The role of women in Iceland’s energy sector – a report on the current position


By/Alexander Richter

In a report published and to be introduced at a meeting today, the group of Women in the Energy Industry in Iceland, highlights the current position of women in Iceland’s energy sector.

Today, women are representing around 25% of all Board Chairs of the companies in the energy sector and only 8% of the CEOs and main Managing Directors of companies in the sector. Of particular interest is that for the two companies, that are not bound by a legal gender quota, women only represent 17% of the board members.

These results and more were published today in the report that the group initiated in cooperation with Ernst & Young on evaluating the current status of women in Iceland’s Energy Sector.

“The main purpose of this report is to put a spotlight on the position of women in Iceland’s Energy Sector, follow up on the findings and try to positively impact the trend year to year. It is though clear that this alone will not create change. We clearly feel that an increase of diversity does not lead to increased equality, but benefits, financial as well as social will. For us women in the sector, the results are not surprising. They lay the foundation for the work ahead of us and hopefully we see changes to the share of women in the sector and this in the right direction.”, so Harpa Thórunn Pétursdóttir, Chair of the Women in Energy.

According to the report, women represent about half of the middle management in companies in the sector, 32% of Department Heads, 24% of Managing Directors and 8% of CEOs and main managing directors. Overall women represent about 26% of the workforce in the energy sector in Iceland.

The report not only looks at the number of women in positions in the sector, but further evaluates their influence in correspondence with an international evaluation approach by Ernst & Young. For the report twelve companies were surveyed. The companies coming out best are Veitur (the district heating arm recently split from Reykjavik Energy), Landsnet (the national transmission company) and Reykjavik Energy.