officer

Jenny-Li Holmström, Vice Chairperson of the Board

Diversity is the key to success in any industry, says Jenny-Li Holmström, vice chairperson of the wind association’s board and portfolio manager at Taaleri Energia. “Having a healthy gender mix can be compensated by having a healthy mix of different types of people,” she says. Holmström describes herself as “wanting more out of work than a salary” and sees the renewables industry as the perfect place to achieve this. “Having the opportunity to channel hundreds of millions of euros into the construction of renewable energy production is pretty cool.” And while she would prefer to be gender blind, she predicts more women will become leaders of the energy transition as they are “fierce when it comes to value driven work. I see certain middle aged men doing the greenwashing, while women generally push investments in renewables because they completely believe in the impact they will have”

Jenni Ryöti, GE Renewable Energy Wind Turbine Technician

Saara Jalkanen, Events & Member Services

PHOTO: Tine Sletting, TEXT: Philippa Nuttall Jones

 

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