Who are wind's most influential women?

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

Richard Heap
July 14, 2021
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Who are wind's most influential women?

Download your copy of the report here.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

That’s why it feels the right time for us to look again at the issue.

Yesterday, we published our 2021 Women’s Power List, in partnership with our headline sponsor Green Giraffe. This is our second report to celebrate the key role of women in the global wind industry, and includes our top 100 list of wind’s top female power-brokers. This follows our first such report in 2017.

It also gives us an opportunity to look at whether there’s more that companies in the wind industry could do to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented women in the sector.

On the face of it, there is little difference between now and 2017.

For example, in May, Powerful Women reported that women held just 24% of board seats and 14% of executive director roles in the UK’s largest energy companies. This echoes findings from Ernst & Young in 2019 about gender balance in power globally. It also suggests that wind is falling short of a target of 30% female representation in top roles that correlates with higher levels of innovation and higher profits.

It isn’t just top roles either. There is evidence that wind across the whole workforce is less diverse than other renewables.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported women make up 21% of the global wind workforce, compared to 32% across renewables. In our view, this should force wind companies to ask two questions. Is there more they could be doing to inspire young women to pursue their careers in wind? And is there more that they could do to retain skilled women?

There are no easy answers, but this should prompt some soul-searching.

And it’s fair to say that we are not immune from this soul-searching. We are always keen to make sure we approach the WPL in the right non-patronising spirit, and so we are particularly proud we can do so with support from some of wind’s leading women.

These include our judging panel – Amisha Patel, Celia Anderson, Mary Thorogood and Karen Wong – and our Q&A interviewees, including Beth Waters from MUFG; Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong; Erin Coldham from Star of the South; Natasha Luther-Jones from DLA Piper; and three Green Giraffe directors. We also feature Macquarie’s Mark Dooley.

But we are also mindful of the questions about whether a report such as this is even necessary.

Should we even highlight gender? How can we make sure that we treat the women in this report as we’d treat men? What about our other Power Lists?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we think it is fine to highlight gender. We can see why people might see a report like this is unequal, even offensive. But we believe this report can further highlight issues unique to women.

The answer to the second question is: yes, we treat the women in this report exactly as we treat our top 100 people in every other list. That means our interviews focus on the market insights you need, and that our profiles avoid mentions of parenting and children. If it wouldn’t feature in our other Power Lists then it doesn’t feature here.

And the answer to the third question about diversity in our other Power Lists? Well, that's an excellent question and the toughest of the three.

For example, our recent European Power List featured 22 women in the top 100, so below the 30% threshold we mentioned earlier. The issue here is to what extent we reflect the industry and to what extent we lead it.

The fact is women are still rare in the top roles of major companies in wind, as research shows. We can either publish reports that shows the industry as it is, or we can present a PR-friendly picture of the industry as it wants to be seen.

We feel we would be doing you a disservice if we did the second – and we can only make a meaningful contribution to the discussion if we do the first. That said, we're always open to constructive criticism and would be very happy to discuss any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy the report. Download it here

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

That’s why it feels the right time for us to look again at the issue.

Yesterday, we published our 2021 Women’s Power List, in partnership with our headline sponsor Green Giraffe. This is our second report to celebrate the key role of women in the global wind industry, and includes our top 100 list of wind’s top female power-brokers. This follows our first such report in 2017.

It also gives us an opportunity to look at whether there’s more that companies in the wind industry could do to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented women in the sector.

On the face of it, there is little difference between now and 2017.

For example, in May, Powerful Women reported that women held just 24% of board seats and 14% of executive director roles in the UK’s largest energy companies. This echoes findings from Ernst & Young in 2019 about gender balance in power globally. It also suggests that wind is falling short of a target of 30% female representation in top roles that correlates with higher levels of innovation and higher profits.

It isn’t just top roles either. There is evidence that wind across the whole workforce is less diverse than other renewables.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported women make up 21% of the global wind workforce, compared to 32% across renewables. In our view, this should force wind companies to ask two questions. Is there more they could be doing to inspire young women to pursue their careers in wind? And is there more that they could do to retain skilled women?

There are no easy answers, but this should prompt some soul-searching.

And it’s fair to say that we are not immune from this soul-searching. We are always keen to make sure we approach the WPL in the right non-patronising spirit, and so we are particularly proud we can do so with support from some of wind’s leading women.

These include our judging panel – Amisha Patel, Celia Anderson, Mary Thorogood and Karen Wong – and our Q&A interviewees, including Beth Waters from MUFG; Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong; Erin Coldham from Star of the South; Natasha Luther-Jones from DLA Piper; and three Green Giraffe directors. We also feature Macquarie’s Mark Dooley.

But we are also mindful of the questions about whether a report such as this is even necessary.

Should we even highlight gender? How can we make sure that we treat the women in this report as we’d treat men? What about our other Power Lists?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we think it is fine to highlight gender. We can see why people might see a report like this is unequal, even offensive. But we believe this report can further highlight issues unique to women.

