‘Power shift’ needed to improve gender balance in energy research, report says

University of Exeter

“Power shift” needed to improve gender balance in energy research, report says

Women still face significant barriers in forging successful and influential careers in UK energy research, a new high-level report has revealed.

A team of experts from the University of Exeter’s Energy Policy Group has analysed gender balance within the crucial field of energy research and spoken to female researchers about their experiences of academic life. The study, launched today (14th June 2019), sets out how research funders and universities can ensure female talent and expertise is mobilised in transforming our energy systems.

The report is particularly timely as the UK parliament declares a climate emergency and the government commits to legislate for a 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target. It is clear that energy research needs to harness 100 per cent of available talent in order to meet the challenge of rapidly decarbonising energy systems.

The study revealed that women are still significantly under-represented in energy research and application rates from women are low. It also found that grants applied for and awarded to women tend to be of smaller value, when they do apply female academics are equally and sometimes more likely to be funded than male academics.

The report also highlighted the ‘significant drop-off’ between the number of female PhD students and funded researchers – meaning the sector loses a substantial pool of potential talent at an early stage.

The research presents four key ways in which funders and universities can work together to improve gender balance: look at the data, fund more women, stimulate career progression for female energy academics, and build on what’s already working.

Jess Britton, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and co-author of the report said: “Progress on gender balance in research has been too slow for too long, but we think now is the time to bring together action across funders and universities to ensure that female talent in capitalised on. Taking action across the funding, institutional and systemic issues we identify could drive a real shift in inclusion in the sector”.

The new report, commissioned by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) saw the researchers speak to 59 female academics conducting energy research and from various disciplines, institutions and career stages. They also analysed available data on gender and energy research funding.

Crucially, interviews with the researchers unearthed an array of issues that were felt to be holding women back from career progression – including the detrimental impact of part-time work or maternity leave, and inherent institutional and funding bias towards established, male academics.

While the report recognised that since 2017 there has been some progress in the gender balance of Peer Review Panel Members and small increases in awards granted to female researchers, progress has remained slow.

The study suggests that any progress should be accompanied by systemic change within the institutional structures and cultural environment of institutions involved with energy research.

Jim Watson, Director of UKERC added: “This report shows that there is an urgent need to address the poor gender balance within the UK energy research community – particularly with respect to leadership of grants and career progression.

“It not only reveals the extent of the problem with new evidence, but makes a series of practical recommendations should be required reading for funders and universities alike.”

The research identified four key ways in which UKRI, other funders and universities can work to improve gender balance. They are:

Look at the data – There remain significant difficulties in accessing meaningful data on gender balance in energy research. Data should be published, used to set targets, monitor progress and provide annual updates. The report also suggested using quantitative and qualitative data to identify key intervention points, speaking to more female energy academics to identify biases and barriers, and continuing to improve gender balance in funding review processes.

Fund more women – the report identified that funding structures can be a barrier, and that both part-time working and career breaks are perceived to slow progress. It suggests that the assessment of part-time working and maternity leave needs to be standardised across funder eligibility criteria and in the review process. It also identified that a lack of diversity of funding types impacts on women, and suggested trialling innovative approaches to allocating funding and supporting early career researchers.

Stimulate career progression for female energy academics – The report highlighted the need to acknowledge and take action on the individualistic, long hours culture of academia and also overhaul existing institutional structures and cultures. Early career stages are often characterised by precarious fixed-term contracts and over reliance on quantitative measures of progress. It also recommended building suitable training, mentoring and support networks to help more women progress and ensure the visibility of female researchers.

Build on what is working – The study recommended identifying key points of engagement to build gender balance: combine specific targeted actions, such as UKRI and university frameworks and targeted funding initiatives, with long-term action on structural issues that promote cultural change in our institutions. It also identified the need to ensure equality of voice – so that female academic voices are heard.

Alison Wall, Deputy Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at EPSRC said: “We welcome this report, its findings and recommendations. Many of the issues raised are ones we recognise more widely in our research community.

“Enhancing diversity and inclusion is one of the priorities in our new Delivery Plan. For example, we plan to make further progress on embedding EDI into the grant application process, developing our peer review processes, provision of further data and increased flexibility in our funding.”

A copy of the report and the full list of recommendations can be found here: https://geography.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/schoolofgeography/pdfs/Power_Shift.pdf


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June 17, 2019 10:16 am

Why does gender balance even matter in this case? It’s seems like just another case of political correctness run amuck. What’s next, to demand gender balance for professions mostly occupied by women and then extend this to the dozens of fake genders now embraced by the political left?

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 11:54 am

“True science” cares only about reality and not a whit about your gender or sexual identity.
“Political science” OTH cares only about sexual identity and gender while not caring a whit about reality.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 12:43 pm

Pipelines are phallic symbols. They are “laid” into a trench, which is a yonic symbol. These are all important engineering concepts. Not sure why you don’t get this. The Canadian Prime Minister is woke and you should be too.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Shoshin
June 17, 2019 8:03 pm

Shoshin: You are biased toward the missionary position? Hmmm this may be reportable to the Commish.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Shoshin
June 18, 2019 5:06 pm

Reminds me of the old “Virginia Pipilinay” joke. The condemned man was asked what his last wish was, and he replied “To spend one night with Virginia Piplinay.” The puzzled warden made some inquiries, and finding no such person, returned to the condemned man and asked him what he was talking about. The man reached under his pillow, and pulled out a newspaper clipping consisting of just the headline: “Five Men Die Laying Virginia Pipeline.”

