Women-led businesses more effective at fighting climate change

Smoking power plant chimney over a town

Britain became the first G7 country last year to set in law a net zero emissions target by 2050, and has been looking to renewables to provide alternative sources of energy. Photo: Getty

Female bosses have proven to be more effective leaders on climate goals, according to new research. 

A report from For Purpose Jobs found that compared to “regular” firms, impact companies had more female CEOs and founders, and raised more funding rounds.

The platform, which specialises in finding careers in climate change, says that businesses that aim to solve climate change and social issues were more dominated by women.

Female co-founded impact organisations raised 32% more funding rounds than regular female co-founded companies with at least one female founder.

Despite raising more rounds, impact companies with at least one female co-founder still received 50% less investment than regular firms with at least one female co-founder

According to the research, impact companies have 3.7 more female CEOs than FTSE 100 (^FTSE) companies. This means there are 271% more female-led impact companies compared to regular ones with female CEOs. 

This places impact firms 82 years ahead of FTSE 100 companies at current rates, it said. The organisation added if this pace of growth is maintained, there will be 26 FTSE 100 female CEOs in the year 2102.

Climate change has been in the spotlight in recent years and many countries have pledged to reach net zero emissions to meet global environment goals.

With the COP26 Conference coming to Glasgow this year, world leaders also seek to affirm their climate change goals and explore ways to combat the looming spectre of environmental disaster.

Experts say the inclusion of women leads to stronger outcomes on climate change. Oil firms with higher female representation at board level are more likely to have set decarbonisation strategies, showing a positive correlation between gender diversity and improving climate governance. 

Read more: Global ban on gas boilers proposed from 2025

Earlier this week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) proposed a global ban on new fossil fuel boilers starting from 2025, as part of its vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The IEA’s plans, announced on Tuesday, also include halting sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars by 2035, and phasing out all unabated coal and oil power plants by 2040.

Britain became the first G7 country last year to set in law a net zero emissions target by 2050, so it is legally bound to deliver on that and has been looking to renewables to provide alternative sources of energy.

In December last year, during the United Nations Climate summit, the UK submitted a new national climate plan — or nationally determined contribution (NDC) — which confirms its pledge to cut greenhouse gas pollution by at least 68% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

Industry figures show that last year, over 30% of Britain’s electricity was generated by gas-fired power plants, while the offshore industry met about 45% of its overall energy needs in 2019.

Data also revealed that flaring in the UK North Sea declined by 22% in 2020 from the previous year as production facilities cut the overall volume to 33 billion cubic feet.

The reduction which is roughly equivalent to the gas demand of 200,000 UK homes — is the lowest level of flaring on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) on Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) records.

Watch: Solving climate crisis will require ‘total transformation’ of global energy use, IEA report says