#PRAwards 2020 highlight: How Vena Energy drew females to STEM with empowerment campaign

Coming in hot as a finalist in the Best Employee Engagement/Internal Communications category at this year’s PR Awards was Vena Energy. Vena Energy wanted to create an inclusive workforce in the renewable energy sector and draw in more women in the leadership position as currently, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), only 32% of the renewable energy sector workforce are female - of which 45% are in administrative roles, and only 28% in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) roles.

Challenge

While globally women’s representation in leadership is slowly increasing, the Asia Pacific still has one of the lowest shares of women leaders in the sector. Thus the challenge is to bring about the awareness of gender diversity in an industry that is critical to the continued survival of our communities, eco-system and wildlife while establishing a call-to-action for women to join the renewable energy industry or Vena Energy.

Vena Energy wanted to inspire and attract more women to join its company, as well as play an active role in renewable energy and contribute to the sustainability of the planet. It also aimed to encourage more young women to take up STEM-related subjects at the college and/or university levels.

Strategy

The team decided to conceptualise a “Women in Power” campaign that highlighted female employees from all nine of its operating jurisdictions across the Asia Pacific region. These markets included Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Vena Energy’s “Women in Power” campaign highlighted three important aspects:

(1) Women contributing to renewable power (working in the energy business)

(2) Women in positions of power (leadership / manager / team leader)

(3) Women that harness their power to effect change and positivity in their lives, and the lives around them (volunteerism, advocate for rights, family carer, motherhood and others)

Vena Energy’s “Women in Power” campaign kicked off as a joint effort between its public relations and human resources teams in March 2020. Today, it is an ongoing campaign that aims to create more awareness on the importance and advantages of gender diversity at the workplace.

The primary social media channel chosen for the campaign was LinkedIn as the campaign aimed to raise awareness amongst corporates and executives on the benefits of gender diversity, as well as showcase the expertise and strengths of Vena Energy’s female colleagues who in many cases match or even exceed those of their male counterparts.

Execution

Each month, the in-house PR team will reach out to the county-level human resources managers to identify suitable candidates that fit the criteria for the “Women in Power” campaign, focusing on colleagues who are currently in STEM-related fields at Vena Energy. The nominated candidates will be interviewed by the HR manager, and the group head of communications on their views on gender diversity, sustainability, and how they would encourage more women to join the renewable energy industry or Vena Energy, while simultaneously encourage more young women to take up STEM-related courses at the undergraduate education level.

Once the candidate is confirmed, a consent form and questionnaire will be sent to the candidates to complete. The answers will be edited only for language and grammar, without taking away their personal views. The pre-publication draft will also be sent to the candidate for their review and approval.

After the candidate has approved the draft, the draft is finalised and published via Vena Energy’s intranet system and via our primary social media channel, LinkedIn.

Results

In total, 12 female colleagues have been featured since the kick-off of the Women In Power campaign in March 2020. As reported in its 2019 Sustainability Report, the total number of women working at Vena Energy stood at 27%. Since the launch of the campaign and at the end of 2020, the company has increased the number of women in STEM-related roles at Vena Energy to 30%, exceeding IRENA’s estimates in 2019.

In addition, the campaign ranks as some of the most read content amongst its colleagues through Vena Energy’s intranet, as well as via our LinkedIn page with 2,806 likes and 51% engagement rate in total. The posts have also received comments, likes and reshares from industry leaders and high-ranking executives from the traditional and renewable energy industries.

As Vena Energy continues with the Women In Power campaign, it believes its plan will allow the company to reach a balanced male-to-female ratio within the next decade, while raising the awareness and importance of gender diversity within the renewable energy industry.