A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Bringing the Woman’s Dimension to the Fuel and Energy Sector
14 October 2021
16:45—18:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Female managers assume a more active role in promoting the sustainability agenda and implementing corporate ESG standards

The whole topic of ESG and the whole agenda in general is one which is characteristically female, broadly speaking, because the whole goal of sustainability is to care for future generations. Ultimately that’s more of a female attribute. Our efforts to achieve gender equality aside, we all recognize that each sex has innate qualities. In that respect, caring for future generations clearly fits in more with women’s roles — Natalya Nevmerzhitskaya, Chairman of the Board, Association of Energy Suppliers.

The energy industry is the driver of the Russian economy. It’s also a very socially responsible sector. I’m not just talking about the benefits that energy companies give their employees. I’m talking about the environments and cultures within these companies that emphasize the development of human capital and human resource development, as well as respect for individuals. […] It goes without saying that Russia is a socially-oriented state, and by definition the energy industry puts people first. The energy industry plays a critically important role in ensuring the continuity of supply and energy security. It forms the basis of social wellbeing, — Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

In 2021, women held 24% of board seats on average worldwide. In Europe, 32% of board members were women, compared to 28.6% in South America — Tamara Merebashvili, Deputy General Director, Head of the Corporate and Property Relations Unit, Corporate Secretary, PJSC Inter RAO; Chairman of the Board, Digital Energy Association.

I think that there’s nothing stopping men or women becoming professional leaders. There are probably fewer women in those positions because that’s women’s choice. I’ve never witnessed men limiting women’s career progression in any way. There are less women in those positions, but that’s women’s choice. I’ve never been challenged by a man, only women — Maria Tikhonova, Deputy General Director for Regulatory Relations, Rosseti.

ISSUES
The lack of women in technical disciplines

[It’s essential to] increase technical skill sets, because women generally end up going into law, finance and administration. They structure systems. […] If we’re talking about the role of women in companies, I’d be inclined to say that they are structurers. What I mean by that is that their femininity manifests itself in the workplace. That is, they generally coordinate all the potential paths and directions that exist in a company. Because of this, I feel that we’re seeing an increase in education levels, skills and qualifications in engineering-related fields. For example, we support the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. An awful lot of women are going into engineering at the moment — Maria Tikhonova, Deputy General Director for Regulatory Relations, Rosseti.

Some foreign partners have gender-based stereotypes

As a public company we are very much subject to this kind of pressure, because over 10% of our share capital is distributed among investors in foreign countries. In a sense, this community of investors has certain characteristics. […] For us, it’s obviously absurd to hear our foreign colleagues say that women should be elsewhere. We get this binary feeling, like a kind of internal crisis. It’s like, we’re the same level of seniority as you and we don’t have personal experience of any sort of pressure or restrictions. We’re told that we need more quotas and rights for women, but isn’t it bigger than that? No one is preventing us from developing or studying. There aren’t any barriers to work or further study. Women have to meet the same requirements as men — Tamara Merebashvili, Deputy General Director, Head of the Corporate and Property Relations Unit, Corporate Secretary, PJSC Inter RAO; Chairman of the Board, Digital Energy Association.

Ultimately, there are still obstacles for us to overcome. There are regulations in place preventing women from working in over 200 types of job or profession. These are linked to health hazards and so on. […] We did a corporate survey and found that 17% is the average [proportion of women on boards of directors] — Zhanat Zhakhmetova, Vice-Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

SOLUTIONS
Create a corporate culture based on gender equality, including in the energy industry

At the moment there’s a lively discussion under way on a bill aimed at strengthening paternity leave provisions. A decree could be adopted to enable men to fulfil parental responsibilities which have previously been seen as largely or exclusively belonging to women. I therefore think that societal, psychological and individual attitudes are going to change very quickly, more quickly than we think they are, — Olga Golyshenkova, President, Association of Civilians and Organizations for Corporate Learning and Development MAKO.

There should be a non-discriminatory balance of professional, ambitious people working towards the same goal, no matter if they are men or women. […] What’s important is what kind of person you are, your professional ambitions, how skilled you are in your area of expertise and your honesty and fairness — Tamara Merebashvili, Deputy General Director, Head of the Corporate and Property Relations Unit, Corporate Secretary, PJSC Inter RAO; Chairman of the Board, Digital Energy Association.

One of the current problems with digitalization in the energy sector, at least in Kazakhstan, is that it involves working with data. We have to work with data, build cases and draw conclusions based on this data. I think it’s high time that these data analysts and IT architects were women — Zhanat Zhakhmetova, Vice-Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

To increase corporate productivity, we need to look at individuals and what they bring to the table, irrespective of gender differences — Natalya Nevmerzhitskaya, Chairman of the Board, Association of Energy Suppliers.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS