Labor is one of the most important issues facing the energy transition. There is a significant labor shortage across mining, manufacturing, and transportation. Yet, we are dependent on these industries to successfully achieve a clean energy world. Enabling more women to work in these sectors will help counteract labor shortages and allow them to implement sustainable practices.
Impending labor shortage
- American manufacturers are facing a looming shortage of 2.4 million workers by 2028
- Mining is not currently an aspirational industry for young technical talent (regardless of gender) to join: there has been around a 63% drop in mining engineering enrollment in Australia since 2014, and a 39% drop in mining graduations in the United States since 2016.
- American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported a shortage of 160,000 drivers by 2030.
- Demographics are working against these industries as the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old and over 50% of workers in the mining sector are over 45.
Unwelcoming to women
To make matters worse, heavy industries have historically not been welcoming of women.
Challenges for women
- Sexual harassment risk given isolated or decentralized work sites and being historically male dominated industries
- Fewer advancement roles and promotions
- Low sponsorship of women
- Limited access to the same “stepping stone” operational roles as men
- Belonging and “not being a member of the boys’ club”
- Basic female-designated facilities such as bathrooms not provided
Other Industry challenges
- Safety and sustainability challenges
- Lack of R&D and innovation
- Knowledge gap in the next decade precisely when the industry should be in full growth mode due to EVs, batteries, and grid upgrades
How women are agents of change:
- More women are going into safety and sustainability focused roles
- Opportunity to fill in impending labor shortages as more women enter and stay within the industry
- Tenured women are more inclined to remain in the mining industry helping bridge the knowledge gap
- Increases probability of raising issues and unsafe conditions to management; Inclusive teams see risk reduction by 30%
- A gender-diverse workforce is proven to yield many operational and business benefits, including the increased innovation that can help the sector overcome complex challenges and improve its license to operate. (EY)
How innovation can help:
New technologies create opportunities for women in the heavy industries. In particular, the emergence of remote operating centers (ROCs) has altered roles, and changed where they are based. EY research found that 44% of miners plan to expand their use of ROCs in the next one or two years, which has the potential to improve the appeal of the sector to women. While technologies like exoskeleton have potential reduce barriers to heavy physical labor, it needs to be designed specifically for women to increase adoption rate and limit potential for injury.
How Nomadic Venture Partners fits in:
As Nomadic Venture Partners invests in innovations that improve our target sectors, we believe more women will act as agents of change to implement new solutions and enable more sustainability and safety among these legacy industry. We have seen, heard, and lived the many challenges women face in these industries and can identify solutions that improve women’s ability to create lasting change in the industrial sectors. Just as 6 million women stepped in to fill the labor void during World War II, the next era of Rosie the Riveters have a challenge of filling in the labor void to tackle climate change.
Venture capital industry challenges
Woman are underfunded
The data is clear. Female entrepreneurs are not funded anywhere close to men. That means the innovations that specifically address challenges of women are lot less likely to see the light of day. This also means female founders don’t get a chance to have opportunities to create wealth and give back to their communities. Ultimately, the world misses out on innovation that could potentially help solve for climate change and lessen the disastrous climate damages among underprivileged communities around the world.
- 2.1% of VC dollars in the US went to all-female-founded companies in 2022
- 2.4% of founding partners in the US are women (VC report 2019)
- All-male teams raising money were four times likely to get funding than teams with just one women on them, according to a 2017 study published in Venture Capital journal.
- Attractive female entrepreneurs are 16% more likely to receive start-up business investments from men, a new study from the University of St. Gallen has shown.
- The list goes on with respect to how little funding women receive in early stage venture.
To understand the low funding numbers, we need to know the underlying bias against women. Women are simply perceived differently than their male counterparts by investors. Investors seek men’s potential while downplaying women’s experience. According to a 2017 study, the language used by investors after hearing male vs female founder pitches reflects such stereotypes.
In a broader view, women always end up seemingly on the short end of the stick. We are fully aware of such nuances as we select and support companies in our portfolio.
- Women are disproportionately affected by COVID related layoffs and unemployment
- Women are disproportionately affected by market downturns as investors get risk averse
- Women are disproportionately affected by impacts of climate change and bear heavier burden
Nomadic Venture Partners’ mission is to invest in the foundation of the energy transition and help decarbonize mining, manufacturing, and heavy transportation sectors through innovation. We cannot invest in the best technologies if diversity is not at the table. Diversity within our portfolio helps de-risk early stage investments and improves our changes of generating alpha.
Venture capital is a network driven business. As ecosystem builders, Nomadic Venture Partners creates inclusive communities and is members of many groups that celebrate diversity.
Ecosystem builders: Nomadic Venture Partners team organizes many events throughout the year. Events range from hosting networking events for female investors to inviting women leaders and executives from industrial sectors to speak at our annual conference, the Industrial Climate Tech Summit.
Active community leaders and mentors: The team supports and participates in numerous organizations that focus on gender equity in venture capital and startup ecosystem. Batchimeg is specifically involved in number of female investor communities such as Transact Global and Women in Cleantech & Sustainability.
Continuous growth: Nomadic Venture Partners team has participated in Recast Capital’s Enablement program, which are led by institutionally trained female investors. NVP also participated in Bridge’s annual conference to meet and learn from other female GPs and LPs.