How the Gender Gap in Renewable Energy Is Lessening

The gender gap in industry sectors has always been a problem — particularly the gender gap in manufacturing. Women have traditionally not gone into these types of jobs, and there have been few incentive programs to get them into them. However, in one area, that may be changing. That area is renewable energy, where one-third of wind and solar energy jobs are occupied by women. That may not seem that high, but it is a significant jump over other technology-related fields.

Why are more women going into the sustainable energy sector? Part of the reason might be the efforts of WRISE (Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy), an organization whose goal is just that: to get more women into sustainable energy fields. Among other initiatives, WRISE offers “Wind at Our Backs” scholarships to encourage women to pursue wind power technology careers.

Five years ago, women held only 20 to 25 percent of these jobs, so the numbers are encouraging in their indication that women are closing the gap in this area. Many companies that work in wind power, solar power, biofuels and other sustainable energy areas are very interested in hiring more women, but it is a challenge to find qualified, motivated candidates. Thanks to organizations like WRISE, that is changing.

Closing the Gender Gap in Manufacturing

It is clear that the main impediment to women in manufacturing jobs is a lack of encouragement and training. When given the proper support, we can see that there are many women who are interested in and able to excel in many manufacturing areas. At a time where manufacturing talent pools are shrinking, introducing more qualified women to that pool can be an ideal solution.

How can manufacturers bring more women into the fold? First, they have to want to. Many manufacturing operations have been so male-dominated for so long that those in power may have some antiquated ideas about how effective women can be in the manufacturing workplace. Those ideas need to be done away with.

Once that obstacle has been overcome, the next step is local initiatives to increase education in manufacturing skills. Companies that offer training programs or scholarships to female students who pursue manufacturing-related educational programs may often find their efforts pay huge dividends down the road.

Finally, you should ask yourself if your recruitment attempts are women-friendly. Is there any aspect of your recruitment process that may cause women to perceive they are not welcome? You don’t necessarily need to have separate recruitment efforts for women, but if women are not responding, it may be a good idea. Other approaches, such as having female recruitment officers or featuring women in your marketing material, may help women feel more comfortable offering their talents to your enterprise.

Global Electronic Services proudly supports greater opportunities for women in manufacturing. For information about how, or for high-quality, reliable repair of your motors or other industrial machines, contact Global Electronic Services today.

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