Artificial intelligence (AI) policy: ASHRAE prohibits the entry of content from any ASHRAE publication or related ASHRAE intellectual property (IP) into any AI tool, including but not limited to ChatGPT. Additionally, creating derivative works of ASHRAE IP using AI is also prohibited without express written permission from ASHRAE.

logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

ASHRAE Joins Initiative to Support Opportunities for Women in the Cooling Sector

Share This

  • 18 Apr 2022
  • Atlanta, GA

ASHRAE Joins Initiative to Support Opportunities for Women in the Cooling Sector

Karen Buckley Washington
Senior Public Relations Specialist

ATLANTA (April 18, 2022) – ASHRAE, along with other key international organizations, has launched an initiative to advance career opportunities for women in the cooling sector.

The International Network for Women in Cooling (INWIC) has been created to advance engagement, promote career opportunities and increase overall participation of women in the cooling sector, which includes refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pumps (RACHP). The initiative is led by the World Refrigeration Day (WRD) Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction, in cooperation with the following influential international organizations representing the building industry worldwide: AIRAH (Australia), AREA (Europe), ASHRAE (Global), CAR (China), FAIAR (Latin America), IIR (Global), IOR (UK), ISHRAE (India), JSRAE (Japan), U-3ARC (Africa), and Women in HVAC&R (North America).

“ASHRAE is committed to providing a welcoming environment to all people and celebrates its diverse culture through an active global membership,” said 2021-22 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, LEED AP. “The INWIC initiative aligns with our Society’s deeply valued diversity, equity and inclusion principles and we enthusiastically support efforts to expand the landscape for women to participate fully in the research and development of emerging cooling technologies.”

INWIC will connect women in the predominantly male cooling sector, empowering success through networking, mentoring, education and opportunities to shine as visible role models, fostering a lasting legacy to inspire the next generation of women innovators and problem solvers. It will also offer an avenue to individual women, especially from developing countries, to gain career experience and development that may otherwise prove inaccessible.

“There are not enough visible 'women in cooling’ role models. We want to change that,” said Stephen Gill – Head of the WRD Secretariat. “We will create a resource for girls and young women to see videos and read real-life stories from a diverse range of women in different roles within the cooling sector. This will also serve to connect and inspire women currently working in the cooling sector.”

The INWIC initiative contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s blueprint for addressing global challenges to achieve a better and more sustainable future.

Goals of the initiative include:

  • Gender equality for women, including equality of opportunity.
  • Improved livelihoods through job creation and employment.
  • Making cities and people’s lives more sustainable.
  • Climate adaptation and mitigation.

An important role of the INWIC initiative is to serve as a platform to promote environmental stewardship within the cooling sector. This includes, among other issues, proper and safe management of refrigerants like HFCs, HCFCs, hydrocarbons and new alternatives.

“The cooling sector is critical for achieving environmental objectives, including the continued success of the Montreal Protocol and for addressing climate change. If they are to meet their compliance obligations, countries need a strong, vibrant, and inclusive cooling sector,” said James Curlin – Head of UNEP OzonAction. “Women represent a tremendous, largely untapped source of innovation and skills for this sector, and they need to be actively engaged if we are to solve the great environmental challenges of our time. INWIC seeks to do just that.”

In the coming months, the INWIC initiative’s founding partners will introduce several programs that directly support individual women and young girls to further engage and find opportunities that can support career advancement, exposure to cooling education disciplines and active engagement with the cooling community.


Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global professional society committed to serve humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and their allied fields.

As an industry leader in research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE and its members are dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable built environment for all, through strategic partnerships with organizations in the HVAC&R community and across related industries.

The Society is showcasing integrated building solutions and sustainability in action through the opening of the ASHRAE Global Headquarters building in metro-Atlanta, Georgia. The state-of-the-art, high-performing net-zero-energy efficient global headquarters building is a destination venue for industry representatives, visiting from around the world, who are looking to experience cutting-edge engineering and architectural interventions.

For more information and to stay up-to-date on ASHRAE, visit and connect on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About World Refrigeration Day (WRD)

World Refrigeration Day is an independent organisation formed in 2019 to raise awareness of the RACHP sector.  Its primary focus is an awareness day held on June 26th each year.  It is independent of all industry membership and trade associations/societies.  It is widely supported and respected for both for its aims and its independence. This wide support makes it ideal to bring together different associations from around the world that may resist similar initiatives if led by one or a small group of associations.

Discussions with a number of these bodies (industry bodies and commercial businesses) and their women’s groups indicate enthusiastic support for the formation of INWIC with support provided by the WRD Secretariat.

About UNEP OzonAction

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development. UNEP is an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. OzonAction strengthens the capacity of governments - particularly the operational focal points known as National Ozone Units - and industry in developing countries to elaborate and enforce the policies required to implement the Protocol and to make informed decisions about alternative technologies.