Women in Green
Working green is for women, too!
While green careers as a group are very diverse, there's one thing they have in common: most are currently done by men. But that shouldn't discourage women from working green.
Green Jobs Aren't Just for Men
With more women working, more will also train for traditionally male jobs. Don't let your assumptions about who typically works in a job make your decision about whether the job is for you. Instead, consider the career itself — the skills needed, the wages, the training required, and the daily tasks that are common — before making up your mind. Check out these green career profiles to see skills, tasks, and other information to help you learn more.
Still not sure if you can make it as a woman in a green job? Watch these videos of female trail-blazers to get inspired:
- Amy Mikus, Water Resources Engineer
- Colleen Sinclair, Recycling Coordinator
- Joanna Slominski, Green Construction Manager
- Melanee Meagan, Marketing Manager
- Rebecca Bourdon, Remediation Hydrologist
- Sharon Pfeifer, Conservation Planner
Why Should Women Work Green?
A good reason is wages. Male-dominated occupations pay more, on average, than female-dominated occupations. For example, the annual weekly salary for roofers was $600 in 2009 compared to $400 for child care workers, according to the Current Population Survey. The educational requirements for the two occupations are similar. While money shouldn't be your only consideration when choosing and preparing for a job, it can and should be one of many.
Resources for Women Looking for Green Careers
- Forum of Women in the Environmental Field
Learn more about environmental careers, network with other women who work in them, or see job postings at this Minnesota-based professional organization.
- Women's Environmental Institute
Devoted to study and advocacy around environmental issues that affect women and other identified communities. This Minnesota non-profit center offers education, research, farming, and retreat services.
- U.S. Department of Labor's Green Jobs for Women Website
Dig deeper into the issues around women and green careers. Watch presentations about women's entrepreneurship in green fields, and women working in environmental protection and energy-related fields, and how women can break down barriers and move into green-related industries.
- Wider Opportunities for Women — Green Initiative
Offers programs and other resources to help women move into green careers.
- Women and Green Jobs in Minnesota — Report (362KB, .pdf)
Discusses green jobs and proposes ideas to increase women's participation in Minnesota's green economy. This legislative report was published in 2009 by the Minnesota Office on the Economic Status of Women.
- Women of Wind Energy
Supports women who work (or wish to work) in wind energy careers. Read about women who work in the industry, find professional development opportunities, find a mentor, or learn about training opportunities.
- Association for Women in Science
Focuses on advocacy and breaking down barriers for women in science. Visit this site to find resources, mentoring, awards, internships, and job listings.
- National Association of Women in Construction
Supports women working in the construction trades.
- IEEE — Women in Engineering
Dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists. Its mission is to "inspire, engage, encourage, and empower IEEE women worldwide."
- Association for Women in Mathematics
Has information for women in math-related fields, including scholarship and fellowship opportunities.
- Engineer Girl
Encourages girls considering a career in engineering. Be sure to check out the "Ask an Engineer" feature.