Posted by Guest Contributor
By Christie McCarthy
Originally published on the Vista Solar blog
Advanced nations are beginning to understand this phenomenon: that healthy economies cannot exist without the contributions of women; and to the extent that women thrive, countries thrive. As Secretary of State John Kerry says, “women’s issues are not just women’s issues, they’re family issues, they’re economic issues, they’re community issues.” In 2011, that key understanding inspired Hillary Clinton to create TechWomen, a professional and cultural exchange program for women from Africa and the Middle East.
Having spent the last five weeks immersed as a mentor in TechWomen 2014, I’m compelled to share my observations.
In order to participate, young women from Africa and the Middle East apply for 78 highly competitive spots. Those selected are the cream of the crop: educated, accomplished, and disposed toward careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The selection process is no less competitive for mentors (both professional and cultural) who need to show capacity, accomplishment, and commitment.
What happens next is:
This is good for American security.
Christie McCarthy has held management positions within the three key solar industry market segments of manufacturing, distribution and integration. She recently spoke on the Women in Renewables panel at Intersolar North America, and is the co-founder of the popular annual solar industry event, Solar Battle of the Bands, which is now entering its fifth highly successful year. In addition to her work in solar, Christie is an award-winning singer-songwriter and the creator of the solar anthem and video, Rise and Shine.
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