WiRES will be launching a new network for women in renewable energy in Scotland on Wednesday in Glasgow Science Centre. The event will host inspirational speakers, while giving attendees the opportunity to network and meet women working in the sector.
WiRES was established in 2010 by a group of women working in the Scottish renewable energy sector and has since then grown substantially. Co-founding members, Gail Watt (Chair), Laura Sarkis and Raji Sokhi, will be introducing the evening and will be giving insight into the establishment of the network and expectations for the future.
The group recently secured Big Lottery funding to expand the services offered through WiRES and appointed its first members of staff. Emily Martin joined as Development Officer responsible for the coordination of the WiRES network and its various programmes and Ainslie Callaghan is now Administrative Assistant.
The under representation of women in the sector represents a drag on economic growth and Professor of Economics at Glasgow Caledonian University, Ailsa McKay, said:
“I estimate that the lack of women in science and engineering occupations represents a loss of £170 million per year to the Scottish Economy (RSE (2012) Tapping all our Talents).
“Not only is the supply of skills and talent crucial to sustainable economic growth, but individual businesses that take steps to increase the representation of women are more likely to retain the best talent, increase their productivity and improve their corporate image.”
Attracting and retaining women within the renewable industries is not only good for women, it is good for business and good for the Scottish economy. Through its programme of activity, WiRES hopes to contribute to increasing the diversity of the sector, and to help raise awareness of the benefits to businesses who support their female employees.