Iceland's Women's Strike: Empowering Energy Equality

Female enrollment at ISE surging from 34% in 2018 to an impressive 66% in 2023


On Tuesday, October 24, tens of thousands of women and non-binary individuals from all corners of Iceland, including the nation's Prime Minister, will unite in an unprecedented full-day Women's Strike. This historic event marks the first of its kind in nearly half a century and serves as a powerful call to action. These individuals are joining forces to draw attention to the country's ongoing gender pay gap and widespread gender-based and sexual violence.

While Iceland is celebrated as a global leader in gender equality, the strike highlights the unmet core demand of valuing women's work equally. Despite being ranked first in the World Economic Forum's global gender gap index for 14 years, Icelandic women in certain professions still earn 21% less than men, and over 40% have experienced gender-based or sexual violence.

Putting Gender Equality at the Heart of the Clean Energy Transition

Amid the global mission for gender equality, the energy sector stands as a stark reminder of the work that remains to be done. Recent data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveals a discouraging statistic: 

Despite making up 39% of the global labor force women only account for 16% of the traditional energy sector. For management levels the numbers are even lower.

The energy sector is undergoing a profound transformation towards cleaner and more sustainable practices, and the need for innovative solutions and diverse perspectives is increasingly evident. The clean energy transition demands not only technological advancements but also fresh ideas and inclusive approaches.


Meet some of the remarkable women who have passed through the halls of the Iceland School of Energy (ISE). From dedicated students to successful graduates, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders, their journeys inspire us all.

For over a decade, the Iceland School of Energy (ISE) has been actively working to promote gender diversity within the energy sector. Our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable environment aligns perfectly with the evolving landscape of the clean energy transition and with the Women's Strike. As this transformation progresses, ISE remains devoted to empowering women and advocating for diversity.

Through initiatives like the Women in Energy Scholarship, which covers up to one-third of tuition for female master's program candidates, ISE has played a pivotal role in empowering women in the energy field. 

This commitment has yielded substantial results, with female enrollment at ISE surging from 34% in 2018 to an impressive 66% in 2023, demonstrating meaningful progress.

Since our inception, accomplished women have consistently held key positions, serving as inspirational figures for emerging energy professionals. From Edda Lilja Sveinsdottir in 2008 to Halla Hrund in 2012, and our current Director, Dr. Juliet Newson, who assumed the role in 2016, these remarkable leaders have played pivotal roles in shaping our institution. We extend our appreciation to them for their leadership.

As we proudly stand in solidarity with the women's strike, our shared goal is to shine a spotlight on the persistent gender inequalities within the energy sector. Together, we embark on a mission to challenge the status quo, bridge the gender pay gap, and foster an energy industry where diversity is celebrated, and all voices are valued.


About Iceland School of Energy

By bringing together the best from industry and academia, Iceland School of Energy provides a unique, and comprehensive training for its students. A wide range of courses taught by the very best in their field open a broad spectrum of possibilities for students and allow for individual study designs. Focus is put on close collaboration with industry experts while maintaining high academic quality of the work.

Full-time graduate studies

Short programmes and professional development