A race against time and against ourselves. Against the dangerous idea that we can’t do this, that there is no way.
Unlike most races, it won’t have one winner. In this race we all win, or we all lose. Winning it requires a radical, unprecedented level of collaboration, from all corners of our world. From our cities, businesses, regions and investors. From people everywhere.
Together we’re racing for a better world. A zero carbon and resilient world. A healthier, safer, fairer world. A world of wellbeing, abundance and joy, where the air is fresher, our jobs are well-paid and dignified, and our future is clear.
To get there we need to run fast, and get faster. We need more and more people to join the race, and right now. This is not about 2050, it’s about today.
Together, we can do this. And we’re already on our way.
How can we address the gender disparity in climate entrepreneurship?
1. Incubators and accelerators
Many startups fail at the initial stages. Incubators and accelerators can provide mentoring, resources, space, networking opportunities and access to capital. Women often lack networking opportunities and joining accelerator programmes can allow them to meet key stakeholders. Climate startups can face unique challenges, such as the return on investment being long term, and changing government regulations and policies. Accelerator programs can help female entrepreneurs secure valuable advice and support to overcome these challenges.
2. A drive to recruit women in the tech and green sectors
Many entrepreneurs begin by working in a company, and later start a business based on their experience. If the greentech sector employs more women, they will build experience and confidence to start their own businesses. In the US, only 24% of workers in the tech sector are female. At the greentech giant Tesla, 83% of leadership positions are held by men.
3. A drive to appoint more women to the boards of venture capital firms and banks
Only 9% of the venture capitalists investing in tech startups are women, less than 2% of bank CEOs are women, and only 5.3% of board chairs globally are held by women. Having more women in these positions would help to minimize unconscious gender bias. Deloitte’s Board Ready Women is a commendable initiative that looks to support women who aspire to serve on boards of public companies. Female participants get advice from experienced board members, help in developing their board profiles and important networking opportunities.
Talal Rafi is on the Deloitte global team on Climate & Sustainability. He is a member of the Expert Network of the World Economic Forum. His work has been published by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, World Economic Forum, London School of Economics and Forbes.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
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