The Clean Energy Council is inviting applications from talented women in the clean energy industry for the 2017 round of its Developing Women Directors Scholarship.

The scholarship aims to address the gender gap in key management and director roles in the clean energy sector by funding the successful applicant to complete the Foundations of Directorship course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and providing tailored mentoring opportunities.

“The electricity supply industry lags behind other industries by more than 10% on representation of women in key management roles, with just 17.2% of the roles responsible for planning, directing and controlling business activities filled by women,” said Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton.

“The Clean Energy Council witnessed this disparity first-hand when we received just one female nominee compared with nine male nominees for director positions at our last annual general meeting.”

Three women sit on the CEC board, accounting for a third of appointments, but the industry still has a long way to go, Thornton said.

“This scholarship is designed to support a talented woman in the sector to take the next step in her career and make a successful transition from being out in the field or sitting at a desk, to taking a seat at a renewable energy boardroom table.”

The Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables initiative, established in 2015, has already made a strong impact on the visibility and representation of women in the sector. The inaugural scholarship was awarded to Deborah Oberon from AllGrid Energy.

“Winning the scholarship marked a significant turning point for me in terms of learning to truly value my experience, skills and commitment to this industry,” Oberon said.

“It has helped to create many opportunities for me to give presentations and be included on panels at conferences. I have always been aware of how few women there are in upper management in this industry and being awarded the scholarship made me all the more determined to change this.”

In addition to the scholarship, the Clean Energy Council also set the goal of having at least 30% female speakers at events, and no all-male speaker panels by 2017.

At the recent Australian Clean Energy Summit in July a third of speakers were women.

“We hope that through this scholarship we can inspire and encourage women across the clean energy industry to take the next step towards the boardroom,” Thornton said.

The Foundations of Directorship course is delivered over three full days and is available in most capital cities. The study days can be completed consecutively or separately. The successful applicant will also receive a one-year membership to the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an offer of mentorship from a senior industry representative.

For details of the scholarship and to submit an application, visit cleanenergycouncil.org.au/women. The deadline for applications is Sunday October 9.

Please contact Clean Energy Council communications manager Laura Szekfy on 0410 277 393 for more information or to arrange an interview.