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 12:47 pm

Sex, gender, and a transgender spectrum.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 1:01 pm

Once again, they’re using the word “gender”, which refers to behavior, when they mean “sex”, which refers to biological attributes.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
June 18, 2019 4:32 am

This makes for an easy fix: Just ask half the researchers in the field to identify as women.

Problem solved.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 1:09 pm

I am all for it, if we first remedy the gender imbalance in the garbage industry. Every garbage truck has a male driver and male helpers pushing dumpsters around. This must stop! It is time for drastic action now and get all these talented and eager women into the garbage industry.

Logic and Reason
Reply to  huls
June 17, 2019 3:55 pm

Let’s not forget gender equality for roofers and masons.

Mark H
Reply to  Logic and Reason
June 17, 2019 4:57 pm

And sanitation workers and electrical linesmen and pretty much any job that involves a risk of death or serious injury.

Bryan A
Reply to  Logic and Reason
June 18, 2019 12:55 pm

careful what you say about Masons, or they might give you the 33rd degree

Reply to  huls
June 17, 2019 10:30 pm


Women are more than capable of doing traditionally male manual work. For example, in the UK we have female bricklayers, plasterers, bus drivers etc.

We also have men doing traditionally female work.

The problem with women carrying out traditionally male roles isn’t with their ability to do the job, but with the male attitude to women in their workplace.

As long as the person is physically able to do the job, suitably qualified or experienced and good at the job, I don’t see what the problem is.

Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 12:55 am

I’ve seen female bus-drivers in the UK, but never female brickies or plasterers. I’m sure there are some, but they are very few and far between.

How do you know the the problem is male attitudes towards such women? Could the explanation be simply that not many women want to do such jobs?

Reply to  Graemethecat
June 18, 2019 1:11 am

female brickies

How do you know the the problem is male attitudes towards such women?

I’ve worked in building sites most of my life. The lads on site can be less than diplomatic when it comes to women on site to the extent that I feel like telling the lads to shut the frack up. It can get pretty unpleasant at times.

Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 6:15 am

I would hate to get caught in the middle of a cat fight between 2 female bricklayers.
An office with a majority of women is bad enough, I could not even begin to contemplate a construction site with that level of estrogen. Menopause could induce building collapse.

Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 7:18 am

Buses have power steering now.
Brickie’s hods don’t.

Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 12:39 pm

It’s not a case of capability or perceived workplace hostility, but one of desire. The same is true for men in jobs traditionally held by women. In general, men and women are wired differently and it goes far beyond the gonads. Certainly there’s a small fraction of women wired more like men and men wired more like women and those who seek professions outside of the typical gender preferences are frequently among this minority. There’s just not enough of this minority for balance to be achieved. Nurture can modify this, but nurturing away from nature may be beneficial for training a wild animal, but not for raising a child.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 1:09 pm

It’s all part of the package deal ideology. You must accept all feminist ideological presuppositions such as the patriarchy and implicit bias – in addition to accepting all other politically correct aspects of ideology. If you do not you are a racist, sexist, bigoted Nazi that likely kills children for fun.


Robert B
Reply to  Xenomoly
June 17, 2019 3:16 pm

Only jobs where an activist in an authoritive position comes in handy. Hence, they will not address the over representation of women in teaching or the epidemic of false accusations that deter men from these jobs.

Reply to  Xenomoly
June 17, 2019 10:33 pm

I’m not sure about the killing children for fun bit.

I like children, I just can’t eat a full one.

Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 7:23 am

Empty ones?

Reply to  co2isnotevil
June 17, 2019 4:26 pm

So it seems that women are too smart to endure a low reward academic system that men are forced into by cultural pressures.

June 17, 2019 10:26 am

You cannot force people to do jobs they don’t like doing – and that is the basis of the gender gap. I have been in aviation for 40 years, and I have NEVER seen a female line engineer. Is that sexism? No, it is because it is shift work (not child friendly), outdoors in all weathers (not in a cushy office or hospital), often abroad (not child friendly), doing a very solitary (not sociable) job in engineering.

Nothing to do with preventing women doing a job.


Paul S
June 17, 2019 10:28 am

Yeah? So?

Stephen Richards
June 17, 2019 10:32 am

Exeter Uni aka UKMO aka Government propagandists aka BBC

June 17, 2019 10:37 am

Mo’ diversity is mo’ better and here I thought gender didn’t matter?

Reply to  MikeSYR
June 17, 2019 12:01 pm

What I find puzzling and amusing is that the entire concept of “diversity” is predicated upon the assumption and acceptance of stereotypes.
“We need more (fill in the blank) because “they” think a particular way.”

Reply to  Rocketscientist
June 17, 2019 2:01 pm

Diversity or color, not limited to race, skin, sex, gender, etc. judgment.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Rocketscientist
June 18, 2019 2:30 pm

By definition they are inclusive…. except for white males, but, of course WM are not part of diversity anyway. Indeed the creation of diversity was precisely to exclude WM.

