Illuminating the way to gender opportunities in engineering

Challenge

Light-emitting diode (LED) has emerged as the most energy-efficient technology, using at least 75% less energy and lasting more than 20 times longer than incandescent lighting. The Pacific coastal city of Ensenada in Mexico, home to close to 500,000 people, has made the decision of putting this technology to work. The local government used LED technology to replace 25,000 sodium vapor lamps in the roadway lighting system. This project was executed by Optima Energia, a Mexican energy service company with a unique business model to develop integrated energy efficiency projects.

In an effort to strengthen its own operations, Optima Energia decided to increase women’s representation in its own talent pipeline, which has gravitated around traditionally male-dominated environments such as engineering and related fields. The Canadian Climate Fund provided support to this project in multiple areas. The Fund provided financial resources to mitigate climate change and improve public safety to municipalities. It also provided advisory services for the implementation of multiple measures to promote gender diversity within the company.

Project highlights

• In July 2015, the IDB Group approved a US$9.2 million loan and C2F co-financed the project with US$4.6 million. By doing so, the IDB Group and C2F filled a finance gap where it was too risky for other players to come in.
• C2F is supporting Optima Energía in transforming its corporate culture through the implementation of multiple initiatives to promote gender equality inside the company.