CLIMATE youth delegates from Renew the World met with the Scottish Government’s Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes at the Scottish Parliament yesterday, discussing ideas and solutions that will help to address the delivery gap in facilitating female talent across the growing green jobs market.

As part of a wider engagement ­process with the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Planning Framework, the discussion will ­continue the ­conversation started on a panel with Forbes at the New York Times Climate Hub during COP26, searching for solutions to break through the“green ceiling” that ­prevents women from reaching their potential in sustainable sectors.

Renew the World youth ­delegates, Alicia Dobson, Molly ­Hucker, Anna Kernahan and Anjali ­Raman-Middleton joined Forbes at the round-table discussion.

In addition, other guests included female role models from across the industry, among them: Dr Poonam Malik, FRSE (Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh), head of investments at the University of Strathclyde, Global Scot and board member of both Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland; Jennifer Phin, managing director at AC Whyte & Co Ltd in Glasgow; Fiona Lindsay, ­director of ReBlade – the UK’s first wind-turbine blade ­decommissioner – and Shannon Todd, technical ­business apprentice at TechnipFMC.

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The Finance Secretary said: ­“Gender equality is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s vision for a fairer Scotland – one where women and girls are empowered to ­exercise equal rights and opportunities, have equitable access to economic ­resources and decision making.

“Over the next generation, a just transition will provide good jobs in a thriving, net-zero and climate ­resilient economy and will offer the opportunity to improve the way we live.

“Furthering equality and ­preventing new inequalities from arising will be absolutely central to this transition.

“I am delighted to be continuing the discussion with Renew the World’s youth delegates to push ­forward on ideas and solutions to empower ­female talent in the sustainability sector and break through the ‘green ceiling’.”

Renew the World’s co-founders, Ali Anderson and Ewan Hunter ­echoed the Finance Secretary’s desire to break the “green ceiling”.

Anderson said: “The stats don’t lie, women are good for business and good for action on the climate crisis. But despite successes so far, women are still trapped by the so-called ‘green ceiling’ in terms of leadership roles.

"Without proactive solutions in place, this transition to a new green economy could continue to replicate the same old historical patterns of gender inequality and barriers to ­success.

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“The Scottish Government has ­signalled its support and action plan for fairness and inclusion in this skills transition – now with the help of our young female voices for change and strong women role models in ­industry, we aim to put innovative and tailored solutions on the table to address this delivery gap.”

Hunter added: “As our skills ­system is reorientated and ­reimagined in the drive to net-zero, so too must our ­approach and business cultures be updated to ensure that ­accessibility to new opportunities in more ­‘technical’ workplaces, and across the ­business community, are enabled with that focus.

"Young people and young women in particular must be a part of this search for effective ­solutions for change and share equally in both the successes and opportunities as a result.”