Reply to  MikeSYR
June 17, 2019 12:46 pm

Sex matters. Gender: masculine and feminine attributes (e.g. sexual orientation), apparently, do, even when they are not significant in context. And the consensus has determined a conflation is in order for the sake of social progress.

June 17, 2019 10:40 am

Gender: masculine and feminine physical and mental attributes? Or Sex: male and female individuals? The conflation of concepts and logical domains has been a progressive and political process.

Bryan A
Reply to  n.n
June 17, 2019 12:24 pm

Perhaps if 1/2 of the Male Engineers self identified as Female, this would resolve the issue

Reply to  Bryan A
June 17, 2019 1:54 pm

We had this discussion ten years ago in the academic department I taught in for 15 years. I suggested that the issue could be resolved if a few faculty members “volunteered for surgery.” But we’ve had a lot of “progress” since then, so your solution should be entirely adequate now, Bryan.

If people can change their gender to win athletic competitions, there shouldn’t be any problem with doing it to meet diversity requirements.

Reply to  Bryan A
June 17, 2019 1:58 pm

That’s brilliant. I’d love to see some person identify as female, even though she has a penis, and get a job that would be otherwise unavailable to her because of a quota. link Obviously, if the employer didn’t hire her, that would be transphobia. She could also identify as lesbian and then she could mate with cis females.

We already have the spectacle of women’s shelters being criticized for rejecting trans women who still retain their penis. link

Reply to  Bryan A
June 17, 2019 10:38 pm
Reply to  Bryan A
June 18, 2019 4:10 am

There are whole range of these now under gender fluidity


Personally I identify as a toaster and demand equal rights for all toasters.

Reply to  LdB
June 18, 2019 5:50 am

Make sure you toast brown bread as well as white bread or you’re a racist toaster.

Bryan A
Reply to  MangoChutney
June 18, 2019 12:53 pm

a Toast…
For She’s a jolly good fellow, for she’s a jolly good fellow…

June 17, 2019 10:42 am

The only way to get more women into energy research is to mandate quotas. I leave it to you as an exercise to figure out what quotas will do to the quality of the workforce and the resulting quality of the research.

men are comparatively more interested in things and women in people. This is the largest psychological difference between men and women yet identified. And these differences drive occupational choice, particularly at the extremes. Engineers, for example, tend to be those who are not only interested in things, but who are more interested in things than most people, men or women. link

In Sweden, which is a very equal society, the gender split in employment is most pronounced. Women tend to dominate in nursing and men tend to dominate in engineering. There’s nothing enforcing that choice, it’s just what the people are interested in.

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2019 2:10 pm

And yet EVERYWHERE in Sweden the same kinds of blue haired crazies say that rampant sexism is why there are few female engineers and computer scientists. Its ALWAYS oppression.

Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2019 3:03 am

Jordan Peterson observed that the gender gap in STEM education and employment is actually greatest in countries like Sweden, which have the greatest gender equality. This is completely contrary to the Progressive dogma, of course, as it shows that given freedom to choose, women go preferentially for the stereotypical “female” roles.

Joel Snider
June 17, 2019 10:44 am

Why does research of ANY kind require ‘gender balance’?

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Joel Snider
June 17, 2019 4:44 pm


“Validation of traditional methods of human fertilisation; A Practical Study”

That MIGHT be assisted by a bit of gender balance… 😛

June 17, 2019 10:45 am

Why not?

There are just as many stupid gullible venal women as men.

son of mulder
June 17, 2019 10:45 am

There has also been very slow growth in achieving gender balance in bricklaying, roofing contracting, miners, engineers etc. And there has also been very slow growth in achieving gender balance in primary teaching, cosmetic sales, nail technicians, nursing and midwifery. Maybe folk do what they want to do.

Joel Snider
Reply to  son of mulder
June 17, 2019 11:19 am

‘Maybe folk do what they want to do.’

Can’t have people acting on THAT sort of thing, can we?

Mark S Jordon
June 17, 2019 10:54 am

I do not believe in gender discrimination and women need to be given the same opportunities in their chosen fields as men.
Women are not as interested in STEM as men and no amount of extra encouragement or affirmative action is going to change that
It is not politically correct to say that but we need to admit there are differences between the sexes

June 17, 2019 10:55 am

I suppose raw talent has nothing to do with it.

I suppose the best person for the job, based on skill and intelligence, has nothing to do with it.

Oh, I forgot, we are all equal, and so we should have equal numbers of genders, races, nationalities, minorities, and whatever other everybody-is-equal-yet-elevated category distributed equally in all professions or positions.

After all, it’s not about talent. It’s about gender, race, nationality, minority, and whatever other everybody-is-equal-yet-elevated hypocrisy is in style.

June 17, 2019 10:58 am


June 17, 2019 10:59 am

There are ~4 times as many boys taking A-level physics as girls in the UK, and ~7.5 times as many boys taking computing A-level as there are girls.

How do universities think they are going to get to gender parity from there? Impossible.

Meanwhile, the last windows update has turned my trackpad back on, and now I can’t turn it off. So the cursor keeps jumping all over the **** place.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Jit
June 17, 2019 11:13 am

Must be Windows 10…..aka…garbage spyware..

