Issues of the Environment: Energy Policy and Women in the Energy Industry
Innovations in enviromental science happen all the time. However, it has mostly been a male-dominated field. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Liesl Clark, who is president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, co-founder of 5-Lakes Energy, LLC, and a board member of Advancing Women in Energy, about the need for a diversity of voices in the clean energy sector, especially with a new president about to take office.
* According to Forbes, only 12% of the millions of jobs in the green energy industry are held by women. In Michigan, full-time employment at utilities is 22% female, and women make up just 6% of the workforce in energy extraction fields like mining and oil and gas extraction, according to American Community Survey data.
* Currently, far fewer women than men pursue education and careers in the clean energy sector. To address this disparity, Advancing Women in Energy, a relatively new Michigan nonprofit, is working to encourage women to be more engaged in clean energy policy and energy-related fields.
* As President-elect Trump heads to the office, there has been some disappointment and outcry about a lost opportunity for female leadership, and, due to the new administration's strong opposition to renewables and more restrictive energy policies, there is a growing concern that without new voices to encourage clean energy progress, the country will revert to less environmentally sustainable policies.