Photo via Change
If James Brown had been around to witness the rise of the green jobs sector and learned of the news from this recent study, he'd shake his head and say, "It's a man's world. Ow! After all these years and so much progress, even in a sector dedicated towards achieving the noble aim of an emissions-free economy, it appears some prejudices still plague us." Well, he might not have said it exactly like that. But it appears to be the unfortunate truth: women--especially minority women--are getting largely left out of the green job market.Apologies for that bizarre James Brown reference--it's Friday, you'll have to forgive me. But the case study from ARC (pdf) is very real, and the findings are indeed disturbing. According to the LA Times,
The Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank based in New York, said in "Greening Los Angeles" that women and minorities are often left out of the green economy. Of the people employed in green industries and occupations, blacks and Latinos make up less than 30%. Black women fill just 1.5% of energy sector jobs, while Latinas occupy 1% and Asian women take up 0.7%.Without digging into the stats too deeply, 30% doesn't sound like an overwhelmingly low number for black and Latino participation in the green jobs market--ideally it would be higher, but the more alarming numbers are those associated with women. Less than 3% of the green job market being filled by minority women is far too low.
The Applied Research Center is looking to help right the problem, and has created this Green Equity Toolkit designed to help women and minorities get a fair stab at green jobs. This is an issue worth examining, and keeping an eye on as the clean energy sector grows--women and minorities must absolutely get an equal shot at a green jobs.