For the clean energy economy to move into the third pillar of sustainability, (ethics/social sustainability) there needs to be equal access for all. A large part of that is the role women will play. There are a few significant women in the field, including Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx. Her inspirational TED Talk can be seen below.
Two programs in particular are working toward gearing clean energy jobs for women. Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin, Texas and the Department of Energy have implemented programs to increase the number of women in the green careers. ACC’s goal is a two-fold increase in women’s participation in the green economy.
While the ACC program focuses on training, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to the upper reaches of management to open access to women. According to the DOE press release, The Clean Energy Education and Empowerment initiative or “C3E” is “aimed at attracting more women to clean energy careers and supporting their advancement into leadership positions.” C3E’s mission is “to inspire and connect women around clean energy issues in order to attract more young women to these important careers and support their advancement into leadership positions.” The initiative will be a collaborative effort with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is headed by President Susan Hockfield. Hockfield was quoted in the press release as saying the “fullest range and depth of talent, ideas and commitment; by definition, then, women must play essential roles in the drive toward transformative energy innovations.”
The United States joins Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom in the effort to bring women into the clean energy sector.