The U.S. Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) program is an effort to advance the careers and leadership of professional women in the field of clean energy. It is led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in strong partnership with the MIT Energy Initiative. This program delivers on the U.S. commitment to C3E, which was launched by nine governments at the first Clean Energy Ministerial in July 2010 in recognition of the fact that the ideas and talents of all members of society are essential to meeting the clean energy challenges of the future. Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States each committed to undertake meaningful activities to advance women in clean energy and close the gender gap in their own national contexts and link their efforts whenever possible.
The U.S. C3E program was launched at the third Clean Energy Ministerial in April 2012 in London. It has three pillars
- AMBASSADORS: The C3E Ambassadors are a group of 30 distinguished senior professionals who share an interest in broadening the recruitment, retention and advancement of highly qualified women in the field and are committed to championing the initiative’s success as spokeswomen and mentors. Ambassadors serve as mentors and also as a nomination review panel for the recognition program outlined below.
- AWARDS: The C3E Awards recognize mid-career women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy. MIT awarded prizes in six clean-energy related categories at the 2012 Symposium, along with cash awards of $10,000 each. The six categories were innovation and technology development, entrepreneurship and innovative business models, corporate implementation, policy and advocacy, advancements for the developing world, and education and mentorship.
- SYMPOSIUM: MIT hosted the first C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium on September 28, 2012, with the collaboration of the U.S. DOE, as part of their shared commitment to C3E as a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative. C3E Ambassadors and Awardees came together with women working in the sector, students, and representatives from partner governments for a professional conference intended to build a strong and interconnected network of women in clean energy. In addition to an awards ceremony with high-level keynote speakers, substantive sessions tracked the six award categories. There were also small group discussions anchored by Ambassadors.
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