NEA Cymru celebrates International Women’s Day
NEA Cymru celebrates International Women’s Day
NEA Cymru is today celebrating International Women’s Day, highlighting the social, economic and cultural achievements of women within the energy sector in Wales.
The energy sector remains one of the least gender diverse sectors in the economy. Due to women facing structural and cultural challenges, we see a limited number of female leaders in energy. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive. 70% of people agree that their own organisations culture is male-dominated, while 81% think that better gender balance at the top of their organisation would help to normalise women’s ambitions.
NEA Cymru, the national fuel poverty charity in Wales, has collated snapshots of some of the work that women do within the energy sector in Wales, to celebrate their work and the positive changes in the community that they have made.
Carole Morgan-Jones is the Director of NEA Cymru. She provides leadership and acts as ambassador for NEA Cymru building relationships with stakeholders in politics, the third sector, and the energy sector to campaign for fairer energy policies. Carole’s main priority is to improve the lives of the 23% of fuel poor households in Wales who are living in cold and unhealthy homes, and who are going without the essential basics of heating and hot water because they simply cannot afford the increasing cost of their energy bills.
Fuel poverty cannot be eradicated by one organisation alone, which is why NEA Cymru works closely with partnering organisations to try and alleviate the problem in Wales. Although women may be underrepresented in the energy sector, a lot of great work is being carried out by women in Wales in the drive to end fuel poverty. Liz Lambert is Cardiff Council’s Sustainable Development Group Leader and plays a key role in the fuel poverty agenda in Cardiff. Liz has worked in the sustainable development field for over 20 years in local government, the voluntary sector, and international development. In her current role, she integrates sustainability into the policies and practices of the Local Authority. This includes developing the Council’s food strategy, domestic energy efficiency and fuel poverty alleviation, climate change and the Council’s environmental management system.
Jo Seymour is a qualified Environmental Health Practitioner and is currently working on the Healthy Homes Healthy People programme for Warm Wales. She plays a key role in tackling fuel poverty and reducing health inequalities in North Wales. Jo has always been passionate about helping vulnerable people, and she regularly witnesses householders struggling to pay for their bills in cold, unsafe properties, many of whom face a range of complex needs. Jo is able to help her clients by raising awareness of home and personal safety, maximising income by supporting with debt, applying for grants, and reducing energy bills, supporting with mental and physical health issues, and reducing isolation. Jo aims to engage, encourage, and educate householders so that they are able to take control and make changes. As well as empowering vulnerable householders, Jo feels it’s necessary to empower more women to take control in all aspects of life, and she supports this by coaching a female rugby team in her spare time.
Today therefore, NEA Cymru is celebrating the achievements of women in Wales in the fight against fuel poverty. We know that gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, which is why we are supporting #BalanceforBetter.
Notes for editors:
- For press enquiries please contact Morgan-Jones@nea.org.uk Tel 02920 229322.
- NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity and works across Wales, England, and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone in the UK can afford to live in a warm, dry home. To achieve this, we aim to improve access to energy and debt advice, provide training, support energy efficiency policies, local projects and co-ordinate other related services which can help change lives. For more information about NEA visit nea.org.uk.
- In Wales, fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort. The latest estimated figures show that there are 291,000 households living in fuel poverty, equivalent to 23% of all households in Wales.
- Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; unaffordable energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to causing or exacerbating serious illness and, in the most extreme cases, to premature death.