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CEO DATELINE – Solar power association issues ‘diversity challenge’ to industry

May 6, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The Solar Energy Industry Association has launched a new initiative to increase diversity in the solar power industry.

SEIA unveiled a report Monday by The Solar Foundation that found solar companies are doing a better job tracking employee demographics but senior leadership still lacks diversity in women and minorities. The report is part of the association’s new #DiversityChallenge push, which seeks to improve diversity and inclusion in the industry.

“As leaders, we have a responsibility to create cultural change and address the systemic forces that have allowed discrimination to fester,” SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement. “We need to take account of our own actions and ask ourselves, are we doing enough? It’s imperative that we take proactive steps to advance these issues, because it isn’t going to happen on its own.”

SEIA and The Solar Foundation have released an online best practices guide to help businesses develop diversity and inclusion programs. Other Washington, D.C.-based energy industry associations are coordinating with SEIA by sharing their diversity efforts on social media, including Edison Electric Institute.

“Given the importance of the solar industry in building the energy infrastructure that is needed to confront the challenge of climate change, the solar industry has a tremendous opportunity to serve as a diversity and inclusion workforce model for the wider economy,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation.