Where Are The Women In Green--Dead Horse Edition

I have written and written on the gender disparity in green building and renewable energy.  Today I am beating that poor horse just one more time, but it is so important to me that I hope you will indulge me.

Today I received the invitation from the American Council on Renewable Energy National Policy Forum, which is scheduled for December 8-9 in Washington. There are 34 speakers at this program, one of whom is female (big shout out to Lisa Frantzis from Navigant Consulting).  The invitation (which you can see for yourself here) makes this disparity visual. 

What is the cause of the gender disparity at this event? Is it ACORE, a very good organization as a general proposition, not being aware of the gender disparity in the program? Is it the lack of women in Congress and other federal leadership positions as a whole, thereby reducing the pool to choose from for this event? Is it a failure of women in this field to promote themselves as speakers to this type of event?  Choice D, all of the above? 

I do not think that including women in a program purely for the sake of gender diversity is a positive outcome of this type of discussion.  Rather, in an industry which is predominantly male dominated,  the organizers of programs like this one should make an effort to identify women who are qualified, which may take a little more effort, but produce a more balanced program. 

By identifying and promoting women in this type of forum, more women are likely to come and to be involved, thereby creating a larger pool of qualified professionals, and beginning to address the gender disparity as a whole.

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