Summary Proceedings of the Women, Jobs, and Wisconsin’s Green Economy

  • December 14, 2009
  • COWS
  • Staff

On Earth Day, 2009, US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis hosted with Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a national roundtable discussion on Women and Green Jobs, held in Washington, DC. For the first time, leading women from labor, business, academia, government and the nonprofit sectors from around the country shared how they are shaping our green economic strategy and how we can work together to ensure that women have access to the green economy. Building on this initiative, US Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau offices, across the country, are working with partner organizations to host state and local Women and Green Jobs roundtables.

At the request of Nancy Chen, Midwest Regional Administrator, Women’s Bureau, US Department of Labor, the Wisconsin Women’s Council, in partnership with Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, hosted Women, Jobs and Wisconsin’s Green Economy, a public policy roundtable, in Madison, WI. More than 60 people attended the program, representing industry, government, educational partners, workforce development organizations and other stakeholders.

In Wisconsin, as nationally, the social and political momentum of green jobs has garnered interest, legislation and dollars to encourage the development of green work and industries. Many green jobs, however, are in occupational fields that are non-traditional for women (that is, women comprise 25 percent or less of total employment). The purpose of the Roundtable was to bring together leading Wisconsin experts to assess where women – as workers, business owners, and leaders – fit in to this momentum. And, if they don’t, to determine how we will engage them. An important outcome of the program was to gather valuable information to provide input to state policymakers and other stakeholders, as well as to US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who has made including women in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created jobs a national concern.