CRIAW-ACW Report says Women Could be Left Out of Coming Renewable Energy Boom

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“Women and Climate Change Impacts and Action in Canada: Feminist, Indigenous and Intersectional Perspectives” was produced through a collaboration of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Alliance for Intergenerational Resilience, and the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) project.


The new, green economy could create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, but women might see few of the benefits because of the male dominance of the industry.

“Women are highly underrepresented in this sector (e.g. solar, hydro, bio-energy, geo-thermal and wind power), with women in countries such as Canada, United States, Spain, Germany, and Italy holding only 20-25% of jobs in the sector,” the report finds. “The vast majority of these jobs are lower paid, non-technical, administrative and public relations positions.”

Writer and researcher Lewis Williams, with Amber Fletcher, Cindy Hanson, Jackie Neapole and Marion Pollack note there is a growing concern that women, and especially Indigenous women, will become even more marginalized if gender equity programs and policies are not proactively planned and implemented.

The lost opportunity for renewable energy employment is part of the emerging research on the gendered impacts of climate change in Canada, documented in the report, demonstrating how climate change is impacting women negatively. Indigenous women and other women facing intersectional discrimination fare even worse.

The researchers found that women face a double threat from social-economic barriers that leave them bearing the brunt of climate change impacts, while being denied a role in developing policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

The report points out that the need for women to be acknowledged as agents of change. “Many Indigenous women in Canada hold considerable ecological knowledge and insight into climate change impacts and associated possibilities for adaptation and mitigation,” note the authors. “International and grassroots networks by younger Indigenous and non-Indigenous women [are] carving out new feminist and intergenerational routes to action on climate change.”


Download the full report (PDF)