Efforts to propel women participation, growth and welfare development in industry have been given another shot in the arm, with the organization of the Women in Energy Conference 2021.
The Conference is one of the initiatives aimed at strengthening institutional capacity for gender diversity awareness through knowledge sharing, networking, and advocacy.
The annual event organized by the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA), brought together female employee associations, from the various energy sector organizations such as GRIDCO, GNPC, BOST, ECG, some staff from those companies, female students, and interns from some tertiary institutions among others.
The Women in Energy Conference also saw participation from the Tema Shipyard.
The Director for Gender and Social Inclusion at the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA), Dr. Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, touched on some of the gender challenges inherent in the energy sector.
“If we use the example of engineers, the young women will say they do not have role models. Even right through school they are discouraged from pursuing the career. When they succeed to make it to the organizational level, they would realise discriminatory attitudes towards them, the inadequacy of washrooms for women, PPEs designed for men, etc.”
She recommended that “there should be a directive for all organisations to do an audit to find out the issues inherent and develop a policy which would be approved by management and endorsed by them with commitment so they can work on the problems that come out.”
The Head of Marine Services at the Tema Shipyard, Isaac Eshun explained the benefits of such programs to the company.
He said, “we belong to the transport sector, but we participated in this conference because some aspects of transportation involve energy. We at shipyard work on the ships that supply our fuels for energy. In the past, Shipyard has been a male dominated enterprise but now, we are introducing more women especially engineering to work at the Shipyard. This program affords us the opportunity to showcase our lady engineer for example to encourage more women participation in the enterprise.”
Women participants from the Tema Shipyard including the first and only female welder at the ship repair facility called for incentives that would improve the welfare of female staff.
They called for increased training opportunities for enhance skills, as well the formation of a female employee association within the organisation.