ASHRAE involved in launch of International Network for Women in Cooling
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The Network has been created to advance engagement, promote career opportunities and increase overall participation of women in the cooling sector, which includes refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pumps.
ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, along with Women in HVAC&R (North America) and a number of other international organizations, have been involved in the launch of an initiative to advance career opportunities for women in the cooling sector.
The International Network for Women in Cooling (INWIC) has been created to advance engagement, promote career opportunities and increase overall participation of women in the cooling sector, which includes refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pumps (RACHP).
The initiative is led by the World Refrigeration Day (WRD – June 26) Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction, in cooperation with the following international organizations representing the building industry worldwide: AIRAH (Australia), AREA (Europe), ASHRAE (Global), CAR (China), FAIAR (Latin America), IIR (Global), IOR (UK), ISHRAE (India), JSRAE (Japan), and U-3ARC (Africa).
“ASHRAE is committed to providing a welcoming environment to all people and celebrates its diverse culture through an active global membership,” said 2021-22 ASHRAE president Mick Schwedler, P.E., in a media release.
INWIC will connect women in the predominantly male cooling sector, empowering success through networking, mentoring, education and opportunities to shine as visible role models, fostering a lasting legacy to inspire the next generation of women innovators and problem solvers. It will also offer an avenue to individual women, especially from developing countries, to gain career experience and development that may otherwise prove inaccessible.
“There are not enough visible ‘women in cooling’ role models. We want to change that,” said Stephen Gill – Head of the WRD Secretariat in the release. “We will create a resource for girls and young women to see videos and read real-life stories from a diverse range of women in different roles within the cooling sector. This will also serve to connect and inspire women currently working in the cooling sector.”
The INWIC initiative contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s blueprint for addressing global challenges to achieve a better and more sustainable future.
Goals of the initiative include:
- Gender equality for women, including equality of opportunity.
- Improved livelihoods through job creation and employment.
- Making cities and people’s lives more sustainable.
- Climate adaptation and mitigation.
An important role of the INWIC initiative is to serve as a platform to promote environmental stewardship within the cooling sector. This includes, among other issues, proper and safe management of refrigerants like HFCs, HCFCs, hydrocarbons and new alternatives.
In the coming months, the INWIC initiative’s founding partners will introduce several programs that directly support individual women and young girls to further engage and find opportunities that can support career advancement, exposure to cooling education disciplines and active engagement with the cooling community.