Pirjo Jantunen appointed Clean Energy Ambassador to IEA’s technology programme
Pirjo Jantunen, Business Development Manager at Helen Oy, was appointed Finland’s Clean Energy Ambassador to International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) technology programme on 8 March 2021. International energy ambassadors serve as frontrunners making the energy sector more equal and as role models for women leaders of the next generation.
Jantunen has more than 10 years of experience in the energy sector. She has worked on business development, corporate responsibility and strategy at Helen. Jantunen also chaired the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders network in 2015–2018. Jantunen is an advocate of a sustainable energy system and equality. She holds a Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Jyväskylä.
“I’m very happy to represent Finland in the IEA’s C3E programme. The energy sector is undergoing a rapid transition, especially because of the climate crisis. Organisations must change, think in new ways and introduce new practices in order to be successful during this transition,” Jantunen says.
“Diverse organisations are more prepared for change. In honour of the International Women’s Day, I would like to urge everyone to encourage girls and women to join the energy sector, become future leaders and build more diverse work communities,” she adds.
New kinds of skills and competences are needed for the energy transition. While jobs disappear from the fossil energy sector, more and more jobs will be created in the renewable energy sector, which requires higher education and skills. Participation of women in the development of the energy sector at all levels is considered a factor promoting the introduction of clean energy globally.
Only about a quarter of those working in the energy sector in Finland are women. Of the managerial and board positions, women hold only 10 per cent. Educational and occupational segregation based on gender has not decreased much in 30 years. According to the Youth Future Report 2020, the top five list of the most popular occupations by girls does not include any of the occupations on the boys’ list.
Based on a recent study by Aalto University on the skills and educational needs required by the energy transition, there is a need for more comprehensive skills that combine competences and knowledge from different fields. The report estimates that in 2035 the construction and maintenance of renewable energy sectors could employ about 17,000 people in Finland. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the number of jobs in renewable energy will rise globally from the current 11.5 million to 30 million by 2030.
Clean Energy Ambassadors have been appointed in Finland since 2013, when the project was launched at the Clean Energy Ministerial in New Delhi. The other two energy ambassadors appointed by Finland are Heli Antila from Fortum Oyj and Mari Pantsar from the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
Kati Veijonen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7170
Pirjo Jantunen, Business Development Manager, Helen Oy, tel. +358 40 336 0565