Empowering women in the energy industry


DLO Energy Resources Group recently held a Women in Energy breakfast in efforts to promote and empower women into bigger roles in the African energy industry. The event was held in partnership with Webber Wentzel at its office in Rivonia, Johannesburg, and took place as a panel discussion around the opportunities available in various parts of the industry, specifically in the procurement process. The panellists included women from government, consulting firms, engineering firms, and IPPs and was the pre-curser to the Africa Energy Round Table which took place on 1 and 2 February 2017.

Panelists (L – R): Megan Bryer, ED Platform; Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, DLO Energy Resources Group; Stella Duru, Banwo-Ighodalo; Pulani Kingston, Webber Wentzel; Lizeka Matshekga, IDZ; Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CSIR; Timipre Wolo, Petroleum Technology Development Fund; Neli Magubane, Matleng Energy Solutions; Fransje van der Marel, McKinsey & Company; Elizabeth Marabwa, DoE.

Before the discussion began, Fransje van der Marel from McKinsey and Co presented the current energy landscape to the attendees, including statistics on the energy mix across Africa, projections of energy supply and demand, as well as information about the current level of women involvement in the energy sector, and in upper-level positions in general. Van der Marel highlighted key trends in the South African energy sector that provide opportunities for market entry. These included the increased focus on access to energy, the reducing cost of renewable energy, IPP participation in boosting capacity, and connection issues in rural areas.

According to van der Marel, women make up 45% of the workforce in Africa, but only 5% of the CEOs. Additionally, companies where more women are in upper-level positions have a significantly increased return on investment and EBIT margin – by over 30%. With this in mind, the panellists encouraged the attendees to network, empower each other, and embrace business opportunities in the sector.

One way in which the government hopes to encourage this is by creating an interactive directory of women in a wide range of roles across South Africa’s energy landscape, said the Department of Energy’s Elizabeth Marabwa – a panellist at the event. The idea is for this directory to help women-owned companies to refer work to one another, become known by stakeholders, and work together to bid on big projects. Women can add themselves to the register by visiting www.womeninenergy.co.za.


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Source: EE plublishers

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