Was The so-called ‘Girls’ Video The Cheesiest Moment In The History Of European Wind Energy?

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s get two of our brightest and smartest minds, have them wear pretty dresses, give them an open space, a bar (including 1970s ash tray!) and a large erect cactus – and get them to talk about a really serious topic with the aid of a wooden toy.

Oh, and just in case nobody notices that our presenters are young and good looking, let’s forget they are two of our most important experts, and just entitle them the ‘EWEA girls’. Yes, you heard right, the ‘EWEA girls’.

let’s forget they are two of our most important experts, and just entitle them the ‘EWEA girls’…

Now, some marketing experts might say that in most of the modern world this would be regarded as a limp, sexist idea and its creators would have been guided out of the building and in a taxi home before people realised it wasn’t April Fools Day (or more likely Gender Equality Day).

Of course, we would never suggest the idea was titilation, however mild, or that this was at the lazier end of the educational scale to describe an issue so important that thousands of jobs around the world rested on its public and governmental perception.

No, but we can report a film entitled the ‘EWEA Girls Explain All’ really did happen, and more importantly real time, money and effort was used to make it the principle educational film for a major EWEA Offshore Conference and Exhibition.

By all accounts the video worked well, indeed it is the Wind Europe/EWEA’s second most popular film in the last three years, bringing close to 7,000 views and initiating a whole eleven comments (now, not surprisingly, reduced by PR magic to six comments). Ten of the comments were very positive – apparently one other wind energy association liked it and one of our largest turbine manufacturers suggested ‘it has great insights’. While there was only one comment pointing out that it might be a bit too gender focused. Surely not?

We have an industry that prides itself on being the ‘new’, the ‘modern’, the ‘future’, yet it is being suggested that some of our industry leaders may have the odd tendency to go too near the base level, using innuendo and stereotypes, to get the message across. If so, and this film was among their number, then this would be quite a shock as four of the seven people given credit for it’s creation were female.

Bizarrely, even though the ill-titled film was made by the EWEA who have now changed into the rebranded Wind Europe – the film is still on the youtube feed.

As we now approach the new year and scan for the all-important conferences and exhibitions that will take place across Europe, many have been looking forward, perhaps too eagerly, for the latest ‘girls’ promotional videos.

Sadly, Wind.TV couldn’t find one – and we even kept an eye out for wind industry press releases entitled things like ‘Hot, Wet And Windy’ or ‘Offshore Blowout’ … just in case!

However, as good and diligent journalists, we did try and find out what happened and discovered that, by pure coincidence, the ‘girls’ in the film have since left the EWEA / Wind Europe.

Maybe their new employers were based in a more convenient location for their needs as individuals, maybe the money was better – or possibly they just wanted to work in the 21st Century.

Who knows? But hopefully the new fangled Wind Europe will be slightly more grown up in its policy to female staff than to project them, not as members of a hen party coming to an event near you, but as what they are – experts in the very complex and important field of renewable energy.

Of course, we are not saying that Wind Europe may have moments of sexism. Indeed, it was only six years ago that the EWEA put out a news release suggesting that the: “Wind industry can become a role model for gender equality”.

http://www.ewea.org/news/detail/2010/04/20/wind-directions-wind-industry-can-become-a-role-model-for-gender-equality/



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