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CRDF Global Board Memeber Maxine Savitz Discusses the Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) launched the C3E initiative in 2010 in recognition that the ideas and talents of all members of society are necessary to meet the future clean energy challenges.  The U.S. C3E program was launched in 2012 by the Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Eneegy Initiative (MITEI).  The goals of the U.S. program are to close the gender gap and increase the participation, leadership, and success of women and minorities in the clean energy sector and STEM fields more broadly.

The initiative is now in its 8th year and  the university partnerships have expanded to include Stanford and Texas A&M.  There are over 12 sponsors from industry, national laboratories and NGOs.  I had the opportunity to help formulate the goals and the focus, which should be on effective ways to attract, retain, and promote mid career women in the energy sector. I am one of 30 active Ambassadors, who are  senior level women who serve as mentors and role models.

Mid-career women in energy are recognized at an Annual C3E Awards Symposium, which attracts approximately 300 mid-career women, from the private sector, government and universities, each year. There is a poster session where students present their current research in the energy fields.  At the symposium, there are discussions and opportunities to obtain insights and make contacts regarding cutting-edge energy research, new business ventures and successful career pathways. A lifetime achievement award is given and eight outstanding mid-career women are honored with awards in categories such as business, education,  government, international, law and finance and research.  Over 8 years, C3E has grown to engage more than 2000 women.  It has 8000 network participants.  It can be seen as a successful and inspiring model for programs in other fields,  both nationally and internationally.