If you ask the average person on the street who they think designs, manufactures, installs and services the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment that cools our homes and offices, keeps our food fresh and preserves our vaccines, most people would not typically think of a woman. And yet, they should. Women engineers, technicians, trainers and professors are increasingly working in this traditionally male-dominated field and making significant contributions to its professional development. Refrigeration and air-conditioning are crucial for our health, nutrition, comfort and well-being. From prevention of food wastage to preservation of vaccines, from air-conditioning in hospitals to our homes, we increasingly rely on the advances that refrigeration has brought us. However, all around the world the sector has always been a largely male-dominated work environment. The fast-growing sector can offer a wide variety of interesting and fulfilling careers for women as well as men.
UNEP OzonAction and UN Women have compiled this booklet to raise awareness of the opportunities available to women and to highlight the particular experiences and examples of women working in the sector and to recognise their successes. Some of the stories in this publication read like curriculum vitae, some are very moving and personal, others were more straightforward and explanatory. However, all the 107 submissions that were received from 50 countries, provide important information and experiences that bring insight into the lives of women working in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector around the world. Being aware of these experiences and the opportunities available can encourage and inspire other women to consider similar careers and support girls to seek to follow a career path in this fast growing and important sector. This inspirational document should be interesting and widely outreached to the general public, to schools, training centres and those preparing for future careers.