Women4Climate helps women to develop the climate knowledge and leadership skills they need to tackle the climate crisis in cities across the world.
Women are still poorly represented in the global climate agenda, particularly in scientific, political and decision-making circles. Yet they have a substantial opportunity to act on climate change. And with two thirds of the global population set to be living in cities by 20501, we must unlock the potential of women to innovate towards the UN’s 2030 vision for sustainable and inclusive cities. To help create the women climate leaders of the future, the Fondation L’Oréal and C40 Cities have joined forces to build the capacity of promising women project developers and innovators through the Women4Climate program. Together, we support women in developing their climate knowledge and leadership skills through mentoring, remote training and networking opportunities. We work with cities at the forefront of climate action to engage with women residents to accelerate innovative, inclusive projects and solutions to address local challenges.
1 United Nations, 2018
2 See the Women4Climate report “Gender Inclusive Climate Action: How Women’s Leadership and Expertise can shape Sustainable and Inclusive Cities”.
Despite their decisive role in the success of the Paris Agreement negotiations, there were just 8% women among the 150 heads of state at the COP21 conference.
Building women’s capacity for climate action
Since 2017, the Women4Climate mentorship program, founded by L’Oréal and C40 Cities, supports women to accelerate local projects aimed at adapting or mitigating the effects of climate change and fostering inclusion and equity. It matches mentors (committed leaders from the public and private sectors, international organizations, and civil society members) with emerging women leaders at different stages of developing their climate solutions.
Between 2017 and 2020, 22 mentorship programs were launched in 16 cities (Addis Ababa, Auckland, Barcelona, Freetown, Lisbon, Lima, London, Mexico City, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Quito, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver), with over 300 participants.
In 2021, the partnership was renewed under the aegis of the Fondation L’Oréal to broaden the scope of the program and support over 600 women by 2023. Every year, 10 major cities will engage women who are passionate about finding innovative and inclusive solutions to tackle climate change.
The Women4Climate mentorship program advances the full participation of women and those who identify as a woman in the climate change sphere, by providing them access to global climate leaders and inspiring role models from their city. We build climate action knowledge, offer networking opportunities and foster leadership skills, political engagement and peer-to-peer learning experiences within key sectors for building urban resilience.
The Women4Climate initiative has also launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to strengthen women's climate leadership skills and provide them with tools to effectively develop their projects on the ground. Developed in partnership with the Columbia Climate School and CARE France, this training program is open to all on the Coursera platform and leads to a certificate upon completion.