Women at work in clean energy
According to the 2020 Clean Jobs Midwest report, women make up 27.4 percent* of the clean energy workforce in Minnesota. While research shows that women are under-represented in energy and related industries, their contributions to the industry are many. Since March is Women’s History Month, Clean Energy Economy MN is taking the opportunity to highlight some of the talented women working in our industry.
We asked several women what they most enjoy about their work in clean energy, here are their responses:
Marilea Griggs, Senior Project Coordinator/Customer Liaison, All Energy Solar
I enjoy working in clean energy because it means that I work in a community that is committed to doing our part to combat climate change and add more clean energy to the grid. My role is customer-facing so I get to work with the real folks who have invested their hard-earned dollars into renewable energy. Turns out, whether it’s my colleagues or my customers, people who invest their time and money into clean energy are some of the most positive people to work with.
Read about a solar installation that Marilea worked on in this article from the Duluth News Tribune “Solar convert: Green energy equals money in the bank”.
Holly Lahd, Lead Energy Program Manager, Target (and Board Member at Clean Energy Economy MN)
It is an exciting time to work in the clean energy sector. My job and many others in this sector did not exist just five years ago. Now we regularly collaborate with utilities, clean energy vendors, financers, policy makers, and many others to meet our company’s clean energy goals. Each day presents new problems to tackle and opportunities to explore. One of the most exciting aspects is working with talented women to grow our industry and making sure everyone can contribute their talents.
Holly recently contributed to a webinar on How Corporate Demand Can Drive Renewable Energy and Economic Growth, State by State – access the recording on Advanced Energy Economy’s website.
Jayda Pounds, Office Manager and Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
“I would like to say that as a youth in this movement, all of the evidence points to clean energy being the way. My colleagues and I are fueled by this passion of making sure that we have clean energy for everyone through education and implementation because a lot of people are unaware of the different energy options we have. I try to help make that happen by engaging with youth groups and congregations with information and projects, especially in communities that are hardest hit by unjust economic disparities.”
Learn more about Jayda through her bio on MNIPL’s website.
Resources and Women-Centered Groups
There are many formal and informal groups in Minnesota focused on supporting a diverse workforce and advancing women in the energy sector. Here are a few groups to learn about and consider getting involved in:
- WRISE Minnesota – Twin Cities Chapter
- Society of Women Engineers (Minnesota Section)
- Feminist Fight Club (Minnesota Women in Energy Edition)
- Women in Energy – Gatherings are typically held twice a year, please reach out to Diana McKeown to join the distribution list. The next gathering is tentatively scheduled for late May or early June.
*Post edited 6/25/20 to reflect updated data.