Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Executive Vice President of CWP Europe Maja Turković and Cofounder of the Elektropionir energy cooperative Ana Džokić are this year’s recipients of the Female Leader of Energy Transition awards. They were selected for extraordinary results and dedication to the processes of the energy transition, democratization and decentralization in Serbia.
The Female Leader of Energy Transition awards were handed for the first time today at the conference Women of Serbia in Sustainable Energy – Leadership for the Energy Transition, organized by women’s network WISE Serbia. The awards were established by civil society organization Center for the Promotion of Sustainable Development and Germany’s international cooperation agency GIZ.
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia Anke Konrad and the Minister’s Assistant for Mining and Energy for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, Maja Vukadinović officially opened the event. Konrad said that Serbia has great potential to increase the share of women in energy companies as it is still very small. Networks like WISE have an important role in the effort, in the ambassador’s view.
Konrad: The energy sector could benefit from women’s expertise
She said it includes women who know the needs of energy companies as well as the potential obstacles to a career in the energy sector.
“The women in this network encourage young women and girls with their example. Furthermore, they are great advisers to decision makers in politics and the economy. Energy companies could benefit from the expertise,” Konrad underscored.
During the conference’s opening, Vukadinović emphasized that the energy transition is a crucial process that involves enhancing our energy security, ensuring a healthy environment, and promoting women as active participants in this process.
The Assistant Minister highlighted that women are leaders of change and should never give up their fight for their rights and equal opportunities.
Vukadinović: The energy transition is the present and the future, and this process cannot be successfully carried out without women
“It’s positive that today in Serbia, a large number of young women are choosing to study electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or information technology. The energy transition is the present and the future, and this process cannot be successfully carried out without women, who play an increasingly important role, offering more responsible and higher-quality solutions than men,” she added.
Turković: This is a community of extraordinary women
Executive Vice President of CWP Europe Maja Turković, who won one of the awards, said: “I feel honored that I am part of a community of extraordinary women who materialize positive and significant changes in energy through their dedicated work. For me this award represents inspiration and motivation to continue with my efforts to further strengthen the renewable energy sources sector, innovations and sustainable solutions, all thanks to the company CWP Europe, which I proudly represent.”
Upon receiving her award, Cofounder of the Elektropionir energy cooperative Ana Džokić said that just a few years ago she wouldn’t expect she would make such an accomplishment and that a small family’s struggle, which started from one roof, would reach such proportions. Namely, she pointed to the Elektropionir energy cooperative and the installation of solar power plants on Mt. Stara planina.
Džokić: The energy transition is important for everyone
“I’d say that my main contribution to the whole story was for us to enable ordinary people to become the drivers of the energy transition and active participants in a process in which it is important to include as many of us as possible. It is a significant process not only for firms but for citizens as well,” she underscored.
WISE presents results of survey on role of women in energy transition
At the conference, the organizers presented the results of research conducted with a sample of 911 women in households (citizens) and businesswomen. The survey provided insight into how women see their role in the energy transition and what they need to improve energy efficiency in their homes and firms, introduce green and clean technologies and assume a more active role as prosumers, by producing electricity in solar power plants for self-consumption.
Serbian women see an active role in the energy transition for themselves, but they are also pointing out that both financial and institutional support are required and expected for their greater, more concrete and more sensible participation in the energy transition. Likewise, policies aimed at accelerating the energy transition must be gender sensitive and based on quality data, while a stunning 98% of respondents believe that women need to participate more in the development of energy and climate policies.
So far 1% of households in Serbia have mounted solar power panels while 4% installed heat pumps. Single mothers and women who live alone make up the lowest shares of women who invested in energy efficiency measures in buildings.
Women in business expect bigger government subsidies for greening their businesses alongside more favorable lending conditions as well as the abolition of the value-added tax for the introduction of green technological solutions and decarbonization measures.
The research results were detailed in the publication Role of Women in the Household and Women in Business in Energy Transition – Initiatives Worth Supporting.