Working Women in the Green Economy
The green economy will offer new and sustainable opportunities for consumers, workers, business owners and the environment. Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation is dedicated to the creation of successful workplaces for both working women and employers.
BPW Foundation encourages women to pursue any career, any field, any position. Historically, we have studied the prevalence of women in non-traditional occupations and are especially proud of the working women that enter into such fields (as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as a field where 25 percent or less of the workforce are women).
Our organization is particularly interested in ensuring that women are part of the workforce that is meeting America’s clean energy needs.
Subscribe to our green jobs feed.
Consider this site a valuable resource if you’re looking to:
- learn more about the green economy;
- learn about the skills needed to participate in the green economy;
- find green jobs;
- learn to green your workplace.
As the world turns green, find out how the green economy is evolving and what opportunities exist for women- and for you- in various industries and market segments related to green careers.
Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy
Through a grant from Walmart Foundation, BPW Foundation’s pilot project, Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy explored the demand for green jobs for women and to determine what programs and services can successfully prepare and link women with the jobs and the companies that will best suit their needs. The goal of the program was to find ways to successfully move women from unemployment, or under-employment, and provide them with access to sustainable job options and the skills and support they need to succeed.
This project also served as primary research, investigating how to train, educate and prepare women for the green economy. In particular, the project supported opportunities for women across the country with specific needs and challenges, including low and moderate income earning women, displaced women workers, and other underrepresented populations including women veterans.
Read the final report Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy.
What is a Green Job?
The question is almost cliché at this point: What is a green job?
The Bureau of Labor statistics recently accepted comments for a definition of green jobs, but in the mean time, many different organizations have drawn up their own ways of claiming the green space. Read BPW Foundations comments on the definition of green jobs.
BPW Foundation knows that a job can only truly be green if the position is available to all. For the green economy to be fully realized, there must be an emphasis on access, equity and career growth for those performing the work of making our world more energy efficient.
What Opportunities Exist for Women?
Although there has been substantial investment in the development of green jobs, some are concerned that those funds are being focused in fields that are typically “male-dominant,” such as science, engineering and construction, and that none of the stimulus money (ARRA) has been directly earmarked for training women. Nonetheless, $55 million has been allocated to the development of green training programs, and $500,000 has been set aside specifically for green jobs for veterans.
Women in the Green Economy
Green Job Databases
Regional Job Boards
Greening your business to save money and save the environment.
#3 Green Lobbyist If legislation and government is something that peaks your interest the growth in environmental lobbyist positions is growing with the potential to open your own green lobbyist firm this is a high growth field.
#5 Green Bed and Breakfast...solar or wind powered, organic cotton or bamboo sheets, green meals (eco-friendly meats and fish and organic produce and fruits), and beautiful natural settings will attract eco-vacationers no matter where you are located.
#91-95 Writer Being green as a writer can take you down a multitude of paths but I’ll only list 5 here. Children’s picture books with green theme… green super hero comic books… green collar job curriculum… green resource guides local, national and global…textbooks for college and high school environmental studies…politics…coffee table books: green buildings, environmental landscapes, eco-disasters, and green celebrity profiles. OOPS I guess that’s more than just five, but you get the picture, right?
#6 It’s not just hippies making the special-events world eco-friendly. The Philadelphia Eagles claim to be the greenest team in the NFL, and not just because of the color of its jerseys. Starting this season, the team’s “Go Green” environmental campaign has its stadium cleaning crew making two full sweeps after each game—one to pick up recyclables and another for trash.
#23 Meeting LEED standards isn’t the only way to green a building. Sun Microsystems likes to nix office space entirely. Its Open Work program, 10 years and 20,000 participants strong (that’s 56% of Sun’s workforce), gives employees the option to work from home. Talk about a triple bottom line: In 2006, Sun saved $67.8 million in real-estate costs, prevented nearly 29,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and increased worker productivity by 34%.
