Traditionally, green jobs are in male-dominated fields. This is not to say that a woman can’t install solar panels or help manufacture wind turbines but by and large, male workers dominate these industries. Unfortunately, this is causing the majority of women to be left out of the green jobs revolution. This isn’t a new issue, it is one I’ve discussed here before, but one female LEED Accredited Professional may have the answer to this problem – white-collar green jobs for women.
Shari Shapiro is the head of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippell LLP’s green building initiative. Based out of Philadelphia, Shapiro discusses the industry on her Green Building Law blog. In yesterday’s post, Where Are The Green Jobs for Women?, Shapiro suggests multiple ways to support women in white-collar green jobs, including economic incentives.
“Qualify white collar green jobs for economic incentives--this will benefit the green economy as a whole. If there are no new businesses creating demand for people to caulk houses or build solar arrays, all the green job training in the world will be wasted. This will benefit men and women alike.”
This is just one of Shapiro’s suggestions but she has made a great point. Without individuals with the business acumen to launch and successfully run a weatherization business, the weatherization training programs are just going to churn out qualified technicians that can’t get hired because there are no companies that are able to operate in today’s shaky economy.
This brings up a related issue, the importance of supporting small businesses during today’s tough economy. President Obama continually urges Congress to pass legislation to support small businesses through tax incentives and easier access to funding. If we can combine these two trains of thoughts – the need to engage more women in the green jobs movement and the need to support our nation’s small businesses – we may just have a solution to the troubled economy.
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