This week, Solar Power International (SPI) and North America Smart Energy Week (NASEW) 2019 have featured an array of new programming to address and discuss diversity and inclusion challenges in the solar industry.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) hosted two new receptions on Tuesday at the Salt Lake City show: the SEIA Blacks in Energy Reception and the SEIA LGBTQ+ Reception. These events gave hundreds of attendees, community members and allies an opportunity to celebrate equity in the solar industry and make professional connections, says SEIA.
“As 20,000 members of the solar community converge in Salt Lake City, we want to use this opportunity to demonstrate that the solar industry welcomes and celebrates people of all backgrounds,” comments Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “As we enter the Solar+ Decade and advocate for policies that promote solar growth, we must be thoughtful about who has access to cleaner air, jobs and business opportunities. This work is core to who we are as an industry and must become an imperative.”
SPI and NASEW 2019 are featuring more than a dozen diversity and inclusion-focused programs, including as follows:
- Leveraging Public Resources for Solar Workforce Development
- NAACP Solar Equity Initiative: Elevating Clean Energy as a Matter of Civil Rights
- New Ways Underserved Communities are Going Solar and Their Keys to Success
- Scaling Up Low- and Moderate- Income Solar Access
- SEIA Blacks in Energy Reception
- SEIA LGBTQ+ Reception
- Solar Industry Diversity and Inclusion: New Data and the Path Forward
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Clean Jobs Sector
- Women in Solar & Storage Luncheon
- WRISE Solar and Storage Networking Reception
In May, SEIA launched its Diversity Challenge initiative, asking the energy sector to mount a sustained effort to address diversity and inclusion in their industries. Since then, SEIA has forged new partnerships and participated in numerous events and programming, including two panels during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Leadership Conference.
In the coming weeks, SEIA will join The Hispanic Promise, a national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. This builds on SEIA’s pledge to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a CEO-driven business commitment to advance workplace diversity and inclusion. So far, 80 SEIA member companies and allies have taken the pledge.