Chile’s “Energia+Mujer” programme

Last updated: 3 August 2023

 The Chilean government launched a public-private partnership in 2018 to develop a strategy to promote greater participation of women in the country’s clean energy transition. The programme “Energia + Mujer” began implementation by Chile’s Ministry for Energy in 2020 and runs until 2030. To date, it unites more than 70 companies, associations and institutions involved in the energy sector to tackle gender inequality for more than 26 000 workers.

The partnership has been conceived as a multi-decade project, covering the period 2016-2031 and beyond. It started with an awareness campaign and diagnostic period (2016-2018), leading to the development of a plan in 2019 and implementation over 2020-2022. This is followed by the establishment of measurement and metrics over 2022-2026 and monitoring of progress over 2027- 2030. From 2031 onwards, the programme will be focused on continuous improvement.

The diagnostic allowed for the identification of trends in the energy sector. It found that women only represented 23% of the energy sector’s workforce and earned on average 24% less than men. This gender pay gap was mostly reported in managers and administrative positions. Women only accounted for 18% of company board members, 10% of CEOs and 18% of managers. The majority of women in the energy sector were filling administrative positions, whereas men were mostly engineers and analysts. From the survey, only 17% of companies were offering leadership training with specific support for women and 10% specific qualification programmes for management and high-level positions. About twothirds of companies were unaware of this pay gap. It was also reported that 65% of companies did not encourage men to take parental leave and 73% did not offer flexible working hours.

The “Energia + Mujer” programme was thus constructed from these findings. Following the analysis, all stakeholders agreed to voluntarily and gradually implement a public-private plan, consisting of ten objectives, 14 measures and 40 specific actions.

At the time of the signing of the Manfesto for Equity (2019), the initiative comprised 31 companies and 21 industry associations and institutions, representing 25 000 workers. Companies have committed to reducing the barriers women face in pursuing a career in the energy sector by revising their recruitment, selection and promotion processes, setting gender equity targets, and providing training workshops to staff in order to raise awareness about gender inequality and violence, and to find solutions to better include women in the clean energy sector. For example, one of the pillars is focused on increasing participation of women in the energy sector by supporting the training of women in professional technical skills in the energy sector. Nonetheless, the signatories are free to change the actions to fit to their own context.

Under the programme’s second year of implementation (2021), the commitments of the 67 participants were systematised for consistency of measurement. In total, 717 specific actions were carried out across the ten objectives, bringing the total actions over 2020-2021 to more than 1 500 activities carried out by organisations.

The Ministry of Energy reports results for the programme through annual reports. These are intended to be yearly accountability checks, sharing best practices and results. Based on the 2021-2022 yearbook, about 50% of involved businesses and organisations have introduced a paid primary career’s leave (+3% increase from previous year). The number of women CEOs is also increasing (+1.2%), with women being more present on boards (+1.3%). Women now account for about 40% of all managers. Gender pay gaps have also fallen by 0.7%, which still leaves a salary difference of USD 25 534. The energy sector is intended to serve as a flagship for the rest of the economy to follow. 

In July 2022 the first Gender and Human Rights Office of the Ministry of Energy was created, a specialised team that will not only monitor the public-private plan, but will also promote the gender goals in the National Energy Policy (in its updated 2022 version). The most ambitious targets are to achieve: 1) parity in remuneration and senior positions by 2040; 2) gender equity policies in 100% of medium and large energy companies by 2030; and 3) increase women’s participation in clean energy and other relevant subsectors to 30%, including through training 18 000 people and certifying 9 000 women by 2030. 

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