It’s no secret that the most successful companies are those that embrace diversity. Bringing in talented and dynamic women from all backgrounds offers unique perspectives and gives a strategic edge – yet inequality is still present. Statistics show women being underrepresented in educational STEM programmes, underrepresented in leadership positions, underfunded for new start-ups, and underpaid in the workforce. The Women@EIT initiative is devoted to helping correct this imbalance, and Mercè Labordena, EIT InnoEnergy Master School alumnus, is now spearheading operations as their new president!
Mercè completed the EIT InnoEnergy Master School MSc in Renewable Energy programme and a PhD in Climate Policy to make an impact in the energy landscape. She explains, “Previously, businesses focused on maximising profit without taking into consideration the environmental impact. Now we have the opportunity to build back better – to transition to clean energy, rebuild global economies, and massively create green jobs. My current role as Senior Policy Advisor for the European solar industry, liaising with governments and advising organisations to accelerate the energy and digital transition in Europe, will help me deliver on these objectives.” And her new appointment at the Women@EIT initiative will allow her to make an impact by connecting female students and alumni of the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), inspiring female entrepreneurship and innovation!
Mercè shares her thoughts on the importance of networking: “The trajectory to female leadership begins early in life, when we are recognized by our academic achievements at school or when we succeed in reaching that position that we were after. We are defined by key influences along the way, which can be in the form of role models. More than 80% of professional women believe that networking with female leaders will help them advance in their career. This is why Women@EIT aims to create a strong network of women, to provide a space that inspires the next generation of female leaders and promote women leadership. When you empower women to become the next generation of role models in the area of innovation, business, entrepreneurship, and technology – it’s a self-actuating circle of support and success.”
“I would like to advise women to own your career. If something feels exciting and the right thing to do, yet scary – just say yes. This is what led me here: to step out of my comfort zone and explore new responsibilities. Being president provides me room for creativity, allowing me to create initiatives and activities that align with my purpose: personal development through courses, leadership training, confidence building, decision-making, and networking.” Mercè also says:
Mercè is excited to announce the launching of their revamped website and a new monthly Newsletter! It showcases relevant content and events designed to help close the gender gap in leadership, pay, and investment; and aims to maximise the voice of gender equality and women leadership, to influence start-ups, businesses, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can access the website and subscribe to the Newsletter here. Mercè would also like to share with present students what she learned from her time in the EIT Master School programme. “There is a rich and diverse offering of networks and support during your studies and beyond, to help take your personal and career development to the next level. The opportunities exist. You just need to take them, squeeze them, drink them, and enjoy the ride – and if you don’t find them, create them for yourself!”