Reply to  Jit
June 17, 2019 11:22 am


Go to ‘Settings’ (right click ‘start’ and a window should open with ‘settings’ on it) find ‘Devices’ click and scroll down to Touchpad – Click and there should be an On/Off option at the top. (Assuming Windows 10).

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  HotScot
June 17, 2019 12:37 pm

Batteries just quit on my Logitech keyboard.
No warning and no indication.
Win-10 sometimes does really odd things, or one of the programs does.
So being able to use the cursor, I spent about 2 minutes before thinking
I was going the wrong way.
Used the downtime to clean the junk off.
Yesterday it was black lines [borders ? ] that didn’t want to go away.


Reply to  John F. Hultquist
June 17, 2019 4:08 pm

John F. Hultquist

How old is your PC?

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
June 18, 2019 1:00 pm

You didn’t get a call from Microsoft Support from someone with a really thick Punjabi accent did you?

Reply to  HotScot
June 17, 2019 12:46 pm

I don’t have this problem.
I use Linux.
How many women do, as opposed to men?
I expect there will be a marked balance.

Reply to  Photios
June 17, 2019 2:46 pm

Err… ‘imbalance’

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Photios
June 17, 2019 3:45 pm

How many women do, as opposed to men?

That statement is either Inflammable or flammable. or something.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
June 18, 2019 3:19 am

It’s balanced.

Reply to  Photios
June 17, 2019 4:21 pm


With the best will in the world mate, I keep trying Linux, Ubuntu, Mint, Redhat (been a while) and whilst basic functions are OK, it’s a pain in the backside to reliably connect up a wireless printer without having it seriously compromised in it’s ability.

I’m no PC whizz but I have been using MS for years now and whilst it has it’s glitches, I can use innumerable browsers, MS Office (yep, I have used all the clunky free office variants on Linux as well) link my iPhone (although I loved Windows phones but they ditched them) and Android phone almost seamlessly.

And when I loaded up Linux onto my families machines they all squealed like stuck pigs. My wife couldn’t access her office properly, if at all and my kids couldn’t play their usual games.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux, I can resurrect old machines I have that work beautifully, except when I get a new printer and half it’s abilities are crippled.

Reply to  HotScot
June 17, 2019 8:01 pm

HotScot, give TurboPrint a try. It is commercial software (not free as in cost), but allows my Canon Multi Function printer to work flawlessly via cable or wifi. No loss in functionality from the Windows software that came with the printer.

While I have a Canon, TurboPrint supports Brother, HP and Epson printers.

Reply to  HotScot
June 18, 2019 12:25 am

That on/off option has gone into the netherworld. The lappy is Asus & there is an Asus accessory program that is supposed to handle the touchpad, but for some reason now turning it off there makes no difference. Ta anyway. :/

June 17, 2019 11:03 am

Authoritarians driven to micro-manage everything they can.
It is time for another Great Reformation.
Perhaps spreading popular uprisings is leading to something profound.

William Astley
June 17, 2019 11:08 am

This is typical left wing politically correct ‘fuzzy logic’.

What we need are real breakthroughs, discoveries that really do change everything, not more Ted talks about a hydrogen economy, wind and sun gathering without the magic batteries, and other hyperbole.

It is not clear how or why gender-neutral science hiring or throwing more people at a problem and working on stuff that does not work will change anything.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

Louis Hunt
June 17, 2019 11:09 am

“It also identified the need to ensure equality of voice – so that female academic voices are heard.”

So they think that the use of affirmative action to silence more men and promote and finance more women in energy research will be productive? As long as the loudest female voices in academia are those who complain about misogyny and male privilege, affirmative action will only foster more complaining parasites, not productive researchers. Add to that the growth of “me too” accusations, and you will have a situation where established male researchers will be reluctant to mentor new female researchers for fear of having their careers destroyed by unsubstantiated claims of harassment or bias. I’m all for solving social problems with education. What I am not for is throwing money at a problem in hopes of putting up artificial barriers against one group to benefit another. These attempts to social engineer society never consider the unintended consequences of such actions.

Reply to  Louis Hunt
June 17, 2019 12:37 pm

Louis Hunt

Top comment.

Reply to  Louis Hunt
June 18, 2019 12:01 pm

I think the dullards pushing “equality” of outcomes did consider the consequences and they were delighted to push for “equality”. What could be better than knocking men down to size and pushing women one or two steps past their competence(Peter Principle) in order to make government and education even more dysfunctional.

Mark Broderick
June 17, 2019 11:11 am

Wait…. I thought the “woke” left didn’t believe in “male and female” ! D’OH !

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Mark Broderick
June 17, 2019 7:33 pm

Good point. Let’s say they start reserving a large number of research grants for women to encourage more women to enter the field. What’s to stop men from claiming to be transgendered women for the purpose of applying for the grants? It works in women’s sports. They’re not required to submit to a doctor’s examination or have any surgery done to compete as a woman. They just have to claim to be one. So, if they set aside large sums of money for women researchers, won’t the same thing happen? But how does the unintended consequence of encouraging more men to pretend to be women help society?

