Paving the way for female leadership in the solar industry
There is a lack of female leadership in the solar industry
It’s no secret that the solar industry is a male-dominated field. It’s crazy to think that only 32% of employees in the solar energy field are female. And the number of women in leadership positions is even smaller!
“I think one of the main roadblocks in the solar industry for me was “being heard.” Working for other solar companies there were a lot of processes or requests that were out of line with what really happens out there in the front lines, so as an employee it was difficult to do my job effectively.”
Valentina Rozas (Freedom Forever VP of Operations)
The lack of female leadership has been talked about …
Sure, the lack of female leadership in the solar industry is talked about and big words of change are thrown around. But what actions are being taken to tip the scale? Starting a conversation is good but there is a big difference between talking about the future and tangible execution.
With 60% of our leadership positions held by women, Freedom Forever is taking a progressive stance to address this imbalance. People don’t necessarily do what you say, they act based on the example you set. By fostering female leadership, we hope to create a ripple effect that turns into a tidal wave of progress that paves the way for the entire energy field.
Customers and employees can sense when you’re just using buzzwords to seem authentic. Rather than just talking about change, we are walking the walk and making it happen. If you’re serious about empowering female leaders in your solar business, here are some things we did to make that happen:
Make representation a part of your core values
Early on, we understood the benefits of diversity. By making it one of our core values, it’s led to a natural progression of empowerment and diversity. Everything Freedom Forever does stems from our core values. These values were created and are maintained by the very employees that uphold them. Our culture is a symbol of these core values and we believe it is why we became one of America’s Fastest-Growing privately-funded companies.
“Freedom Forever has created an environment that thrives on strong, competent, effective female management and leadership. This plays an integral part in Freedom Forever’s industry success and vision for the future.”-Lynette Wilkerson (Lynette Wilkerson, CPA, Controller)
Keep the conversation going
Freedom Forever is always focusing on how to grow and improve. Female leadership has always been a part of that growth. We keep the conversation going by holding regular meetings on how to constantly foster inclusion and empowerment. This is a good time to set goals, find areas of improvement, and decide on actionable steps to take.
“By practicing inclusion and empowerment, we’re able to uproot bias and communicate through a common language that celebrates our differences and similarities thereby breaking down the barriers that would otherwise inhibit our growth.”
Jessica Mae Sumikawa (Freedom Forever Chief Legal Officer)
Partner with a like-minded organization
“If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go together.”
Another way we’ve grown female leadership is by gaining perspective from others that share your values and vision. Partnering with an organization that focuses on female leadership and empowerment can give you valuable insights. One of our female leaders, Julianne Ribarits, is a proud member of WRISE (Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy). This is a non-profit foundation that promotes inclusion in the solar field. Learning from others and taking action like Freedom Forever’s diversity pledge helps us to always think toward the future and all its opportunities.
“Don’t focus your efforts on creating a great business. Instead, focus on the people in your business. By building up those around you and empower their greatness, great things will happen.”
Julianne Ribarits (Freedom Forever Director of Marketing and Creative Services)
How Freedom Forever walks the walk
Freedom Forever’s leadership includes diverse and talented female leadership. Diversity is one of Freedom’s strengths. It has allowed us to find the best and brightest talent in the industry. Diversity isn’t just something that Freedom Forever works at, it is something we are. Our female leaders serve as shining examples of why diversity is one of our greatest strengths.