Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE) was launched in Toronto in 2013 with a mission to advance the role and recognition of women in the energy sector. Inclusive of all renewable energy and clean technologies, WiRE’s programming includes capacity-building field trips, networking meetups, an awards recognition program, student bursaries, speed mentoring, blogs, and more.
Since 2013, WiRE has grown significantly and has launched chapters across Canada in every province and the Northwest Territories. The non-profit has also launched chapters internationally in Turkey, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the U.A.E. WiRE continues to work on replicating its organizational model on the international scale with the support of Canadian Embassies and Consulates globally.
WiRE is run by its dedicated Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, and tireless volunteers. The Board is comprised of Joanna Osawe, President and CEO; Aisha Bukhari, Vice President, Executive Board Member, and Director; Julia Cushing, Executive Board Member and Director; and Andreas Constantinou, Chief Financial Officer.
Renewable energy’s role in economic recovery
WiRE understands the pivotal role clean energy technologies play in the energy supply mix today and particularly in the future. It recently published Navigating COVID-19 and the Future of Energy, a report which synthesizes input from industry leaders on the impacts of the global pandemic on the energy industry, how companies are pivoting to adapt, and where the energy industry is headed in consideration of recent challenges. The full report is available on WiRE’s website.
There’s great opportunity for economic recovery from the pandemic to benefit clean technologies and to refocus the economy on low carbon initiatives. Furthermore, it also encourages companies to re-evaluate their internal policies through a lens that focuses on including typically underrepresented groups, such as women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and Indigenous peoples.
WiRE has been working tirelessly to highlight the benefits of clean technologies and of diversity within corporations for years. It recognizes future opportunities for such technologies and for underrepresented groups in all facets of the industry — including the skilled trades. While the global pandemic has temporarily altered how WiRE runs its programs, it’s no less committed to its cause. Its members look forward to continuing their work in the sector and to helping as many people as possible realize their potential to enter and grow their careers within the clean technology industry.