89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment: Energy Policy and Women in the Energy Industry

Dec 7, 2016

Female Scientists in a Lab
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

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.


Overview

   *   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.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu