Having reached the halfway point for Regen’s Women in Renewable Energy 2020 mentoring programme, we took the opportunity to reflect on the feedback we’ve received so far and to touch base with progress being made towards our wider vision of a clean energy sector with gender diversity a priority at all levels.

Matching experience with potential: the value of mentoring

This month, we reached the halfway point for ReWiRE’s 2020 mentoring programme, which provided an opportunity to reflect on the feedback we’ve received so far from both mentors and mentees as we kick-off with the new intake for Spring 2021.

The programme paired up almost 30 women from across the clean energy industry with a mentor, matching the experience of one with the potential of another. It has been heartening to see the positive difference being made in women’s careers over the course of the 12 months, with mentees telling us that the programme has helped them to:

  • Expand their network – 73% said the scheme has helped increase their industry contacts
  • Raise their profile – 82% said they have seized at least one or more new opportunities since joining the programme
  • Enhance their career potential – 75% said the scheme has helped increase their confidence and skills to rise into more senior roles

The process began with a match-making event where prospective mentors and mentees were able to meet during a ‘speed-dating’ style session. We were joined by talented individuals from across power, heat and transport, and participants have told us how inspiring this first session alone was as an opportunity to connect with dedicated women with diverse experiences from across the sector.

After the initial matching, we touched-base with mentors and mentees throughout the process and provided ongoing support, including leadership skills training for mentors to help them communicate effectively through active listening. Many of our mentors have found the process to be one of reciprocal development; the overwhelming feedback has been that they get as much value out of the experience as the mentees, with fresh perspectives and insights into new areas of the industry.

In addition to supporting individual women progress their careers and seize new opportunities, the mentoring initiative feeds into ReWiRE’s wider vision of a clean energy sector with women at the heart and gender diversity a priority at all levels. Currently, the UK renewable energy sector only employs around 32% women[1], with only 21% of board seats and 13% of executive board seats held by women[2]. This needs to change. By supporting our mentees to develop the skills and confidence to rise into more senior roles, we hope to see a difference being made across senior management and board positions, helping to drive sector-wide change that will make for a more resilient and innovative industry.

You can sign up to join the Autumn 2021 mentoring programme here. For more details on what the programme entails, download the mentoring guide

If you’re interested in becoming more involved with ReWiRE, we will be hosting an event under the theme ‘Issues at the cutting-edge of the energy transition’ next month – a lunchtime lowdown on the much-anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy with Adrienne Briggs, head of long-term heat transformation in the clean heat directorate at BEIS. Find out more here.

Please contact Rachel Hayes, founder of ReWiRE , at rhayes@regen.co.uk if you would like to join the network.

[1] IRENA, Gender Equality for an Inclusive Energy Transition

[2] POWERful Women, company board statistics

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