The answer to the second question is: yes, we treat the women in this report exactly as we treat our top 100 people in every other list. That means our interviews focus on the market insights you need, and that our profiles avoid mentions of parenting and children. If it wouldn’t feature in our other Power Lists then it doesn’t feature here.

And the answer to the third question about diversity in our other Power Lists? Well, that's an excellent question and the toughest of the three.

For example, our recent European Power List featured 22 women in the top 100, so below the 30% threshold we mentioned earlier. The issue here is to what extent we reflect the industry and to what extent we lead it.

The fact is women are still rare in the top roles of major companies in wind, as research shows. We can either publish reports that shows the industry as it is, or we can present a PR-friendly picture of the industry as it wants to be seen.

We feel we would be doing you a disservice if we did the second – and we can only make a meaningful contribution to the discussion if we do the first. That said, we're always open to constructive criticism and would be very happy to discuss any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy the report. Download it here

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

That’s why it feels the right time for us to look again at the issue.

Yesterday, we published our 2021 Women’s Power List, in partnership with our headline sponsor Green Giraffe. This is our second report to celebrate the key role of women in the global wind industry, and includes our top 100 list of wind’s top female power-brokers. This follows our first such report in 2017.

It also gives us an opportunity to look at whether there’s more that companies in the wind industry could do to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented women in the sector.

On the face of it, there is little difference between now and 2017.

For example, in May, Powerful Women reported that women held just 24% of board seats and 14% of executive director roles in the UK’s largest energy companies. This echoes findings from Ernst & Young in 2019 about gender balance in power globally. It also suggests that wind is falling short of a target of 30% female representation in top roles that correlates with higher levels of innovation and higher profits.

It isn’t just top roles either. There is evidence that wind across the whole workforce is less diverse than other renewables.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported women make up 21% of the global wind workforce, compared to 32% across renewables. In our view, this should force wind companies to ask two questions. Is there more they could be doing to inspire young women to pursue their careers in wind? And is there more that they could do to retain skilled women?

There are no easy answers, but this should prompt some soul-searching.

And it’s fair to say that we are not immune from this soul-searching. We are always keen to make sure we approach the WPL in the right non-patronising spirit, and so we are particularly proud we can do so with support from some of wind’s leading women.

These include our judging panel – Amisha Patel, Celia Anderson, Mary Thorogood and Karen Wong – and our Q&A interviewees, including Beth Waters from MUFG; Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong; Erin Coldham from Star of the South; Natasha Luther-Jones from DLA Piper; and three Green Giraffe directors. We also feature Macquarie’s Mark Dooley.

But we are also mindful of the questions about whether a report such as this is even necessary.

Should we even highlight gender? How can we make sure that we treat the women in this report as we’d treat men? What about our other Power Lists?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we think it is fine to highlight gender. We can see why people might see a report like this is unequal, even offensive. But we believe this report can further highlight issues unique to women.

The answer to the second question is: yes, we treat the women in this report exactly as we treat our top 100 people in every other list. That means our interviews focus on the market insights you need, and that our profiles avoid mentions of parenting and children. If it wouldn’t feature in our other Power Lists then it doesn’t feature here.

And the answer to the third question about diversity in our other Power Lists? Well, that's an excellent question and the toughest of the three.

For example, our recent European Power List featured 22 women in the top 100, so below the 30% threshold we mentioned earlier. The issue here is to what extent we reflect the industry and to what extent we lead it.

The fact is women are still rare in the top roles of major companies in wind, as research shows. We can either publish reports that shows the industry as it is, or we can present a PR-friendly picture of the industry as it wants to be seen.

We feel we would be doing you a disservice if we did the second – and we can only make a meaningful contribution to the discussion if we do the first. That said, we're always open to constructive criticism and would be very happy to discuss any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy the report. Download it here

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

That’s why it feels the right time for us to look again at the issue.

Yesterday, we published our 2021 Women’s Power List, in partnership with our headline sponsor Green Giraffe. This is our second report to celebrate the key role of women in the global wind industry, and includes our top 100 list of wind’s top female power-brokers. This follows our first such report in 2017.

It also gives us an opportunity to look at whether there’s more that companies in the wind industry could do to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented women in the sector.

On the face of it, there is little difference between now and 2017.

For example, in May, Powerful Women reported that women held just 24% of board seats and 14% of executive director roles in the UK’s largest energy companies. This echoes findings from Ernst & Young in 2019 about gender balance in power globally. It also suggests that wind is falling short of a target of 30% female representation in top roles that correlates with higher levels of innovation and higher profits.

It isn’t just top roles either. There is evidence that wind across the whole workforce is less diverse than other renewables.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported women make up 21% of the global wind workforce, compared to 32% across renewables. In our view, this should force wind companies to ask two questions. Is there more they could be doing to inspire young women to pursue their careers in wind? And is there more that they could do to retain skilled women?

