Women in Energy Network Spans Continents

Women in Energy Network Spans Continents

The International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) expands Women in Energy (WIE) with three leaders and sets the tune for the energy transition.

LIMA (August 22, 2023) —  With its newly appointed Chair, Andrea Lenauer, Senior International Relations Advisor at Austrian energy regulator E-Control, the ICER Women in Energy (WIE) initiative leads the way into the energy transition.

People expect the international energy sector to deliver convenient energy at all times. If we are to manage this immense task, all players, regulators and industry alike, must cultivate our international networks and cooperate ever more closely, and this must include women”, says Lenauer.

Women make up half the planet’s population, and through their consumption decisions as private individuals, they have a bearing on energy consumption. However, women are still underrepresented at decision-making level in international energy companies.

New multi-year peer coaching programmes for mid-career women and HR experts

Even though the executive levels at regulatory authorities are more female than those in the energy industry at-large, much remains to be done. To address this, WIE has developed a multi-year peer coaching programme for mid-career women that brings together peers across continents, thereby creating an opportunity to interact with like-minded women from outside one’s own bubble.

A second peer coaching programme will start in the autumn and focus on HR experts. It will shine light on international best practices in areas such as childcare and flexible working arrangements. If done right, such practices can motivate women to take on leadership roles and be supported in their careers.

“The ‘classic’ career is becoming very rare. For example, I am chairing WIE as a parent working part-time (12 hours/week), and I would like for others to be able to take on such challenges as well. We need to do away with the idea of having to spend 10 hours a day at the office, five days per week. Creativity and problem-solving require different approaches. In a management culture where questions are treated as a resource-oriented tool, peer coaching can be translated into great benefits”, Lenauer emphasises.

Online networking saves time, money, and resources

High-quality solutions often rely on time and resources. Both are hard to come by, especially for parents. The new online networking format developed by WIE is a tool for these situations. Women from Tbilisi, Sydney, Houston, Nairobi, Sweden – you name it – can meet up online and exchange views about the challenges of the energy transition in an efficient way. Engineers, lawyers, economists, and HR managers from the electricity, gas, oil, renewables, heat and water sectors can come together to listen, reflect, and exchange views. Using the online format, women can benefit from digitalisation and increased peer availability, can generate new ideas and develop skills – all while protecting the environment by avoiding flight emissions.

Global, personal network beats strategic network

A value-driven network is based on quality relationships. Whether the energy sector can be resilient will depend on the leadership being able to work across disciplines, reflect, and change perspectives. Taking on responsibility, addressing the questions of our time and working towards the common good must be considered equally with the interests of shareholders. Andrea Lenauer is convinced that “in the end, the sectors and relationships that have a resilient, global basis will be the ones to endure.”

Working across continents requires a good reliable team

On August 22, 2023, the ICER Steering Committee nominated two new WIE Vice Chairs, Ms Erin Hammel (Senior Director, International Programs at NARUC, USA) and Ms Nadia Horstmann (Head of Section in the International Department at Bundesnetzagentur, Germany). The Vice Chairs will help implement the three year-programme, together with the WIE Chair Andrea Lenaur. The WIE team is supported by Ms Martina Schusterová (Deputy Secretary General of CEER, Brussels, Belgium).

To learn more about ICER and its members, visit http://icer-regulators.net/.


About ICER
The International Confederation of Energy Regulators is a voluntary framework for cooperation between energy regulators from around the globe. Our aim is to improve public and policy-maker awareness and understanding of energy regulation and its role in addressing a wide spectrum of socio-economic, environmental, and market issues.