A few months ago I wrote about the status of employment opportunities for women
in the green collar economy. Many of the jobs that are receiving training funds are in traditionally male-dominated fields: weatherization, energy audits, clean energy manufacturing, green construction and more. Sure, women are employed in these industries but they make up only a small portion of the total employment numbers.
The Walmart Foundation and the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW) have joined forces to promote green jobs training for women. The Walmart Foundation has awarded $400,000 in grants to help launch the “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” program.
This new BPW-managed initiative will begin with four separate $60,000 grants. The grants will be awarded to organizations that provide green jobs training for women.
The goals of the initiative are:
- To improve the lives and careers of working women.
- To provide opportunities for employers by increasing diversity in the workplace and providing them with a larger trained workforce pool.
- To build capacity for training providers.
As with many of the green jobs training programs in development, the BPW initiative will focus on the unemployed and underemployed populations. BPW is a 501(c)(3) organization that advocates for working women and their families.
Although the issue of gender equality in green jobs is of increasing concern to women across the country, it is important that it be addressed by everyone. Women need to play an increasing role in this new green collar economy, and although the $400,000 grant by the Walmart Foundation is a start, it won’t bridge the gender gap.
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