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Gender imbalance at energy firms and industry events is slowing transition to greener power

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The lack of women in energy companies is holding back the sector's efforts to tackle climate change, a leading industry watcher has warned. Catherine Mitchell, a professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, said poor gender diversity meant the industry was less open to new ideas, in particular the move to a lower-carbon energy system.

"I absolutely do think that the fact that the industry is so dominated by men and particularly older white men it is slowing down the energy transition," said Mitchell, who has worked on energy issues for more than 30 years and advises the government, regulators and businesses.

She admitted it was not a given that women are more progressive on energy issues than men, but noted that the "conventional" parts of the sector – fossil fuel power generation and energy networks – are more male-dominated than greener, innovative companies.

 

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