AWS for Industries

Women Reinventing Energy

The energy sector is increasingly recognizing the vital importance of women and diversity in driving innovation, enhancing decision-making, and fostering sustainable growth. In an era where global energy challenges are complex and multifaceted, the inclusion of diverse perspectives, particularly from women, is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity. By embracing diversity, the energy sector can unlock a wealth of untapped potential, leading to more comprehensive and creative solutions to meet the world’s energy needs. This paradigm shift towards greater gender diversity is not only beneficial for the industry’s progress but is also essential for shaping a more equitable and resilient energy future.

In 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed striking statistics. Despite making up 48% of the global labor force, women accounted for only 22% of the workforce in the oil and gas sector, 19.5% in Power & Utilities in the US (2019 data), and 32% in renewables. A closer look at the data uncovers alarming trends regarding women’s opportunities to advance. In March 2022, a joint analysis by the IEA and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) explored data from approximately 2,500 firms in energy-related sectors, discovering that women comprised less than 14% of senior managers. As of 2022, only one in five leadership roles in the energy sector are held by women, according to the World Economic Forum. Furthermore, a study across 72 countries found that women hold only 6% of ministerial positions responsible for national energy policies and programs.

In response to this challenge, passionate women within AWS Energy came together to launch a program to make progress in these areas. Due to the tremendous interest across the industry and across the world, AWS Energy introduced Women Reinventing Energy (WRE) in 2021. WRE is volunteer-led affinity group that welcomes women, non-binary individuals, customers, partners, and allies from AWS and other organizations in the Energy industry. Their mission is nothing short of inspirational: to build community and allies, develop and enhance female talent, and empower the workforce of the future.

Recently, AWS Energy was proud to support the ADIPEC forum for diversity, equity and inclusion, and host the networking luncheon. This event marked the thirteenth Women Reinventing Energy event in 2023. From diverse corners of the globe, including London, San Diego, Stavanger, Houston, Munich, and Abu Dhabi, the AWS Energy team has consistently orchestrated WRE initiatives at key, pivotal industry events, such as DTECH, CERAWeek, re:Invent, the AWS Energy Symposium and many more. These events are where future energy strategies and policies are developed – these are also the events where we have the opportunity to reinvent energy and to reinvent how women can accelerate that progress across all levels.

As part of our participation in ADIPEC, AWS joined 15 other conference sessions and panels. One of our colleagues, Yasmine Afiifi, served as a panelist in the DE&I conference titled “Accelerating Gender Parity to Facilitate the Energy Transition and Climate Ambitions.” The discussion brimmed with optimism, focusing on how increasing diversity can supercharge business and innovation opportunities. The conversation underscored the challenge of attracting and retaining women due to the lack of female role models but exuded an electrifying sense of hope. The message was clear: creating an equitable environment for women is the key to a triumphant energy transition and achieving climate goals. Yasmine added her spirited perspective, highlighting how AWS’s innovations wouldn’t have been possible without our diverse teams, which empower us to think bigger and differently about the products and services they build for customers across the globe. She also shared some of the concrete actions that AWS has taken to drive diversity and equity, creating a work environment where employees thrive in a culture of inclusion and belonging.

On November 27, AWS will be kicking off AWS re:Invent and we will be further highlighting exceptional female leaders across various industries, including energy. We encourage you to attend to hear about the latest innovations in energy and how we are continuing to scale our program of Women Reinventing Energy.

We encourage you to partner with us to grow the community of Women Reinventing Energy by signing up to become a member of this global program.

Samhita Shah

Samhita Shah

Samhita Shah has over 25 years of experience in marketing across energy, manufacturing, and chemical industries. She is currently Head of Marketing for Energy & Utilities at Amazon Web Services, where she is responsible for AWS Energy industry marketing across oil & gas, power & utilities, and renewables globally. Before joining AWS, Samhita was the Head of Marketing for Emerson’s E&P Software business. Samhita is a co-founder of AWS Women Reinventing Energy.

Sarah Anstee

Sarah Anstee

Sarah Anstee leads energy marketing programs in EMEA and APJ for AWS. Sarah has 25 years of international marketing experience and has worked in the energy sector for more than two decades, from upstream E&P, grid automation, engineering and digitisation, renewables and most recently EV infrastructure Sarah is co-founder of Women Reinventing Energy and is driven by an equitable and sustainable energy transition.