June 17, 2019 11:12 am

The EPSRC is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the UK, formerly a dispenser of money for research in hard sciences and engineering, now yet another dismal vehicle for social engineering. They don’t even understand basic economics, as in this call for research proposals, which has a MINIMUM cost requirement, you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that money will be wasted on frivolities padded out to get to the minimum:


Dodgy Geezer
June 17, 2019 11:16 am

I’m still waiting for a similar study to be done on sewage workers.

We seem to go to extraordinary lengths to ‘encourage’ women to join various occupations that they don’t want to join. Could this be seen as oppression?

William Astley
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
June 17, 2019 12:14 pm

Or a study to get more men into nursing, figure skating, or cheer leading.

Or a study to get more woman into boxing, football, and so on.

Reply to  William Astley
June 18, 2019 12:28 pm

I saw a male CNP(Certified Nurse Practitioner) at a walk-in care place for a bloody cough, fever, trouble breathing. He had a couple of female assistants to do the preliminaries. He listened to what I had to say. Asked few questions such as “have you had this before?” which I had, wanted know which antibiotic was used. Had the two nurse(working towards CNP) to listen and pointed out what the different sounds meant. Then sent me to the next room for an Xray, which showed the pneumonia.

Bottom line is both men and women can do that job.

I’m not so sure about MD’s. The GI doctor I was seeing got upset because I didn’t jump at the chance to get one of the new biological meds at $27,000 a dose. I explained that the clinical studies’ statistics didn’t look very promising, with none of the drugs working really well.

That I got shuffled to a CNP for follow up. Her job appeared to get me to try a biological. I opted for a cheaper one, only $6,000 that didn’t work. Ended up agreeing to try another one sort of in between. The poor nurse was a nice lady but she didn’t seem confident in the science involved. I explained that I was hesitant about the statistics problem. She agreed there weren’t any really good options so the only thing left were to try some and see. There are other drugs that are used but they all can cause really serious side effects in significant numbers of patients.

The other bottom line is that if you get sick, get educated. Most doctors are smart, but no more so that any other technical degree. Anyone here can quickly learn enough to understand what is going on. (Well, maybe not some of the real climate science deniers).

June 17, 2019 11:21 am

Men tend to live in their intellects; women tend to live in their emotions. Let each have what they want and STFU.

June 17, 2019 11:28 am

There are a couple partical things that could make it a bit easier for women to work in univerties.

Maternity leaves and short work weeks should tolerated more. We’re wasting good engineering talent because of non-flexible work hours. If your building also a family it should not destroy your professional carreer.

Coeur de Lion
June 17, 2019 11:30 am

I have a grandson at Exeter. He leads the sailing team. Haven’t asked him but I guess the team is not gendered. Won the inter university competition the other day. Nice photo showed coupla girls in the crew of about a dozen. Bravo

June 17, 2019 11:49 am

Meanwhile, the last windows update has turned my trackpad back on, and now I can’t turn it off. So the cursor keeps jumping all over the **** place.
Women programmers. Just cant make up their minds

Ewin H. Barnett
June 17, 2019 11:53 am

Articles of this sort that push a woke progressive agenda will omit the fact the over 80% of undergraduates enrolled in fields like early childhood development and interior decorating are female. They will also omit that over 90% of undergraduates in mining and petroleum engineering are male.

I have yet to see a single woman who is interested in riding up a bucket to the top of a power pole in freezing weather to properly torque the insulator bolts on a string of high voltage wire that is the size of your wrist. While it is live at 14 kv.

One of the reason socialistic ideology fails and destroys lives and prosperity is its steadfast and unstoppable desire to alter physical and human reality with doctrine and theory. It is a constant fact of human nature that females in general are better at and prefer to interact with people than with things. It is a similar constant that males have the opposite orientation. Any attempts to change this cannot succeed, and will only waste resources and lives.

If socialistic ideology ended there it would be bad enough. Consider the following:

Václav Havel was a playwright, author, the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003) after the Czech–Slovak split.

He wrote a famous essay, The Power of the Powerless (the social and spiritual consequences of socialism)

“The principle involved here is that the center of power is identical with the center of truth.” Havel warns that socialist regimes create and enforce their own truth to maintain power. As time goes on, this truth diverges from factual truth and it increasingly forces those who support and depend upon the power of the regime to corrupt themselves to sustain the artificial truth.

“Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics … It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”


In the end, people not only lie to each other, but they start to lie to themselves.

John Bell
Reply to  Ewin H. Barnett
June 17, 2019 12:53 pm

They want to force equal outcomes, while pretending to provide equal opportunity. Unhinged leftists need to be reeducated.

Reply to  Ewin H. Barnett
June 17, 2019 3:48 pm

“I have yet to see a single woman who is interested in riding up a bucket to the top of a power pole in freezing weather”

Riding up in a bucket…lol. Maybe how about climbing that power pole with spurs in freezing weather where you can’t get a bucket truck to, and hanging off your belt for an hour or two while doing that dangerous and extremely difficult work. Not that a properly trained woman in very good condition couldn’t do that work, but probably 97% of men couldn’t do it either. Not many jobs are that demanding or dangerous than trying to work at the top of a high voltage line especially in inclement windy weather, usually in the dead of night.

