Week in smart metering - Women in energy

Time to pause and reflect on the contribution of women to the energy sector, writes Claire Volkwyn, editor, Metering & Smart Energy International.
Published: Wed 10 Aug 2016

On Tuesday, South African’s celebrated Women’s Day, which commemorates the day in 1956 when more than 20,000 women of all races marched on the country’s Union Buildings to protest the amendment of what was commonly known as the ‘pass laws.’

As such, the role of women is very much at the top of mind for me today, and I wanted to celebrate and remember some of the amazing women pioneers who have made a significant contribution to the energy sector as we know it today.

Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854–1923), who helped develop electric arc lighting.

Edith Clarke (1883–1959), who in 1918 became the first woman to earn a degree at MIT's electrical engineering school. She was also the first woman admitted to the American Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979), the first woman to work as a scientist for the General Electric Laboratory.

Despite the pioneering work done by these and many other women in more recent time, there are still far too few women working in the energy sector, with for instance, women making up only a third of the workforce in electricity and renewable energy in Canada.

In order to drive and recruit more young women and girls to the power sector, strong female role models are vitally important. It is crucial that time and again the message is clear: women can work and be successful in engineering, technology and technical careers.

Do you know an amazing woman in the energy sector? We’d love to hear more about her!

More from Metering & Smart Energy International

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