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International Women's Day - The Standout Women Supporting Sustainable Global Change

This week, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day here at Clean Energy Capital and doing our bit to raise the profile of some of the incredible women involved in the fight against climate change.

The role of women in sustainability has been a heavily discussed issue over the past ten years, with businesses and industries both recognising women as key influencers and contributors to positive environmental change - but also hailing them as vital technological workers and environmental scientists for the movement.

With women taking on roles within the government, as campaigners, protesters, researchers and leaders within the sustainability field, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of their role in this fight.

Greta Thunberg

20-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, made an incredible impact on the world when she first spoke out against climate change back in 2018. Making a poignant statement on the current climate crisis, she skipped school to protest outside Parliament and challenge world leaders to take action against the rising threat of global warming.

Over the past five years, Greta has continued to raise awareness of climate change, through her speeches, books, campaigns and protests - defying even the loudest of voices to continue sharing her message and fighting for the right to a clean, sustainable future.

Her actions sparked a movement that encouraged young people to stand up for their future, and she has inspired millions to educate themselves on the real danger that global warming presents for our world.

Achievements: Time’s Person of the Year 2019, four Nobel Peace Prize nominations, COP24 speaker, completed carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing, guest editor on the Today Programme, New York Times panelist.

Christiana Figueres

The Costa-Rican diplomat who founded the Global Optimism group, Christiana Figueres has been campaigning for better awareness of climate change and fighting for high-level changes to help protect the future of the planet. Elected as the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, she spent six years working to improve the negotiation process for global climate change and played a vital role in securing the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Having worked in public service for over 40 years, Christiana has taken on roles in renewable energy, sustainable development and green agriculture throughout her career, maintaining her position as an industry leader for environmental change.

Now sharing her message across a variety of platforms, including her book (The Future We Choose), her Outrage and Optimism podcast and her foundation for innovative ecological solutions, Christiana is continually working to shape a better path for the next generation.

Achievements: Founder of the Global Optimism group, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, co-author of The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, co-host of the popular podcast Outrage and Optimism, Chair of The Earthshot Prize Foundation.

Janice Lao

Born and raised in the Philippines, Janice Lao is widely recognized as one of the sharpest minds behind environmental research and sustainable change. At just 30 years old, Janice began working on the complex model of international aviation’s carbon-neutral growth strategy through her studies in mathematics and economic modelling.

She went on to utilise her skills to develop incredible and economical sustainability initiatives for global corporations and became a vital asset to the development of sustainability milestones in the travel, real estate, FMCG and transportation sectors.

As a result of her impressive work, Janice became the first Asian and the youngest person to win the 2019 Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year Award and was named by Forbes as one of the world’s most influential sustainability leaders, becoming widely recognised as one of the most inspiring women in STEM in 2023.

Achievements: Women of the Decade Award in Corporate Leadership and Sustainability, 2017 Fortune 50 Change the World List, 46 Sustainability Leaders (Who Are Women), Global Pinoy Mentor.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Well-known for her progressive views and equality-driven politics, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez (or AOC) is an activist and Democratic politician, having served New York's 14th congressional district since 2019. Throughout her time in politics, AOC has been widely recognised for her liberal campaigns and currently stands as the youngest woman ever to stand in the United States congress - marking her as a trailblazer for progress and change.

Her largest and most significant campaign, a Green New Deal, is designed to introduce carbon neutrality within the American economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote environmental justice throughout the country - a project she shares with a personal passion. Today she stands as one of the most inspirational leaders of the 21st century and her environmental achievements have made her incredibly popular around the globe.

Achievements: Founder of The Green New Deal, 2017 National Hispanic Institute Person of the Year, Adelle Foley Award recipient, listed in 2019 BBC 100 Women.

Nicole Hernandez Hammer

Guatamalan-born environmental scientist and climate researcher, Nicole Hernandez Hammer has been studying the social outcomes and impacts of climate change for over 20 years and is widely recognised as one of the greatest minds behind ecological research in 2023.

With many of her findings relating to the impact of climate change on communities of colour and low-income households, Nicole has worked to showcase just how vulnerable rising sea levels are to Latino communities and livelihoods. Being invited to attend the State of the Union Address in 2015 and Democratic National Convention in 2016, Nicole used her studies to highlight the real and immediate concern of rising sea levels and pollution within the country and has since been working with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Moms Clean Air Force as part of her campaign.

Achievements: Climate advocate for the Union of Concerned Scientists, Democratic National Convention speaker, Moms Clean Air Force advocate, Climate Assessment of Southeast US researcher


Now, more than ever, it’s important to raise the profile of these incredible and inspirational women - fighting to improve the lives of both our generations and the ones yet to come. From Greta Thunberg and AOC to Janice Lao and Christiana Figueres and beyond, women are leading the charge on positive environmental change and we’re proud to showcase their work through our site.

We’ve asked some of our incredible female employees at Clean Energy Capital to share their thoughts on International Women’s Day and the impact women have had in supporting positive sustainable change:

"Empowering women in the energy sector and harnessing renewables are critical for driving change and achieving net-zero. I am excited to be part of a company where I can push for this change alongside like-minded women."

Claudia Mayne Cusell, Land Analyst

"Promoting successful, driven women is something that is close to my heart, and I am proud to work for a company that actively encourages and supports this. There is a real possibility to bring about change in this industry, strengthened only by the priority of equal opportunities."

Jessica Edom, EA and Office Manager

"Having worked in renewable energy for almost a decade, I am thrilled to see more and more women join the sector. The benefits of gender diversity are extensive - opportunities for women themselves, advantages for energy organisations having women in leadership meaning better decisions are made with greater diversity, and overall helping to decarbonise our energy to protect our planet for future generations."

Ann Wheeler, Commercial Manager

"Being in the renewables space for over 5 years, it can be easy to see gender as a limitation. However, as the capacity for sustainability grows, so does the change for women.

As a woman, I am inspired and fuelled to defy these norms every day and take the opportunity to innovate, grow and spread the message that progressiveness in all these spheres should be a priority."

Stephanie Gewargis, Commercial Manager

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