Rod Evans
June 17, 2019 11:53 am

The only people who think there is a problem with the under representation of females in energy research are those who look for difference that are none issues. I guess that means Exeter Uni professors who have received grant support to make such pointless claims.
I personally, am particularly concerned about the lack of women in the tarmacking industry. Any positive gender employment policies going on there? Perhaps Exeter Uni, would like to comment

Mike S.
June 17, 2019 11:56 am

The easiest way to get my wife riled up is to read her an article like this. She is so sick and tired of people who want to tell women (i.e., her and our daughters) what kinds of work they should be desiring.

Reply to  Mike S.
June 17, 2019 1:49 pm


old construction worker
Reply to  PaulH
June 18, 2019 7:01 am

bingo again

June 17, 2019 12:06 pm

My Gawd! Things just keeping crazier all the time, don’t they?

Gender equality (an imaginary problem) as applied to research on alternative energy (a fancy name for wind mills) to fix global warming (another imaginary problem). Is that absurdity squared or absurdity cubed? Do you think we can squeeze in there a little something on environmental social justice (whatever that means) and maybe reparations for things our great great grandparents did?

I wonder if all this intellectual craziness is because modern people have it too easy? No one dies of the black plague anymore, the last big war ended in 1945, we haven’t had a real economic depression in ninety years, and “I Love Lucy” re-runs have almost completely disappeared from television. Maybe people require a “big” problem, a crisis, something to hoot and holler about. Soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy don’t have time to worry about global warming. Maybe people are inventing imaginary problems and imaginary grievances because they have to have an itch to scratch.

Ken Irwin
June 17, 2019 12:09 pm

Men court danger, women avoid it – that’s the way we evolved – for good Darwinian reasons (there are of course exceptions).

No amount of lawmaking or incentivisation will induce women to indulge in high risk (perceived or real) occupations in equal or higher numbers than men.

I have no problem if they do but gender equality is in many cases a political contrivance rather that a real bias or exclusionary practice by male dominance (although our past and less so our present history is littered with examples of where this was certainly true).

John Bell
June 17, 2019 12:34 pm

One wonders…what are they looking at in order to declare a “climate emergency”?? Models I guess. Europe and GB seem to be slowly hanging themselves, sad to see it.

John the Econ
June 17, 2019 12:36 pm

So a “gender imbalance” in energy research is a problem, but an even greater gender imbalance in energy production is not? Explain.

HD Hoese
June 17, 2019 1:03 pm

At an event decades ago where there were high school teachers I recall meeting a female math teacher. Since there were males around with college degrees who had no college math, one denied entrance into graduate school for that reason despite an otherwise decent background, several of us had an interesting discussion about these differences. Gender was still in its proper grammatical realm, and as she seemed clearly above the average male in such math skills, we all went away with obvious but better understanding. Of course, we were well trained in science before the ‘change.’

When you force a quota on students, regardless of whether male or female, your are doing a great disservice, or worse, to them and what should be the educational imperative to get the best out of everybody with the realization that we all have different talents not easy to immediately put into categories. There are a few competent females in the energy profession, nothing new there.

Also, in casting out old papers I just ran across an order from our Director of Personnel Services, no telling what the title is now, about sexual harassment. “As a supervisor of classified employees, it is your responsibility to immediately report any incident, complaint, or suggestion…..” This was 1994, not long before I retired and had no more such responsibility, but sure enough such increased, the apparent more common male on male harassment ignored, including that by administrators. Lots of hypocrisy and “innocent until proven guilty” lost in the haze.

June 17, 2019 1:20 pm

Not a new debate.

Reply to  Jones
June 18, 2019 3:31 am


June 17, 2019 1:43 pm

Highly privileged upper class women, mostly white, are not doing enough to develop clean energy and save the planet. They need to be mollycoddled more.

Reply to  Billy
June 17, 2019 2:53 pm

They need to have more babies, or there won’t be any highly educated women in five generations.

June 17, 2019 1:55 pm

For my sins, I have worked in IT for nearly 30 years, and now, at the age of 60, have a lady boss who is somewhere in the order of 10-15 years my junior (I’m old fashioned and will not ask). She has management skills I don’t possess, and is great at the public/senior management presentational things. But she understands me, and relies on me to give her ‘organised facts’ extracted from our IT estate so that she can do whatever planning /persuasion is required. We are different in our capabilities and interests, but respect each other’s talents. In many ways she’s one of the best managers I’ve worked for, and she was no ‘diversity hire’.
Interest, talent and effort. Three ingredients for a successful career in any field.
An ‘under-representation’ of women (or men) in any field is likely to be due a lack of one of these, most likely the first. The vast majority of women I have met in my working life have not lacked the latter two.

Johann Wundersamer
June 17, 2019 3:31 pm

‘Power shift’ needed to improve gender balance in energy research, report says.

charles the moderator / 5 hours ago June 17, 2019

University of Exeter

“Power shift” needed to improve gender balance in energy research, report says.

Where’s the problem – re-install Rajendra Pachauri as IPCC boss and numbers of female researchers with experiences of academic life will skyrocket.

