McArthur: gender gap in renewable energy studies must be closed


Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has raised concerns about the relatively low number of female students studying modules related to renewable energy, highlighting that such a gender gap will inhibit Scotland’s ability is to maximise its potential in renewable energy.

A recent Freedom of Information request from Scottish Renewables to 31 colleges and universities across Scotland revealed that there are 12,885 students who study modules that are related to renewable energy, but only 4,642 of those students are female.

Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said:

“I welcome news that we have such a high number of students in Scotland enrolling in modules that focus on renewable energy. It bodes well for the future of the sector, and our efforts to tackle climate change, that so many talented young people want to get involved in renewables and make a contribution.

“It is a concern, however, to see that only one third of students who are studying modules related to renewable energy are female. A gender gap on this scale suggests Scotland risks not making the most of the talent available as it seeks to develop a world class renewable energy sector.

“These figures should act as a reminder to the industry, our colleges and universities as well as Scottish Ministers that there is still work to be done to encourage more female students to consider courses and careers in renewables.

“Given the challenges that lie ahead, we cannot afford not to make the most of all the talent and skills available.”


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