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Monica_55905 Dec 02

Hosted Energy&HER: SolarRise - Business Case for Gender Smart Investment

Hosted Energy&HER: SolarRise - Business Case for Gender Smart Investment image
A panel discussion, part of the Energy&HER series at aef 2020, presenting data-driven evidence on how gender-balanced businesses perform better, with real-life examples and the speakers' shared and individual experience.
“If we’re going to solve the great challenges of the 21st century, including Africa’s energy deficit, we need investors to set meaningful targets towards gender inclusion.” Margo Buchanan, Founder and CEO at SolarRise put forward this rallying cry in alignment with the theme of this year’s Africa Energy Forum which is focusing on the 5th Industrial Revolution. Inclusivity stands front and centre of this transition, and in the energy sector, this is already epitomised by 30% thresholds for female representation across boardrooms and workforces.

However, this is not just an acknowledgment of fairness and equality, but of equity and strategy. Every available statistic proves that decision-making bodies or boardrooms function better when there is equal representation of gender, and often when the organisation is woman-led. And when it comes to 5IR, it’s very much a decision-based trajectory. Who will design the solutions we need, who is building relationships and unearthing talent, who will be reliable, adaptable and flexible enough to encourage change? And where will investment be channeled?

This focus on gender smart investing is about integrating gender analysis into financial analysis to achieve better outcomes. When gender balance is statistically integral to deducing those better outcomes, it’s time to move the conversation beyond quotas.

Elizabeth Biney-Amissah, Partner, Energy Access Ventures said: “It’s no longer acceptable to hire somebody as a diversity hire and include them on your website or in your brochure. They need to have a space at the table and their perspectives need to come to the fore.”

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