Hypatia e.V. meets Women's Energy Club Kyiv
Women’s Energy Club Ukraine is a network of women working in energy-related sectors. It aims to empower women and provide professional support. The club unites members of the Parliament of Ukraine (Energy Committee), experts, international organizations representatives as well as women from energy production sector. Currently, the Club has about 30 members. The Club is supported by the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency & Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Office in Ukraine.
Hypatia Frauennetzwerk Erneuerbare Energien und Cleantech e.V. is a non-profit organization for women working in the renewable energy sector. Similar to the Women’s Energy Club it aims to empower women and provide professional support. Increasing the visibility of women in the networks is one of the major goals to reach for professional equity for women and men. As the time of writing Hypatia has about 30 members. The organization team works on a voluntary basis.
The same objectives led the Women’s Energy Club to invite Hypatia in order to present our network and share our experiences.
As a representative of Hypatia, I traveled to the latest gathering of the Club in Kiev on 15th of March. During the meeting, it became clear that the general problems women face in professional life are the same in Ukraine and Germany.
Many women are not aware of being discriminated in the professional context. Our networks want to increase awareness and change the established paradigms. This led to the conclusion of giving the majority of women the opportunity of choice without facing any disadvantages in the professional context.
To keep it short here is a summing-up of our discussion topics:
- Visibility of women in profession
- Lack of female role models
- Inefficient knowledge exchange between women concerning career issues (salary, work conditions…)
- Equity of men and women in work (acceptance, opportunity, salary…)
Methods for a successful Network-Environment
- Knowledge exchange concerning career & work-life-balance
- Support for women in male-dominated sectors
- Open table discussions concerning career and/or related technology topics
- Conduct workshops and events to support women’s career with skills and strategies
- Collect data concerning e.g. the working environment for women in the energy sector
The focus of both networks lies in the professional support of women to enhance our career options. To do so we have some different options due to the various background of the members.
Hypatia focuses on established events in order to support female experts and increase the visibility of women in public events. Most members work full-time and the organization of events is fully voluntary therefore the time to conduct events is limited. To raise the number of active members Hypatia wants to share the regular tasks with more members.
Women’s Energy Club, on the other hand, is at its launch period and so far supported by the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency and the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Office in Ukraine. Both organizations are already involved in energy policy formation in Ukraine.
The open discussion culture within both networks helps members to learn about their career options and possible strategies to improve the quality of work and life.
Finally, the meeting gave good incentives for further cooperation and made clear that networking is as important as ever.
Special thanks goes to the amazing women who founded the Women’s Energy Club Kyiv:
- Oksana Aliieva (Program Coordinator “Climate Change and Energy Policy Program” at the Heinrich Boell Foundation Ukraine)
- Valentyna Beliakova (Director of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency)
- Kateryna Babichok (Project Assistant at the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency)
- Yulia Burmistenko (International Public Affairs Manager at the DTEK)
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