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Mar 27, 2024

Empowering Change: Advocating for Diversity in the Energy Efficiency Industry

This year’s National Women’s History Month theme celebrates “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

By: Sam Randall

Vintage woman flexing her muscles

Official National Women’s History Month logo
Official National Women’s History Month logo

As the National Women’s History Alliance explains, this theme discusses how “for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.”

This plea resonates with me. Below, I offer thoughts on the intersection of gender and the energy efficiency field, concluding with a call to action to recognize those who advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in your network!

Gender Diversity and Energy Efficiency

It is indisputable that the wider energy efficiency (EE) workforce needs an infusion of diverse perspectives and involvement. Let’s look at the diversity of the current EE workforce, and key content that amplifies relevant voices working for positive change.

Researching this topic has been fascinating for me as a newer participant in the EE field. I enjoy examining the intersection of my current work and my passion for gender equity!

Looking at the Numbers

For a better grasp on how to convey the way gender and diversity intersects with the EE field, I found data in the latest U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report (USEER) and in E4TheFuture’s latest Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report. (The annual report on EE jobs pulls statistics from the USEER.)

Before digging into those details, I want to highlight a disclaimer from Energy Efficiency Jobs in America’s National Summary. As is typical for many gender statistics in mainstream research, the USEER only includes the binary male/female. There are many more than two genders, and it is important that all voices be represented in the workforce.

A full page in the National Summary is dedicated to exploring the diversity—or lack thereof—in the EE workforce. Authors say, “The EE industry needs to do more to prioritize the training and support that enables access to employment at EE businesses for people of color and women.”

US Energy Efficiency Workforce (2023)

As the graphs show, the EE workforce skews white and male. The USEER notes that in 2022, women remained underrepresented in the energy workforce compared to the overall workforce. While 47% of the overall workforce is female, only 26% of the EE workforce is female.

While this remains true, it is also true that the numbers are getting better. According to the latest USEER, women comprised more than half of new EE workers in 2022. And union shops were 50% more likely to have a policy to recruit women than nonunion shops. In my reading, I believe these stats point to just how important it is to advocate for quality, union jobs alongside advocating for increased diversity.

Get the full Energy Efficiency Jobs in America data and analysis for details on the 2.2+ million individuals working in America’s efficiency field! See

Highlighting More Diverse EE Voices

You’re invited to see E4TheFuture staff blogs that discuss themes of gender and diversity in EE:

Call to Action: “We can do it!”

As we commemorate Women’s History Month, please join me in honoring the women who are making waves in the energy-efficiency workforce. Their dedication, expertise, and innovation are driving us towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. By acknowledging their contributions, we recognize the progress made and inspire the next generation to continue breaking barriers. You can help shape the future of energy efficiency!

I invite you to honor the diverse individuals you work with, and/or members from your community that advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Who do you know that fits these characteristics?

I want to hear from you about who are the women in your community or organization that you will honor this National Women’s History Month! Use the hashtags #FacesofEE and #WomensHistoryMonth to honor leaders who show – or have shown – the importance of diversity in the EE world.

Thank you to all the amazing individuals in the energy efficiency workforce!

This article originally appeared in the E4TheFuture blog and is republished with permission.

Sam Randall

Sam Randall is a Policy Fellow at E4TheFuture.

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