Green Careers for Women

By Paula Santonocito

woman with globalLast year, reported that green is the new color of employment, and the color continues to be in fashion when it comes to careers.

In fact, there are arguably more green employment opportunities than ever before. What’s more, the trend is likely to continue.

Growing Green

Part of it has to do with stimulus money. Government funding is propelling the growth of green industries like wind energy, and creating jobs in the process.

Take California as an example. Thanks to $75 million in stimulus funds, combined with other financial support, the state has launched the Clean Energy Workforce Training Program, an effort aimed at creating 20,000 new jobs.

While the California initiative is the nation’s largest state-sponsored green jobs training program, it is by no means the only state creating jobs with stimulus green. Projects funded by federal stimulus dollars are slated in Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, among other states.

But it’s not only government money that has the green economy growing. Demand for alternative, more efficient forms of energy has spawned new businesses.

Meanwhile, greater awareness on the part of consumers has generated interest in anything and everything green—from energy to environmentally-friendly products and services.

Where the Jobs Are

Nevertheless, even as the green job market grows and continues to offer opportunity, there is a lot of confusion surrounding what constitutes a green job.

Some of the confusion is because training for green jobs focuses largely or exclusively on technical jobs, like those related to wind and solar power. Construction jobs often now have a green tint as well.

Although some women pursue opportunities in these fields, a majority of women are interested in other career paths.

What if you don’t want to manufacture solar panels or retrofit office buildings?

Before you decide green isn’t your color, it’s worth looking at green industries from the standpoint of your career path.

A company that manufactures solar panels, for example, is no different from any other organization. If it’s a large company, it will likely have a marketing department, a human resources department, an accounting function, and so forth.

In other words, if you’re a professional with transferable skills, you might want to consider using those skills in a green industry.

Websites that can help you find potential employers include Green Career Central and Both include information and job listings. The Green Jobs Network is another resource.

Keep in mind that even if you aren’t an environmental or technical professional, there may be green opportunities for you. Indeed, career exploration might lead to greener pastures—in more ways than one.


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