#44 Wal-Mart is the champ when it comes to twisting suppliers’ arms to boost their sustainability efforts (and efficiency). Increasingly, other companies are doing the same, most recently Marriott, which announced it will be scrutinizing everything from its duvets to its shampoos. In true Wal-Mart fashion, suppliers that don’t make the grade may end up out on the street.
[National Resources Defense Council]
#5 Contact your utility company to arrange for a free (or inexpensive) energy audit. An engineer will examine your operations and provide you with a detailed report about how your firm can save on energy costs, from rebates to improved maintenance.
#7 Set computers to sleep and hibernate when inactive, and lose the screen savers. Flying toasters and slideshows can use up to about $50 of electricity in a year. Look for power management of energy saving features on the control panel for Windows, or system preferences under the Apple menu for Macs.
#14 Create a green team with members from all divisions of your organization to help implement plans and bring new ideas to the table.
Training for the careers of the future.
- Performing Comprehensive Building Assessments
- Senior Certified Sustainability Professional
- Wind Energy Apprentice
- Renewable Energy Generation
- A Systems Approach to Sustainability
- Toxic Mold Detection, Prevention and Remediation
- CLIMB Wyoming
- Vermont Works for Women
- Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center
- Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTERGreen)
- Alternative Fuels Production and Vehicle Conversion (in development)
- Outdoor Conservation
- Urban Reforestation and Agriculture (in development)
Research on what is green, how to go green and who’s already there.
A Guide to Sustainably Focused Career Paths
Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy
Defining the Green Economy and it Jobs
How Companies Saved Money, Improved Efficiency and Built Stronger Customer Relations
[National Environmental Education Foundation]
The Federal Government Soliciting Comments on Green Jobs Definitions
[Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Building Pathways Out of Poverty and Careers in the Clean Energy Economy
[The Apollo Alliance, Green for All, Center for American Progress, Center on Wisconsin Strategy]
500 of the Greenest Big Companies
Standards and Strategies for Advancing Race, Gender and Economic Equity in the Green Economy
[Applied Research Center]
Implications for O*NET-SOC and New and Emerging Occupations
[US Dept of Labor / Employment and Training Administration]
Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in the Green Economy
[Council for Adult and Experiential Learning / Civic Ventures / MetLife Foundation]
A pilot project of four community training sites to create a replicable model, to introduce and train women for green jobs.
Profiles of Women Working in Green Jobs
[Green the Block, a campaign of Green for All and Hip Hop Caucus]
An Opportunity for Economic Security
[Wider Opportunity for Women]
Seven Reasons for Women to Consider a Green Job
[US Dept of Labor Women’s Bureau]
- 10 Networking Resources for Women Pursuing Green Careers You Should Know About [The Green Economy Post]
- A Low-Income Woman’s Nation: How a Green Economy Can Help Those Struggling Most [Change.org]
- A Woman’s Work: Dawn Moody discusses her green-collar job in Philly [Green for All]
- Black Women and the Green Economy [L.A. Watts Times]
- Celebrating 10 Women in Wind and Solar Energy [The Green Economy Post]
- Green Jobs for Executive Women in Finance and the Fortune 500 [The Glass Hammer]
- Green jobs for Female Inmates [Boise Weekly]
- Green Jobs for Whom? [In These Times]
- Green Jobs for Women [Buzzle.com]
- Green Jobs and Women Workers; Employment, Equity, Equality [International Labour Foundation for Sustainable Development]
- How the Green Economy Can Promote Equal Opportunities for Women [Dollars & Sense]
- On-the-job Green Training for Construction Workers [Black Star News]
- Where are the New Jobs for Women? [New York Times]
- Workplace Demographics: WhAre We Creating Jobs For? [Huffington Post]
- Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy: Industry, Occupation, and State-by-State Job Estimates
- Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor issued new report “Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career”
- Women’s Role in the Clean Energy Economy” By Jorge Madrid “Men have traditionally dominated employment in the Green Economy. “Women’s Role in the Clean Energy Economy,” however, provides a refreshing prediction of change for the future, and emphasizes the “integral” role that women will play in the future of the green economy. New organizations, like the Vermont Works for Women Project are equipping women with skills to excel in “nontraditional” employment fields like construction, manufacturing and agriculture.” “Women-owned businesses” are expanding at twice the national average for other businesses for the last ten years.
