For today’s job seekers, the ‘why’ of a company has never been more important. For many, the sense of contributing to something bigger, making a meaningful difference and working towards a common good are key considerations.
Progressive businesses are also now driven by core values as much as by profit and increasingly recognise their wider responsibility to society and its future.
Having a diverse workforce, that is reflective of many communities, has been shown to be good for business. It can increase competitiveness, generate new ideas, and allow companies to reach new clients.
Head of Corporate Resources, BayWa r.e. Renewable Energy GmbH
Watch this film to find out more about the value driven culture that is now at the heart of job seekers’ expectations and of businesses that are increasingly recognising their role and responsibly within wider society.
VOICE OF THE STREET:
THE VALUE DRIVEN CULTURE OF TODAY'S JOB SEEKERS
Hear first hand the values today's job seekers look for in a progressive employer and a career in a modern workplace.
Erika Symmonds, Vice President of Workforce Development and Service Learning, GRID Alternatives
The renewable energy industry provides meaningful jobs in a growing sector and people need jobs! It’s meaningful work because it’s a chance for folks to be part of positive change and make a decent living. It involves new technology and is one of the many solutions that reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental sustainability.
The ideal workplace of the future is equitable, safe, and inclusive. Inclusivity means engaging in deliberate and conscious work to bring in the individuals who are often left out. An ideal workplace, in my eyes, must work to attract recruits from many backgrounds and create an environment in the office, on the job site, and in executive leadership where all employees’ opinions and expertise are supported, respected, and valued.
For example, to hire and retain more women workers, we need to offer scheduling flexibility and ensure workspaces free of sexual harassment. We need to ensure an inclusive environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) workers and we need to ensure that we are offering reasonable accommodations and modifications for our employees with disabilities. These are just a few examples.
Since 2010, the solar industry has grown by almost 160 percent. We have an incredible opportunity to help people find a career in the industry, whether that’s in construction, installation, office positions, engineers and more. The solar industry has a responsibility to ramp up the visibility of these careers, especially in disadvantaged communities.
I encourage individuals to check out local resources, for example in the U.S the Solar Job Census is a great resource, and learn what the industry is like in their region. You can also check out local community colleges to see if any renewable energy coursework is available and seek out a network of energy professionals in your area. Strong workforce development programs, with an emphasis on hands-on experience, can also play a crucial role in jumpstarting a clean energy career.
At GRID, we know having a diverse workforce is vital. Our vision is a transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone. Having a diverse workforce, that is reflective of many communities, has been shown to be good for business. It can increase competitiveness, generate new ideas, and allow companies to reach new clients.
An important strategy in creating that change is having the workforce, at all levels and across job types, reflect all the people that the energy sector impacts - and that means from all backgrounds and communities.
The renewable energy industry needs to take the long view. Cultivating a culture of equity and inclusion will require working in partnership with related industries, the education sector, and the workforce development system to set up a dynamic training-to-career pipeline. We must ensure these opportunities are visible and create pathways to good solar careers for all.
We also need to expand the reach of our recruitment and to be honest with ourselves. We live in a society where inequity is deeply ingrained in our culture within business and beyond. We can’t successfully build a sector that is inclusive without engaging in important culture change work.
R.E.THINK CASE STUDY:
Transforming lives in Zambia
What it’s all about! Making a difference by bringing renewable power to remote rural communities in Zambia to help support sustainable development.