Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) has launched the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Pioneers Programme, a year-round agenda aimed at nurturing young women aged 20-30 into the next generation of sustainability leaders through proactive engagement with policy makers, industry leaders, technical experts, entrepreneurs and community figures.
The announcement was made at the second edition of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The WISER Pioneers Programme, involving access to bespoke educational workshops, global networking events, and highly sought-after professional internships, will formally begin at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, which takes place next year from January 12-19.
The new programme is one component of the Masdar-led WiSER platform unveiled at the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2015, dedicated to inspiring women and girls to play a more active role in addressing global sustainability challenges.
“WiSER strives to enhance the role of women of all ages in the field of sustainability,” said Dr Lamya Nawaf Fawwaz, Executive Director for Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar and Director of WiSER. “It seeks to position women and girls of all nationalities as drivers of change and innovation, while ensuring that their voices are heard across the sustainability debate – whether on issues of policy, technology or business.”
“The year-long WiSER Pioneers Programme will make a valuable contribution in this regard by promoting training, experience and networking opportunities for selected cohorts of talented young women,” Dr Fawwaz added. “The Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, with its inspiring focus on catalyzing the energy and potential of young people, was the ideal stage to announce the programme’s roll-out at ADSW 2019.”
The WiSER Pioneers Programme is aligned with Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the UAE National Agenda 2021 and the Centennial Plan 2017, which together advocate gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations welcomed thousands of university students and recent graduates. Senior managers from Masdar’s clean energy division presented on the company’s global renewable energy project portfolio, its role in building the UAE knowledge economy, and the potential career pathways for young graduates and school-leavers aspiring to work in the sustainability sector.
Four members of the Masdar Emerging Leaders Programme, an in-house Masdar initiative aimed at accelerating the professional development of young UAE national employees, also spoke on their first-hand experiences and gave helpful advice to the event’s young audience.
The Youth 4 Sustainability Hub comprising the Climate Innovation Exchange Platform (CLIX) and the Student Exclusive Ambassadors Programme will ensure that youth empowerment and job skills of the future are centre stage at ADSW 2019.
Bringing together young entrepreneurs, investors and industry mentors, CLIX resulted in funding pledges exceeding US$17.5 million for sustainability-themed business ideas and innovations at its inaugural event in 2018. The Student Exclusive Ambassadors Programme, meanwhile, has successfully grown into a year-round programme of community engagement and educational outreach on sustainability awareness and best practice.
“Officially beginning at ADSW 2019, the WiSER Pioneers Programme will integrate seamlessly with a range of UAE-based initiatives that are already achieving significant impacts in terms of providing young people with access to mentorship, funding and career guidance, while further enhancing their contribution to the empowerment of women,” Dr Fawwaz added.