The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has awarded its inaugural Developing Women Directors Scholarship to AllGrid Energy Marketing and Alliance Manager Deborah Oberon.

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day, with the scholarship aiming to improve the gender balance in leadership and board positions across the renewable energy sector.

CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton congratulated Ms Oberon on becoming the first recipient of the scholarship. He said Ms Oberon was already an “exceptional leader” in the renewable energy sector.

“Deborah was a standout candidate due to her commitment and passion for the industry and diversity of life experience.

“The selection panel felt that Deborah will take full advantage of this scholarship, and through her leadership and business acumen, has the potential to make a positive and sustained contribution to board rooms across the renewable energy sector for many years to come.”

Ms Oberon said she was looking forward to taking full advantage of the program.

“It truly is a great honour to win this scholarship. Research consistently shows that gender parity on boards delivers a range of better business outcomes and reduces the significant pay gap that exists between men and women.

“I find it incredibly exciting to be a part of the clean energy industry. As the traditional energy models begin to shift and change, this industry is an essential part of the pathway to a sustainable future.”

By offering a level playing field for women and more holistic models of inclusion, Ms Oberon said the clean energy industry has the potential to act as a gamechanger for other industries.

Mr Thornton said the CEC received more than 30 applications for the scholarship.

“We were overwhelmed by the talent among the women of the sector, reinforcing the benefit of the scholarship to encourage women to step up to board roles.

“Through this annual scholarship, the clean energy industry hopes to see a direct increase in the representation of women on company boards, and build leadership capability and skills across the industry.”