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SEIA Women's Empowerment Initiative


SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative

Empowered Women, Empower Women

SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative is committed to education, the advancement of careers for women in the solar industry, mentoring future solar leaders, and establishing opportunities for women. We are working to expand our partnerships with like-minded organizations, provide valuable networking and mentorship opportunities, and amplify women’s voices across the solar industry. 

The mission of the Women’s Empowerment Initiative is threefold: 

1) Recruit, retain and promote women within the solar industry 

2) Increase diversity and amplify women’s voices in industry public forums & events 

3) Partner with and support the work of organizations that strive for diversity within the solar industry 

Below is a detailed overview of the three Women’s Empowerment sub-groups and their initiatives: 

Subgroup#1 - Promoting

Objectives for 2017: Recruit, retain and promote women within the solar industry 

• Benchmark gender diversity and leadership in the solar industry in comparison to other clean energy technologies and similar industries 

• Identify where the solar industry can improve and develop specific targets and timelines for change   

Subgroup #2 - Amplifying Voices

Objectives for 2017: Increase diversity and amplify women’s voices in industry public forums & events 

• Develop specific targets for women speakers at SEIA and solar industry events. 

• Create an associated spreadsheet/database to be housed within SEIA of qualified speakers on specific subjects, and develop partnerships with event organizers for promotion. (This process already started through SEIA speaker survey) 

• Provide guidance to SEIA regarding agenda, content and outreach for SEIA’s 2 women’s empowerment conferences in 2017. 

Subgroup #3 - Partnering 

Objectives for 2017: Partner with and support the work of organizations that strive for diversity within the solar industry. 

• Identify guidelines for SEIA partnerships with other organizations, including guidance to SEIA regarding opportunities for co-branding and co-promotion of SEIA and partner organization events.     

• Develop a comprehensive list of potential partner organizations and develop plans for SEIA engagement with those organizations.  

• Identify one or more appropriate organizations to partner with for establishment of a career/workforce development/mentorship program for women in the solar industry, and develop targets and timelines for program implementation.     


Participating in this initiative means playing a large role in SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment goals and objectives. Please reach out to Dana Sleeper for interest in our goals, ideas, and future events. Also, please note that SEIA's Women's Empowerment Initiative is now part of a broader Community Engagement Committee, where members will have an opportunity to explore and participate in a wider range of activities. 

Please note: You must be member of SEIA to participate on this committee. Please contact Thomas Kiggen with questions about SEIA membership, the Women’s Empowerment Committee, and sponsorship opportunities. 


Shelley Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder, Alpha Solar Group

“Keep striving to higher levels in your business, personal life, etc.,” said Shelley Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of Alpha Solar Group. “Because being in this room full of women, I see not only that it’s possible, but that it’s happening and it’s growing.”

Leslie Barkemeyer, Deputy General Counsel, Sol Systems

“Be confident, raise your hand, be willing to put your out there and give an opinion.”

Claire Broido Johnson, President, CBJ Energy

“It’s critical for women to identify the skills they need to succeed then seek out resources to obtain those,” said Claire Broido Johnson, President of CBJ Energy. “It’s fantastic to have a group of women to network with and help each other advance in our careers.”

Brandon Middaugh, Microsoft

“We are at an inflection point in the deployment of clean energy technologies,” Brandon Middaugh of Microsoft said. “It’s a great time for women to be starting a career in this space.”

Anne Kirby, Alta Energy

“For a half day event, the content was incredible,” said Alta Energy’s Anne Kirby. “The value and the quality of the content was top notch. It was a great use of time.”

Katherine Jennrich, Senior Manager, Renewable Energy, Walmart

“This conference was evidence that women support each other. We share advice. We share experiences,” said Katherine Jennrich, Senior Manager of Renewable Energy at Walmart. “Widely use that to your advantage.”