Posted by Rosana Francescato
There’s nothing like coming to the solar industry from publishing and high tech to highlight the issue of women in the workplace. I didn’t think about this much when most of my colleagues were women, and only now and then when about half of them were. But somehow, being part of the mere 18.7% of U.S. solar workers who are women makes you think about it a bit more.
I’m not alone. The subject has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, not least at the recent Intersolar North America. A few sessions there were devoted to the issue, and a number of recent articles have tackled it. And it’s not all talk: more people and organizations are trying to take concrete actions to get more women into solar.
Why is it important to bring more women into the solar industry? It’s not complicated:
So what’s stopping more women from going into solar? With its roots in construction, solar has come out of a male-dominated profession — one with even fewer women, at only 12%. Now that the industry is expanding and can support all kinds of positions, more women are coming into it.
But it can still be hard to overcome the initial hurdles:
What to do? There’s no quick or easy solution, but already a number of initiatives are in the works to help women in solar. Plus, women can do a lot to help ourselves and one another — which will help the industry as a whole.
And is it just me, or were there far fewer booth babes at this year’s Intersolar?
* Read more:
Now Hiring: Why We Need a Diverse Solar Workforce, and How We Get There
Solar 2014 Conference: Bringing Down Barriers for Women in Solar
The Business of Bringing More Women Into Solar
Out with Booth Babes, In with Women Solar Professionals at SPI
The Results Are In: Women Are Major Residential Solar Customers!
This post was originally published on PV Solar Report
Rosana Francescato is Director of Communications at Sunible.com, an online marketplace that’s radically simplifying the home solar buying experience. She’s on the board of Women in Cleantech and Sustainability and the steering committee of theLocal Clean Energy Alliance. She’s been the top individual fundraiser at the GRID Alternatives Bay Area Solarthon four years in a row.
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