The International Network of Women in Cooling (INWIC), a coalition of organizations promoting gender diversity in the HVAC&R sector, has issued a survey for women in the natural refrigeration industry in North America with the goal of “advancing diversity and understanding the experiences of women in the industry.”

The survey, which is open to all women working in the natural refrigerants industry in the U.S. and Canada, is supported by the International Institute of All-Natural Refrigeration (IIAR), formerly known as the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

“By sharing experiences and perspectives, [survey participants] will contribute valuable data that will help improve career opportunities and foster greater diversity within our industry,” said the IIAR in an email. “Participation in this survey is crucial in ensuring that the voices and experiences of women in natural refrigeration are heard and taken into account.”

The INWIC said it hopes to gain a better understanding of the motivations, challenges and opportunities faced by women working in the sector. The survey results will be used to develop initiatives and programs aimed at supporting women in their careers and promoting inclusivity in the industry. Survey responses will remain anonymous and be used for research purposes only, it added. 

“Engagement of women in this sector is either under-represented or unrecognized around the globe despite the high potential that can be unleashed by encouraging women to pursue education and job opportunities in HVACR,” said INWIC.

“By sharing experiences and perspectives, [survey participants] will contribute valuable data that will help improve career opportunities and foster greater diversity within our industry. Participation in this survey is crucial in ensuring that the voices and experiences of women in natural refrigeration are heard and taken into account.”

IIAR

A massive gender gap

According to the “Women in Cooling” report published by the IIR in 2022, only 6% of the members of national refrigeration associations are women. The report was based on survey data, and, of the survey respondents, just 11% worked in North America. The INWIC was launched that same year in an effort to accelerate diversification in the sector.

The IIAR will also host a workshop on diversity and inclusion in the natural refrigeration industry at the IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference in Orlando, Florida, from March 24–27. The workshop will take place from 1:30–3:30 pm EDT on Monday, March 25.

“Together, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all professionals in our field,” it said.