WE Connect launches renewable energy mentorship programme for women

Mentorship programme launched to drive female participation in the renewable energy sector.

WE Connect has launched its women in renewable energy mentorship programme with the backing of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

The mentorship programme is divided into two levels – the first is for ambitious young women already participating in the industry to be mentored by others with more experience.

The second phase involves the 10 mentees paying it forward by mentoring 10 unemployed youth or students interested in pursuing a renewable energy related career. The mentorship programme encourages men to participate as well and will see 10 mentors paired with 10 male mentors to bridge the gap in understanding of gender-related challenges.

“As the country transitions to a low carbon energy sector, it’s vital to strengthen the pool of talented women, nurture young talent and facilitate growth towards a diverse renewable energy sector,” says Karen de Bruyn, WE Connect founder.

KD Strategies, an advisory firm facilitating social change, has designed and will run the pilot-phase of the programme before handover to the respective industry bodies for annual rollout.

“Renewable energy is a relatively new industry in South Africa and the opportunity for us is to ensure that the industry is not faced with the same systemic structural exclusion of women,” says Kalnisha Singh, KD Strategies founder.

This year will comprise the pilot phase, which will run for nine months to test the systems and identify areas of improvement.