The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has introduced a new guide, Diversity Best Practices Guide for the Solar Industry, to help the solar industry be more inclusive. The new guide builds on previous efforts by the organization to encourage more women and people from diverse backgrounds to become a part of the industry and includes information on best practices and more.
“The solar industry has thrived because of the diversity of its 209,000 employees and the individual talents they bring to their jobs each day,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “We believe expanding upon that success is integral to our future as an industry, and this guide is the perfect launching pad.”
The new guide offers strategies for workforce recruitment, leadership and retention advice and how to implement diversity initiatives. “Diversity and inclusion should be identified as core values of the organization with specific goals in place to ensure its continued growth. Programs, policies and organizational structures need to be built into the organization in a way that establishes a responsibility, accountability and shared value for advancing the organization’s diversity goals,” the guide states.
The guide discusses five strategies, communication, representation, training leadership, accountability and recruitment. The guide was designed by SEIA’s Community Engagement Committee.
Under the communication section, the organization needs to show internally and externally that diversity is a key. Organizations can accomplish this through their site, recruiting materials and more. Similarly, under the representation section, the guide recommends organizations should strive to be an equal opportunity employer and integrate people from all walks of life.
Another key to ensuring a strong, diverse work environment is the recruitment strategies employed by an organization. “Employees should understand the organization’s diversity goals and how to avoid biases or barriers in the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process,” the guide stated. It added, “Studies indicate that greater than half of jobs in the United States are filled through referrals and networking, making it imperative that organizations broaden their efforts to more diverse groups.” To attract more diverse candidates the guide offered a number of best practices strategies for organizations, among them, offering a referral bonus to current employees to broaden recruitment options and advertising open positions in minority professional publications and websites.
The guide complements recent efforts by SEIA to bring more women into leadership roles at solar companies. Similarly, groups like GRID Alternatives are also looking to help increase diversity in solar.Tweet