The energy sector in Switzerland evolves and innovative solutions are under development all around the country, notably under the umbrella of SCCER-FURIES
. For instance, the integration of Renewable Energy resources into the grid. These activities are framed by, and contributing to the implementation of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050
. However, this is a long term target, the achievement of which requires the ensuring of continuity and further enrichment of the related research. These requirements can be met through the development of new capacities, and development of a human capital, while maintaining the existing ones, particularly in the academic sector.
At the same time, electric grid is a sector which is traditionally dominated by male professionals. While over the last few years the number of female experts increases, it is estimated that they still represent only 7% of the total number of experts. The involvement of more female experts could provide the sector with a new pool of highly qualified experts and new perspectives on the way to address challenges and develop innovative solutions.
SCCER -FURIES is committed to increase the number of young and female scientists on the Electric Grid Sector in Switzerland. Currently, there are 100 experts developing their capacities in the frame of the SCCER-FURIES, that while varying per institute they are mainly early carrier scientists i.e. PhD, Scientific Assistants, Post Doc students (Figure 1). Furthermore, the ratio of female scientists in the center has reached 11% (Figure 2).
Figure 1: Development of capacities per institution (In green the young scientists and in Blue the senior scientists)
Figure 2: Male and Female scientist per position that have developed their capacites in the frame of SCCER-FURIES in 2014
For the further improvement of these numbers, the center has set the “25’s” targets.
The “25s” Targets
At the end of the 1st Phase of SCCER-FURIES project (December 2016):
Target 1. 25% of the scientists that benefit from the capacity expansion shall be female.
Target 2. 25% young scientists shall benefit from the new Mentoring Programme in SCCER-FURIES, at least 25% shall be female.
Target 3. 25% of the participants of the SCCER-FURIES Annual Conference shall be female scientists.
Target 4. 25% of the participants of the SCCER-FURIES Annual Conference shall be young scientists.
This targets will be achieved through the implementation of the SCCER-FURIES “Young and Female Scientists Action Plan”.
This action plan includes, inter alia, activities such as:
- Production of a special biannual or annual SCCER-FURIES newsletter on “Women in Energy”
- Development of a Mentoring Programme (including guidelines, mentors and mentees pools)
- Establish links with SCCER-FURIES Outreach Programme (e.g., “scientific writing” course at PV LAB BFH)
- Offer women fellowships to cover the fees of the Annual Conference (if applicable, starting in 2015)
- Organise poster Session for young scientists and “Young Scientist’s Best Poster Award” at the Annual Conference