Green recovery

Improve female leadership on environmental issues

13/05/2022 PNG

Engrained gender discrimination is standing in the way of female environmental leaders, especially in low and middle-income countries.

And yet research has found that a higher presence of women in decision-making bodies in the public sector translates into more ambitious climate goals and policies - and lower emissions.

A major concern is that lower-income countries, which tend to be the most exposed to climate change and biodiversity loss, are also those with the lowest shares of women in leadership positions.

There is also a low representation of women in ministries related to the infrastructure sector (energy, transport and communications).

“Sticky floors” (related to social norms, gender stereotyping and discrimination) and “glass ceilings” (related to the motherhood penalties that impede female career paths) all sustain a pervasive leadership gap.

See also: Women’s leadership in environmental action