Originally posted on LinkedIn by Pamela Cargill
This week, I put my money where my mouth is and joined Women in Solar. The only hesitation keeping me from joining earlier was to see if the effort would last longer than the fiery blog post that launched the group after 2013’s Intersolar North America.
In the post, now-Executive Director Kristin Nicole penned an open letter to the solar industry tearing Intersolar North America a new one for condoning the use of women as sex objects to promote solar products and services. (In fact, a marketing executive responsible for trade show presence at the Consumer Electronics Show even proved using split method testing that “booth babes” don’t convert good leads.)
Why join Women in Solar?
1. They are a dynamic member-focused organization
Women in Solar is not a thinly-veiled self-promotional engine for its founders’ personal careers or to bring attention to their employers. That’s clear from the many personal passionate conversations I have had with the founders. Their programmatic vision is grand and spans a hopeful spectrum of STEM recruitment in K-12 all the way through mentorship programs and support to speak at conferences and many more. They are constantly seeking input to ensure their offerings are the most relevant and useful to Women in Solar members and prospects. Now is the best time to get involved if you are interested in shaping an organization that can provide support now and into the future for equitable gender opportunities.
2. They filed and received their 501c3 charitable organization non-profit status
You know your membership dollars will be handled and accounted for in a transparent manner with a registered 501c3. You have a say as a member in influencing the direction of those dollars.
3. They have gained corporate-level support from SEIA and Clean Power Finance
The organization is focusing correctly on fundraising, driving foundational activist membership, and securing financial stability in order to develop programs. With backing from SEIA and Clean Power Finance, they are on their way to executing their goal of 10 founding corporate sponsors.
4. They have passed the one year mark and still growing
Most companies, including non-profits, do not last past their first year in business. According to the Small Business Administration, “about half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.”
5. The organization is dovetailing with the Women in STEM zeitgeist
In the post “Lean In” era and in a time when attention about the lack of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is in the zeitgeist, Women in Solar has the opportunity to focus disparate voices and efforts in the solar industry focused on women’s career paths and opportunities.
In its first years, the question of founding members must be “what can I do for Women in Solar?” No matter what your gender, if you want to create a more equitable career landscape in the growing solar industry, please join Women in Solar and volunteer to get the programs and services off the ground that you want to see benefiting yourself and others.