Working Women in the Green Economy

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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:

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.

Are you a woman in a green job? Are you a green employer looking to hire women? Let us know! Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information on our green initiative.

Women in the Green Economy

Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy.

Green Job Databases

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Regional Job Boards

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Do you know of a green job site that should be included? Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Greening your business to save money and save the environment.

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121 (200) Green Business Ideas

[Entrepreneur Connect]

#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 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?

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50 Ways to Green your Business

[Fast Company]

#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.

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Greening Business Operations

[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.

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Gaitlin Education Services

Sample Classes

Green Collar Association

Sample Classes

Red to Green Training Sites


Sample Classes

US Green Building Council

Sample Classes

Veterans Green Jobs

Sample Classes

Wider Opportunities for Women


Green Worker Cooperatives


Research on what is green, how to go green and who’s already there.

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10 Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade

A Guide to Sustainably Focused Career Paths
[Fast Company]

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Red to Green Final Report

Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy

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Are Green Jobs for Real?

Defining the Green Economy and it Jobs
[Popular Mechanic]

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The Business Case for Environmental and Sustainability Education

How Companies Saved Money, Improved Efficiency and Built Stronger Customer Relations
[National Environmental Education Foundation]

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Defining Green Jobs

The Federal Government Soliciting Comments on Green Jobs Definitions
[Bureau of Labor Statistics]

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Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities

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]


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Green Companies in America

500 of the Greenest Big Companies

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Green Equity Toolkit

Standards and Strategies for Advancing Race, Gender and Economic Equity in the Green Economy
[Applied Research Center]


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Greening of the World of Work

Implications for O*NET-SOC and New and Emerging Occupations
[US Dept of Labor / Employment and Training Administration]

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How Boomers Can Help the Nation Go Green

Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in the Green Economy
[Council for Adult and Experiential Learning / Civic Ventures / MetLife Foundation]


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Moving From Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy

A pilot project of four community training sites to create a replicable model, to introduce and train women for green jobs.
[BPW Foundation]


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Success Stories: Women in the Green Economy

Profiles of Women Working in Green Jobs
[Green the Block, a campaign of Green for All and Hip Hop Caucus]


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Women and the Green Economy

An Opportunity for Economic Security
[Wider Opportunity for Women]


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Why Green is Good for Women

Seven Reasons for Women to Consider a Green Job
[US Dept of Labor Women’s Bureau]


Green Talk

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News Feeds

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Informational Resources

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