Breaking barriers, building sustainability: Women at the forefront of climate action

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By Claudia Hedley, EPC inspector and delivery lead at Remote Metering Solutions

In a rapidly changing global environment, the call to address climate change has never been more urgent.

Traditionally, the gender dynamics within environmental sustainability and climate resilience have been imbalanced. Fortunately, there’s a growing realisation of the crucial role women play in tackling issues like climate change, resource depletion, and pollution. Women are increasingly being recognised as key leaders in spearheading change and transforming industries, policies, and mindsets.

Agents of change

My personal success in assessing the highest number of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in South Africa is a testament to women’s potential in driving impactful climate solutions. Yet, the representation of women, especially in technical roles like EPC inspectors, remains low. This disparity underscores the need to amplify the voices of women in the sector, encourage them to pursue these roles, and recognise them as pivotal agents of change. Their unique perspectives, skills, and experiences are indispensable in advancing solutions to combat climate change.

Every leadership journey has its challenges. It is therefore important for women to have a supportive network consisting of both genders as they navigate these. This support, coupled with personal growth and empowerment, equips women to face and overcome barriers within the sustainability sector. The essence of empowerment lies in acquiring knowledge, supporting fellow women professionals, and celebrating successes, however big or small.

Women’s involvement

In the realm of environmental sustainability, tools like EPCs play a critical role to provide a comprehensive understanding of a building’s energy performance status. These tools are instrumental for building owners to assess and reduce their energy footprints. To inspire more women to take leadership roles in such areas, it is important to take a multifaceted approach: continuous skills development, robust networking, and fostering confidence. Reading, self-education, and training within the sustainability realm are vital.

Moreover, the unique emotional depth women bring to leadership is a strength that should be embraced, not shied away from. Women’s leadership style, intrinsically tied to their design, often emphasises collaboration, empathy, and a holistic perspective. By honing skills like project management and advocacy, women can further amplify their impact.

As we grapple with the global challenges of climate change, the role of women in driving solutions becomes ever more paramount. By embracing their unique strengths, advocating for representation, and building resilience from within, women can significantly contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.