Colleen Keyworth elected first INWIC president


06 December 2022
INWIC's Colleen Keyworth and Dr Ina Colombo-Youla

Colleen Keyworth has been appointed as the first president of the International Network for Women in Cooling (INWIC). She will be succeeded by Dr Ina Colombo-Youla, who was elected president-elect.

Formed earlier this year, INWIC was the idea of World Refrigeration Day founder Steve Gill. It aims to advance the engagement of women, promote career opportunities, and increase their overall participation in the refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pumps (RACHP) sector.

Colleen Keyworth is the 2022 president of US group Women in HVACR and has served on the group board for the last nine years. During her tenure, the organisation has grown from 100 to over 900 members.

She said: “This is completely uncharted territory, but I look forward to the challenge. It will be important to break down the barriers and learn how to work together, not just in our own silos and districts. 

“INWIC is such an important organisation because for the first time ever we are being intentional about uniting women’s industry groups from all over the world. By doing so, we are able to gather resources and share proven strategies and programmes in order to skip the learning curve for groups that are just getting started. I am excited to work with Ina and to get to know the rest of the other INWIC partners. I can’t wait to tackle the challenge of bringing everyone together to open up the industry to all people.”

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Dr. Ina Colombo-Youla is the deputy director general of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) where she oversees the promotion of the refrigeration industry worldwide.

The appointments were made after a unanimous vote during the recent quarterly INWIC board meeting. Representatives from 12 of the 13 founding partners attended the virtual meeting, despite time zone differences, and voted on the nominations that had been previously submitted. The remainder of the board comprises representatives from each founding partner – a delegate plus an alternate with WRD and UNEP OzonAction jointly managing the secretariat. 

During the meeting, nominations were also accepted for three working groups: Mentorship, Membership, and Media. These groups will meet on a more regular basis and report back to the board. 

  • INWIC is led by the World Refrigeration Day (WRD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction as a joint Secretariat, in cooperation with founding partners 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 HVACR (North America).