June 17, 2019 3:56 pm

Power shift indeed. This reminded me of the following gem:

Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions,” reads the paper’s abstract. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Progress in Human Geography in January. – See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2016/03/08/feds-paid-709000-to-academic-who-studies-how-glaciers-are-sexist/#sthash.hgfAs8Av.dpuf

These people would never earn a living in the real world

June 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Back in the day Exeter Uni, formerly the School of Mines, was pretty much at the end of the line for those desperate to gain University admission. Not so now, since every twopenny ha’penny Technical Collage opted to morph into a Uni, its standing has improved greatly. Probably the same phenomenon that Will Rogers referred to regarding the movement of Okies and increments in general IQ levels.

Fact is, that as in the USA, Universities need to promote themselves, and gender imbalance is one of this seasons big flavours 🙂

June 17, 2019 4:35 pm

I didn’t realise one’s sex organs were relevant to energy research . I just want qualified people doing it thanks. BTW I am female

June 17, 2019 4:41 pm

This “study” has all the usual features of pseudo-scholarly reports feminist ideologues write all the time.

For example, we have the usual tacit assumptions, like:
– A group of people are “underrepresented” in a given area of human activity if proportion of people from that group participating in that activity is lower than that group’s proportion of the general population.
– “Underrepresentation” is proof of society-wide injustice.
– The observed difference between the male to female ratio in a given area of human activity and the male to female ratio in the general population is the result of systemic sexist discrimination against women.
– In the absence of this presumed systemic sexist discrimination, the male to female ratio in the given area of human activity under examination would match the male to female ratio in the general population.

We also get the usual explicit assumptions, like:
– It is self-evidently a problem – even a serious problem – whenever the percentage of women in some area of human activity that feminist ideologues have taken an interest in is smaller than the percentage of women in the general population.
– Where such areas of human activity have been identified, immediate corrective intervention to bring the male to female ratio in that activity in line with the male to female ratio in the general population is self-evidently justified on moral and other grounds. [Note that female overrepresentation is rarely, if ever, a problem.]

And of course, the argument being put forward is reliant on things like:
– Selective use of statistics without other information that would put them in their proper context (for example, as researchers, women as a group have been found to be less productive and less likely to make major contributions to their field than their male counterparts).
– Ignoring biology and how it systematically has driven and continues to drive consistent population level differences all over the world between men and women (many of which have been observed in other primates) in terms of their interests, their career choices and their time use preferences.

To me, the holes in the arguments put forward in these kinds of pseudoscholarly “studies ” are wide enough that a ship could sail through them. I’m in a perpetual state of shock at how frequently people who should be intelligent and knowledgeable to spot them continue to take this formulaic grievance mongering seriously.

Craig from Oz
June 17, 2019 5:00 pm

My first thoughts were ‘Hang on, the claim is that woman get less research grants than men, does this have anything to do with woman maybe releasing pointless papers?’

So I looked into this paper authored by Julie, Jess and Basia, and discovered that the opening line of the Ex Summary was “As the UK parliament declares a climate emergency…”

Now this is actually deliberately misleading. The UK parliament has NOT declared a climate emergency. The UK parliament has agreed to debate the issue. Deliberately misleading.

Also completely unrelated to the topic being discussed. You are debating gender balance within science. Are the authors suggesting that if the earth magically became a Gaia World then gender balance would not be a discussion point?

That is the opening line and they are already completely off topic, and, getting back to my original comment on this issue, a group of female authors complain that female authors are not being awarded the same study grants, and THEN open their discussion by being deliberately misleading?

Yeah… Maybe there is a reason the grants are lower…

Mark H
June 17, 2019 5:09 pm

“The study revealed that women are still significantly under-represented in energy research and application rates from women are low.”

Indeed, and they always will be as long as men and women are free to pursue their interests. Because men tend to (on average) prefer things over people and women tend to (on average) prefer people over things. That is why the interest in technical fields (Engineering, Programming, Physics, etc) is roughly 80/20 in favor of men, while social fields (Teaching, Nursing, Veterinary Science) is roughly 80/20 in favor of women.

“It also found that grants applied for and awarded to women tend to be of smaller value, when they do apply female academics are equally and sometimes more likely to be funded than male academics.”

So, effectively, there is sexism…. in favor of women, in that they are more likely to get grants than men.

This kind of lunacy must be pointed out and ridiculed at every opportunity.

CD in Wisconsin
June 17, 2019 5:54 pm

When “reports” like this are issued, I wish someone would do surveys of young men and women who plan on going to college and see which fields of study each gender is most interested in. If the young males show greater interest in energy research, hard science and engineering fields than the young women, it would be fascinating to see how the authors of this “report” would react to it.

It apparently never occurs to these holier-than-thou academic SJWs that the gender-based differences in academic interest shown in the surveys (if they indeed exist) might have nothing to do with societal injustice. Perhaps it is simply a difference in the ways the two genders view their role in the world. Is that difference a product of social inequality or injustice? Or is it just biological or genetic? Perhaps it is a consequence of human evolution through the ages? Who knows? How long have we Homo Sapiens been walking the Earth anyway?

I realize that my line of reasoning here probably condemns me to eternal Hell for heresy in the eyes of the SJW holier-than-thou academics behind this report. I couldn’t care less if I tried. If the SJW pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction, it is perhaps high time that it gets pointed out. There are plenty of lines in life that probably should not be crossed.

