Both SEIA staff and SEIA members provided feedback to the organization that they lacked professional development opportunities, or an understanding of what resources already exist that they can access.
SEIA evaluated member and staff needs to better understand professional development needs. After this evaluation, SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment group sought partners, and ultimately signed a MOU with WRISE to provide a number of services to SEIA employees and members. We have also created a professional development calendar which provides staff with various opportunities to receiving training, attend networking events, and more.
SEIA staff and members have begun participating in professional development activities, and have access to WRISE benefits, including:
- Access to WRISE Online Member Center including Member Directory and Webinar Archive
- Access to the WRISE Mentoring Program and corporate diversity resources
- Access to local chapter members-only events where available
- WRISE member lapel pin and badge ribbon for national events
- Discounted access to WRISE National Events
Expanding diversity and inclusion within our organization and across the entire solar workforce is a top priority of mine as SEIA’s president and CEO. Although we’ve seen an increase in women and minorities employed in the solar workforce, there is still a long way to go ensure fairness and equality in our industry and across the U.S. Women and people of color continue to face significant difficulties in reaching the industry’s highest positions and wages. SEIA works to encourage respect among our employees and members to create a more productive industry that provides equal opportunities for all.
Diversity at SEIA is an active initiative that permeates all major aspects of our organization. Our Diversity Best Practices Guide aims to assist solar companies with the implementation of diversity initiatives to cultivate a resilient and inclusive environment, while encouraging the same practices within our own organization. I am optimistic about the future of diversity in my organization, the energy industry and the United States, and am proud to be a part of a workforce that is actively advancing the conversation around diversity and inclusion.