Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023

8 March 2023

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we organized a seminar celebrating research that focuses on gender in relation to energy, sustainable resources, sustainable heritage and environmental design and engineering.

Illustration of a group of women showing the outline of their profiles with different hairstyles and skintones

The seminar saw staff and students from across our Institutes presenting their academic findings and personal experiences of gender disparity in sustainability research in the built environment. 

Dr Jenny Crawley, Senior Research Fellow at UCL Energy Institute, presented her work on the role of gender regarding low carbon heating, reflecting in particular on how heat pumps might be particularly suitable for women’s thermal comfort needs. She also shared her personal experiences of doing research whilst having babies, as sleep deprivation can have a major impact.

Asha Singh, PhD student at UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, shared the outline of her PhD project on ‘Rethinking Gender-Inclusive Energy Transition in Nepal’ in which she uses qualitative interviews, observation and evidence assessment to understand how spaces for women to engage in entrepreneurial activities within the energy system can be created.

Dr Nahid Mohajeri, Lecturer in Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources at UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, spoke about global urban-rural disparities in household air pollution that largely results from using solid fuels for cooking and heating – with especially women taking care of cooking. She showed how through the usage of cleaner fuels the indoor concentration of small particulate matter can be reduced by 65% and deaths reduced by 26%.

The in-person presentations were complemented by two pre-recorded videos by Dr Harsh Jatkar and Prof Maria Kamargianni, from UCL Energy Institute. Harsh presented initial findings from a systematic review on gender and energy that showed that the topic has received much greater attention in recent years, with most publications in energy journals as opposed to journals that explicitly focus on gender. Maria showed how the issue of a royal decree in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia that reinstated the right of women to drive led to significant mode shifting in transport as women became drivers themselves.

BSEER Director of EDI, Dr Gesche Huebner, who together with Maija Powell organized the event, shared some statistics on the current gender distribution and gender pay gap in higher education and emphasized how the Covid pandemic that particularly disadvantaged women has created new challenges for gender equality that need to be urgently addressed.

BSEER presentation for IWD 2023