June 17, 2019 6:33 pm

“..significant drop-off’ between the number of female PhD students and funded researchers – meaning the sector loses a substantial pool of potential talent at an early stage.”

Maternity leave & career interruptions remain a major barrier to women ascending the ladder to corporate and academic leadership based upon meritocracy. Providing women with an extra bump for whatever reason would mean that leadership is a process of social accommodations. Aside from a few weak individuals, the process will remain contentious .

Women working themselves into leadership positions will still require that they are observed to have “earned” it. That will take a long time. Some women will do it, just not at the speed the politically correct crowd can expect.

Pamela Gray
June 17, 2019 8:12 pm

Engineering concepts are a lot like the Spanish language. Everything has a gender. A male end fits inside a female end. Hell, I learned this when working on farm equipment with Grandpa. I was the tool getter and sometimes the tool retriever when something dropped into a tight space (see what I mean?). Once, Grandpa asked me to go get the pecker. I eventually learned that a pecker was a stiff cylindrical brush used, among other purposes, to clean off battery terminals. It had a cover that screwed onto the pecker to protect the brush when tossed into the tool box. The cover was also lined with brushes that also cleaned terminals. Neat little tool. Pecker. Lol!

You would think there would be a 50/50 gender split. All the stuff they get to work on usually does!

Gary Pearse
June 17, 2019 8:25 pm

I’m all for equality of opportunity. Equality of outcomes requires draconian interventions such as turning away men because their quota is filled and bribing women to press them into icky engineering. This would really happen if ‘progressives’ had their way.

One other solution is to increase the social engineering profession. Girls would at least be dealing with an interest in people rather than things. I’m sure they would come up with something nice for men.

June 17, 2019 8:39 pm

The “too many white girls next-door” argument to rationalize diversity. Gender? Sex? Some other color judgment?

Gary Pearse
June 17, 2019 8:51 pm

Actually men have made a total bollixup of energy under the Gang Green plan the last few decades. Maybe women energy researchers could make a name for themselves by pronouncing the mess will be cleaned up and sensible shiny new cheap fossil fuel fired plants will replace it it all.

It is certain that this no-ball exercise is going to fail miserably because it doesn’t accept the well established differences in psychology . Women are pretty well liberated, at least the ones I know, and there has been no noticeable change in the mix re STEM. Discrimmination is “progressing” against white (i.e. toxic) males, though. If I understand it, this group went on an evil rampage and created The Age of Enlightenment. Not satisfied, we moved on to roll out devil machines of two or three Industrial Revolutions.

I’ve argued in my own defence that I didn’t even invent the wheel, or even copy one. I’ve just enjoyed the fruits of it all like everybody else.

June 18, 2019 12:51 am

So where was the outrage when Judith Curry was driven out of climate science by men?

Diversity in everything but thought – the thing that actually matters in science.

Mark - Helsinki
June 18, 2019 3:39 am

Gender quotas in objective truth. How ardently communist.

Not even hyperbolic here, this is Marxism 101

Gunga Din
June 18, 2019 4:59 am

The study revealed that women are still significantly under-represented in energy research and application rates from women are low.

Well, there’s your problem!

Reply to  Gunga Din
June 18, 2019 11:32 am

Yes. I recall some research not long ago showing that, across the world’s nations, as the measure of ‘female empowerment’ increases (i.e. their freedom of economic choice) then their involvement in STEM fields decreases.

I also have close female relatives with good engineering degrees who chose not to become professional engineers, and back when I was in high school the competent girls all dropped the sciences when choosing subjects for pre-university study.

B. Louis
June 18, 2019 9:46 am

When are we going to demand gender equality in workplace injuries and fatalities, which heavily discriminates against men?

June 18, 2019 11:23 am

“A team of experts from the University of Exeter’s Energy Policy Group has analysed gender balance within the crucial field of energy research and spoken to female researchers about their experiences of academic life.”

It takes a team of experts to mix data with anecdotes of dubious provenance and think they’ve “revealed” something other than the fact that people lie.

June 19, 2019 7:22 am

If they truly believed we’re in the midst of a “climate emergency” they wouldn’t be promoting this nonsense. According to them, the solution lies in removing quantitative assessments of progress. I obviously chose the wrong field…I’d love to have a job where results don’t matter.

Dr. Ben: Hey, Dr. Sally, I’m wondering how things are going?

Dr. Sally: Oh, they’re great! Nigel scored a goal in his junior football match yesterday, and my Lamaze classes are wonderful.

Dr. Ben: Wow, that’s good to hear, but I meant the research project. Any idea when it will be done?

Dr. Sally: Wait, you’re not trying to quantify my work, are you?

Dr. Ben: No, no, no. I was just…well, we do have a climate emergency and I’d like to be able to help with it.

Dr. Sally: It sure sounds like you’re quantifying me. I don’t have time for this…I have to interview a new doula this afternoon. Don’t forget that I’m entitled to 12 months of maternity leave and that starts on Friday. We can catch up in June of 2020, but I don’t expect to be interrogated like this again.

Dr. Ben: Sigh…OK Dr. Sally. See you in a year.

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