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Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning, and Heat-pumps (RACHP) are crucial for our health, nutrition, comfort, and well-being. It is one of the sectors that crosscuts many of the UN sustainable development goals and can contribute significantly to safeguard the environment, advance welfare of humanity and support the growth of employment and economics worldwide. Over 15 million people are employed worldwide in the refrigeration industry, which means that almost 5 out of 1000 people have a job linked to the manufacturing, installation, maintenance and servicing of refrigeration equipment.
Women are highly under-represented in this sector as indicated by the fact that only 6% of the members of national refrigeration associations / organisations / institutions are women. As the need for RACHP professionals continues to grow, a high potential that can be unleashed by encouraging women to pursue education and job opportunities in this sector. [1] In 2019, the UNEP OzonAction and UN Women published a booklet of stories of women from 50 countries who work in the RACHP sector to raise awareness of the opportunities available to women and recognise their success. The booklet showcased inspirational career experiences from many women across the globe, but also highlighted some of the challenges.
In order to better understand the background, motivation, challenges, and opportunities faced by women working in RACHP a worldwide survey was undertaken by the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and OzonAction of UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with several partners.