There are no easy answers, but this should prompt some soul-searching.

And it’s fair to say that we are not immune from this soul-searching. We are always keen to make sure we approach the WPL in the right non-patronising spirit, and so we are particularly proud we can do so with support from some of wind’s leading women.

These include our judging panel – Amisha Patel, Celia Anderson, Mary Thorogood and Karen Wong – and our Q&A interviewees, including Beth Waters from MUFG; Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong; Erin Coldham from Star of the South; Natasha Luther-Jones from DLA Piper; and three Green Giraffe directors. We also feature Macquarie’s Mark Dooley.

But we are also mindful of the questions about whether a report such as this is even necessary.

Should we even highlight gender? How can we make sure that we treat the women in this report as we’d treat men? What about our other Power Lists?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we think it is fine to highlight gender. We can see why people might see a report like this is unequal, even offensive. But we believe this report can further highlight issues unique to women.

The answer to the second question is: yes, we treat the women in this report exactly as we treat our top 100 people in every other list. That means our interviews focus on the market insights you need, and that our profiles avoid mentions of parenting and children. If it wouldn’t feature in our other Power Lists then it doesn’t feature here.

And the answer to the third question about diversity in our other Power Lists? Well, that's an excellent question and the toughest of the three.

For example, our recent European Power List featured 22 women in the top 100, so below the 30% threshold we mentioned earlier. The issue here is to what extent we reflect the industry and to what extent we lead it.

The fact is women are still rare in the top roles of major companies in wind, as research shows. We can either publish reports that shows the industry as it is, or we can present a PR-friendly picture of the industry as it wants to be seen.

We feel we would be doing you a disservice if we did the second – and we can only make a meaningful contribution to the discussion if we do the first. That said, we're always open to constructive criticism and would be very happy to discuss any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy the report. Download it here

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest and erased years of progress on gender equality. That is the finding of hundreds of pieces of research in the last year.

That’s why it feels the right time for us to look again at the issue.

Yesterday, we published our 2021 Women’s Power List, in partnership with our headline sponsor Green Giraffe. This is our second report to celebrate the key role of women in the global wind industry, and includes our top 100 list of wind’s top female power-brokers. This follows our first such report in 2017.

It also gives us an opportunity to look at whether there’s more that companies in the wind industry could do to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented women in the sector.

On the face of it, there is little difference between now and 2017.

For example, in May, Powerful Women reported that women held just 24% of board seats and 14% of executive director roles in the UK’s largest energy companies. This echoes findings from Ernst & Young in 2019 about gender balance in power globally. It also suggests that wind is falling short of a target of 30% female representation in top roles that correlates with higher levels of innovation and higher profits.

It isn’t just top roles either. There is evidence that wind across the whole workforce is less diverse than other renewables.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported women make up 21% of the global wind workforce, compared to 32% across renewables. In our view, this should force wind companies to ask two questions. Is there more they could be doing to inspire young women to pursue their careers in wind? And is there more that they could do to retain skilled women?

There are no easy answers, but this should prompt some soul-searching.

And it’s fair to say that we are not immune from this soul-searching. We are always keen to make sure we approach the WPL in the right non-patronising spirit, and so we are particularly proud we can do so with support from some of wind’s leading women.

These include our judging panel – Amisha Patel, Celia Anderson, Mary Thorogood and Karen Wong – and our Q&A interviewees, including Beth Waters from MUFG; Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong; Erin Coldham from Star of the South; Natasha Luther-Jones from DLA Piper; and three Green Giraffe directors. We also feature Macquarie’s Mark Dooley.

But we are also mindful of the questions about whether a report such as this is even necessary.

Should we even highlight gender? How can we make sure that we treat the women in this report as we’d treat men? What about our other Power Lists?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we think it is fine to highlight gender. We can see why people might see a report like this is unequal, even offensive. But we believe this report can further highlight issues unique to women.

The answer to the second question is: yes, we treat the women in this report exactly as we treat our top 100 people in every other list. That means our interviews focus on the market insights you need, and that our profiles avoid mentions of parenting and children. If it wouldn’t feature in our other Power Lists then it doesn’t feature here.

And the answer to the third question about diversity in our other Power Lists? Well, that's an excellent question and the toughest of the three.

For example, our recent European Power List featured 22 women in the top 100, so below the 30% threshold we mentioned earlier. The issue here is to what extent we reflect the industry and to what extent we lead it.

The fact is women are still rare in the top roles of major companies in wind, as research shows. We can either publish reports that shows the industry as it is, or we can present a PR-friendly picture of the industry as it wants to be seen.

We feel we would be doing you a disservice if we did the second – and we can only make a meaningful contribution to the discussion if we do the first. That said, we're always open to constructive criticism and would be very happy to discuss any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy the report. Download it here

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Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.