#NationWise 2016 may be behind us, but there’s still plenty to learn about the burgeoning solar industry and opportunities for women within it.
After an absolutely fantastic night at Greentown Labs with our esteemed panelists, guests and fellow women-in-solar supporters, we’re thrilled to share some of our big takeaways.
Add your own thoughts and ideas in the comment section and check out this Magazine article for more information about our speakers!
1.) Finding a mentor
- Know what you want to do, then “look up.” Who above you has the position you might someday want to fill? Who has had a similar career trajectory and made it to the top? Seek advice and mentorship from that person.
- Ask yourself: who can you provide assistance to? Who can you help and how can you create value? Those people that you’re willing to help, and willing to work hard for, will more readily invest time and energy in you.
- Find a person that you ‘click with’… your relationship with said person will evolve over time, but it’s of paramount importance that you feel a personal kinship with your mentor.
2.) Establishing alliances with men
- There has to be respect amongst all colleagues, first and foremost. It’s extremely important to listen and engage, keep open ears and open minds.
- If deals are being made out on the golf course- get on the golf course. Learn to pick up a club and network. Don’t miss out on opportunities to be involved– even if they feel prohibitive.
3.) Changing the industry
- Ensure that female faces of the company are involved at job fairs or events and in the hiring process. Make it clear to younger generations that solar is an equal opportunity field.
- Make your voice heard! If your role involves work that does not align with your interests, strengths, passions and future ambitions, seek other options or professionally discuss your concerns with your superior. Because women are often hired into sectors of the industry that fit stereotypical feminine ‘strong suits’, it’s easy to feel pigeonholed and it can seem almost impossible to change your situation. But, if you’re interested in transitioning or learning something new, and have the necessary qualifications, be vocal.
Thank you, once again, for those who attended #NationWISE 2016, and to our amazing sponsor, CivicSolar. Remember to check out the Solar Women Summer Series and download our totally FREE Women in Solar Career Guide for more insights on mentorship, salary negotiation, ‘pathways’ to solar careers, and priceless advice.