Expert Interview with Dr. Karla Cedano, President of the XXI Board of Directors of ANES

Expert Interviews – Friday, June 24, 2022

The world economy faces the most important energy challenges in history: the imminent transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, energy security in the face of geopolitical crises with global reach, and the democratization of energy in the face of disparities in the distribution of wealth. What role does ANES play in the particular situation of Mexico?

As the Civil Association with the longest tradition in Mexico and the only one that brings together industry, academia and society in all areas related to solar energy, we believe that we are a network that allows us to form intersectoral and interdisciplinary alliances to move towards an energy transformation. In a strategic prospective planning exercise that we did, we were able to identify the importance for our association of conceiving that the promotion of the solar industry, the promotion of research and the promotion of education are a means to achieve social welfare within the framework of sustainable development. In this way, we are not only creating spaces for discussion within the sector, but more importantly, towards the governmental sector at the federal and local levels.

ANES is an association that represents various sectors in Mexico that promote the use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources. However, it tends to be defined as a purely academic association. What actions has the current Board of Directors taken to increase the participation of the solar industry and a more direct link with the user industry?

In these two years we were able to activate all the Secretariats of the Board of Directors, and thus a board was formed in which 12 of the 24 members are from the industrial sector. This gave us a dynamic that was more receptive to the needs of the industry. In this way, we hold working groups with the membership to work together on the challenges we face, we participate in programs that finance and promote the development of our industry and finally, we actively collaborate with the leading industrial associations in the sector: AMIF, ASOLMEX, FAMERAC and SOTECSOL, because we are convinced that together we are stronger.

ANES' leadership in gender equity is convincing. What have been the keys to success and how can we get more associations in the sector to promote policies that allow more women to access leadership positions?

Undoubtedly, the strategic prospective planning exercise was a turning point, which made visible the commitment to the gender and inclusion agenda of all the members of the Board of Directors. The diversity with which we invited this team is fundamental. Nine women in a board of 24, an age range that goes from 30 to 70 years old, 12 people from the industry, 2 from the government sector and the rest from the academic sector, undoubtedly represent a wide range of interests and motivations. This diversity enriches us and allowed us to unanimously agree on the importance of closing the gender gap as soon as possible. Undoubtedly having 4 feminist activists on the board was important, as we found a way to communicate better and express the importance of embedding principles of equity and inclusion. I am convinced that integrating diverse councils, where respect and openness to dialogue prevail, is the key to raise progressive ideas, discuss them and, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, with patience and perseverance, make another Mexico possible.

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