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Columbia Energy Exchange

Diversity in Energy Finance

The importance of diversity in energy finance is gaining attention as more investors look closer at how companies are stacking up when it comes to the representation of women and minorities on their boards of directors and in their management ranks.

And it is not just the energy sector discovering this trend. It is taking place across corporations in the U.S. and around the world, a point illustrated in a new commentary from the Center on Global Energy Policy.

In this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless joins two of the authors of that commentary, Maria Jelescu, the CEO of Ardinall Investment Management, and Jully Meriño Carela, the director of the Women in Energy (WIE) initiative at CGEP.

Maria also co-chairs the WIE steering committee and serves on the center’s advisory board. She and Jully co-authored the commentary with Amy Myers Jaffe, the managing director of the Climate Policy Lab at Tufts University’s Fletcher School and a co-chair of the WIE steering committee.

In the commentary, the authors make clear that the social aspects of ESG — or environmental, social and governance considerations — are front and center now as pressure mounts on energy companies to address the gender and racial makeup of their operations and recognize the value of diversity to them.

The commentary is called “The Social Aspects of ESG Investing: Insights on Diversity in Energy Finance.”

The discussion is particularly timely now amid a new shareholder proxy season, as investors press companies on ESG factors, and the Biden administration signals that closer government scrutiny of these matters may be in order.

Maria founded Ardinall Investment in 2017 as a firm focused on sustainability and climate change solutions. Previously, she spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs in various investment roles. Jully worked in labor and nonprofit fields before joining the Center on Global Energy Policy and taking charge of the Women in Energy initiative. Its mission is to elevate women in the energy sector at all career stages.

The commentary can be found here.

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