- Women in Green, Voices of Sustainable Design by Kira Gould& Lance Hosey “Women in Green, Voices of Sustainable Design,” explores why women are more predisposed to be involved in the sustainability movement. It raises the idea that as a product of motherhood, women are more in touch with their environment. The book also explores how connections between certain traditionally feminine characteristics like compassion and caring make women more likely to be involved in the green movement. Through a series of conversations, with architects, policy-makers, students and teachers, the authors demonstrate why women have a special role to play in the Green Movement and the field of Green Design.
- Green Career Books, Green Jobs Network A collection of books about green jobs and careers.
- Green Jobs Webinars and Conferences, Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau The Department of Labor Women’s Bureau is hosting monthly conferences throughout the summer 2010 on a number of topics to encourage an exchange of ideas and information between professionals in the Green Economy. These webinars are designed to help women find employment opportunities in the Green Sector. Currently, the sessions are tentatively planned and exact dates have not been set. Check regularly with the Women’s Bureau website for updates.
- Council on Environmental Quality: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.
- Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau: Department of Labor’s vision for 2010 and beyond is good jobs for everyone. In support of this vision, the Women’s Bureau develops and implements programs and policies that seek to identify and address opportunities for American women to achieve their potential in the workplace.
- White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families: This task force is improving work and family balance and expanding education and lifelong training opportunities, including those in the green economy.
- Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology: An organization that seeks to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology and increase the positive impact of technology on the world’s women.
- EcoWomen: A social community of women who care about the environment that fosters networking, collaboration, and career-building opportunities at every professional level.
- ENERGIA: An international network on gender and sustainable energy.
- Forum of Women in the Environmental Field: A professional organization for women with careers in the environmental field; both public and private sectors in Minnesota.
- Green for All: A national organization working to build an inclusive green economy.
- National Society of Women Environmental Professionals: A non-profit professional association of women involved or interested in environmental law, science, business, and policy.
- New England Women in Energy & the Environment: A network that harnesses the environmental passion, intelligence and leadership experience of New England women to promote and encourage public interest in the energy and environmental sectors.
- Women in Fuel Cells Network: A network that fosters the professional growth and leadership of women in the fuel cell industry, provides a forum for discussion of issues common to our members, and encourages scientists, engineers and professionals to pursue careers in hydrogen and fuel cells.
- Women in Renewable Energy and Development (WIRED): A professional organization for women in the Washington, DC area, who work in renewable energy, and energy-related international development.
- Women of Wind Energy: organization that promotes the engagement and professional development of women in the wind energy industry.
- Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment: A non-partisan, policy-neutral organization that focuses on women, energy and the environment.
- Women’s Environmental Council: Professional association for women in various environmental fields.
- Linkedin: Green Jobs and Career Network: Resource for both those who work in the Green Job field as well as those seeking information on employment on these careers.
- Foster Unplugged: A blog by the faculty of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business
- Green Economy Post: A great resource for any and all people interested in the green economy. Information is update frequently!
- Greenyourfuture.experience.com: Check out this blog to learn how far green jobs have come for women over the past 40 to 50 years and other interesting insights on opportunities available today.
- Jetson Green: A blog for all things in the green building sector, Jetson Green has updates on new or up-and-coming products and technologies, and details eco-friendly building initiatives across the United States.
- Sisters in the Brotherhood: A blog for the latest construction news, news releases and information relating to tradeswomen in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters
- Young Women Misbehavin’: news, opinions, stories and stats about working women issues, all with a side of sass.