Solar is no longer a fledgling industry. It’s more important than ever to improve diversity in hiring, say NAACP’s Rosemary Lytle and Vote Solar’s Melanie Santiago-Mosier.
According to a February report from The Solar Foundation, despite recent federal headwinds, overall solar employment is more than double what it was in 2010. But when paired with The Solar Foundation’s Diversity Report from last fall, a bleaker picture is revealed. For women, African Americans, Latinos and other communities of color, the data shows that the solar industry can and must to better when it comes to providing equitable access to good employment opportunities.
- Women and people of color are less likely to earn executive-level wages compared to white men. Only 28 percent of men of color and 20 percent of white women earn $75 or more an hour, compared to 36 percent of white men.
- Women of color are least likely to be “very satisfied” with their current wage and position, with only 19 percent of women of color choosing this response (compared to 47 percent of men of color respondents, 60 percent of white male respondents, and 45 percent of white female respondents).
- Further, a mere 8 percent of African American respondents feel that they have successfully moved up the career ladder, while 50 percent feel stuck in their current positions. This differs greatly from 52 percent of white respondents and 58 percent of Asian respondents that feel they have successfully moved up the career ladder.
- African Americans make up just 7.4 percent of the solar workforce — compared to 13 percent of the total U.S. workforce — a negligible increase from 6 percent in 2014.
So how do we move forward from here? Click here to read the full article.