We need more woman power in the solar PV industry!

  • 2023 marks the third year in a row that GREEN Solar Academy is running its Women’s Month Campaign, which aims to position women as the ideal candidates to fill certain roles in the solar industry where employers ­are having trouble finding suitable staff.
  • They call it the HIDDEN GEMS Challenge
  • I am challenging all men in the solar PV industry to nominate and sponsor a woman to do one of the many different solar PV training courses that the GREENSolar academy offers.
  • There is a course from entry level to advanced level and everything in between.
  • There is also a 20% discount thrown into the deal. 
  • Exlore the course guide HERE

The motivation is to encourage as many women as possible to consider a career in renewable energy, starting with a training course from GREEN Solar Academy.

Considering that the solar network of installers in South Africa and the rest of the continent is over 90% male, I am appealing to you to identify the HIDDEN GEMS in your midst: a colleague, daughter, partner or friend who would be brilliant in a PV business.

Different energy, unique talents

Women bring a different energy and talent for a variety of tasks in the PV industry that can add real value to any business … so why not a solar business? Far from taking jobs away from their male colleagues, women often fill the gaps in roles that possibly aren’t being done as effectively by their male counterparts, or where employers are struggling to find the right person for the task, for instance in finance, system design, and sales.

We need to get the message to the women in your networks that solar is about more than just the physical installation​ and shed some light on the variety of jobs that are available in solar.

A good balance is needed in an industry that relies on communication with clients and clear client administration. Clients are diverse, the tasks are diverse and so you should have a diverse team that will help you to excel in every field.

According to research by Korn Ferry, a global organisation advisory firm, women can more effectively display competencies that correlate with leadership and management, and score higher on emotional intelligence competencies.

Opportunity experts, networking professionals

This is because women are generally natural opportunity experts, networking professionals and customer relationship experts. These are all aspects that would give an incredible advantage to a solar business in a growing industry where competition is starting to get fierce.

Welcoming the right women into your business can only help create more opportunities for your company to become more flexible and customer friendly. When you visit a client, for example, go with a team: one for the technical side and one for customer relations. You can even tailor your client visits depending on the nature of the client, leaning more towards the technical or relational side as needed.

Brainstorming and business planning can become more versatile if you start including a woman on your planning team. And there are many more aspects of your business that can be improved through diversifying your team.

Meet one of solar’s #HIDDENGEMS

Zerilda de Beer

My story kicked off in the receptionist’s chair and evolved through roles as a legal secretary, events coordinator, and even into the analytical realm of accounting. As I kept pushing forward, I stepped into the dynamic shoes of operations manager, further transformed into a savvy product owner and project manager, and most recently became the founder of Eco Renergy SA. Today, we have three thriving branches, each a powerful hub of sustainable energy, transforming landscapes and spreading positivity like wildfire.

As a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, I’ve faced obstacles head-on and emerged even stronger. These experiences have steeled my determination to illuminate the solar sector with inclusivity and diversity. Women are forces to be reckoned with, no doubt about that. However, I also want to give credit where it’s due—my success wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of my male advisors and the expertise of our top-notch installers.
Massive kudos to the GREEN Solar Academy for infusing my journey with expertise and zest! The wisdom and practical knowledge I gained there have turbocharged my approach to solar installations. Their relentless commitment to learning and staying at the forefront of industry trends has inspired me to seek innovative solutions and ride the wave of change.

 

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Help us increase our reach! Share the HIDDENS GEMS Challenge, tell people about the 20% DISCOUNT for women this August, and let’s bring more women than ever into the solar industry. Keep an eye on the GREEN Solar Academy social media channels and visit the website for more information: https://solar-training.org/hidden-gems-womens-month-2023/

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

About the GREEN Solar Academy

GREEN Solar Academy has been training solar professionals in South Africa since 2012, and today has academies across the African continent. Our SuperSolarSchool is the recommended solar installer training under SAPVIA’s PV GreenCard programme, and our online solar courses offer a blended-learning approach to TVET college and university lecturers and students in remote regions. You can contact GREEN Solar Academy on +27 (0) 10 312 6724 or info@solar-training.org

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