The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Women Urged To “Lean In” to the Solar Workforce

More than 144 women gathered on Tuesday morning for networking and discussion at the Professional Women in Solar Breakfast. Speakers included Carol Neslund, VP of Sales, Enphase Energy; Zeina El Azzi, VP of Sales, SunEdison and?Caroline Venza, CEO, MissionCtrl Communications. Introductions were made by Dr. Isabelle Christensen, one of the founders of the Women in Solar Networking Group.

Christenson opened the breakfast by offering a special thanks to Julia Hamm, CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), founder of Solar Power International and a great supporter of women in solar. It speaks volumes that one of the leaders in the solar industry is a woman, Christensen pointed out.

Domination as a leadership style is becoming less and less popular, said Christensen in her opening remarks, and a new form of “shared leadership” is necessary to make a difference in the world.

But while this leadership style may be recognized as one of growing importance, much more growth is needed to level the playing field for women. Currently women hold only about 19 percent of top leadership positions in U.S. corporations and SunEdison’s El-Azzi said that this inequity wouldn’t fix itself.

The speakers, who had been asked to address some of the themes presented in Sheryl Sandburg’s, Lean In, began by explaining a few key issues that they say are holding back women in the industry. First was the issue of “likeability.” Studies are overwhelmingly conclusive that there is a direct correlation between women in leadership roles and their “likeability.” Interestingly, the reverse correlation holds true for men. Another reason that women are kept out of the leadership positions is gender competence biases.  SunEdison’s El-Azzi said that men are often promoted within companies based on potential, whereas women are promoted based on skills and competencies that they have already proven.  Finally, inflexible in work environments also drive women to leave corporate America.

Enphase’s Carol Neslund gave solid advice to women in the solar industry.  She reminded women to continue to look out for each other as they get promoted in corporations.  She recalled time in her career when she realized that she was one of only a handful of women in a leadership position in a major corporation. When you rise up in the ranks, she said, remember to help other women along the way.  “Don’t pull the ladder up behind you,” she said. “It’s lonely up there.”

 

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Hybrid solar minigrid to power Tanzanian island village

Tildy Bayar

A hybrid solar photovoltaic-battery energy storage-diesel minigrid project aims to provide power for around 400 households in the remote island village of Lake Victoria (pictured) in Tanzania. 

World Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy – First Electricity, Then Heating/Cooling, and Finally Transportation

Junko Movellan The exclusive use of energy from renewable resources in at least one sector has now become a feasible goal for 8 countries. Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, discussed this remarkable develop...

Solar power growth impacting UK electricity sector

Diarmaid Williams

Q2 of 2015 saw a large increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV in the UK, with the growth having a significant impact on electricity market prices and other supply factors.

PACE Finance Opening Doors for C&I Solar In California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent With its excellent renewable policy, California leads the nation in solar. Over the years both the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the California Solar Initiative drove utility scale and residential solar deployment. But w...
Jennifer Runyon is chief editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World magazine, coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

2015 Green Energy Expo

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the Green Energy Expo in Mexico City!

COMPANY BLOGS

Do Your Goals Match Your Values?

Before you set goals for your company or your personal work performance ...

LSX rises with sustainable wine making in Mexico

his custom LSX solar canopy shades the upper deck organic gard...

A Networking Story

When you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who works i...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS