Women in Solar program offers pathways into the booming solar industry

Women In Solar Chandler Macleod 1

The first graduates of the Women in Solar initiative launched by Chandler Macleod and Beon Energy Solutions will graduate this month.

This Launch into Work program is an initiative of Chandler Macleod in partnership with Beon Energy Solutions on the Bomen Solar Farm, just outside Wagga and is an innovative approach to balancing the levels of diversity within the booming solar industry.

Cynthia Andrews, GM of Employment Equity for Chandler Macleod says the Women in Solar program is aimed at getting more women into the male-dominated solar industry and also supporting their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates with skill-building and support.

Women in solar

The first graduating class includes 12 inspirational women. 3 of whom identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 5 who were considered long-term unemployed and 3 who are parents or single parents. All of the successful course participants have been offered ongoing roles with Beon on their Wagga Solar Farm.

“I come from a family of 11 kids. We didn’t have role models, that’s why I want to be a better person and role model for my family”

Beon Energy Solution’s General Manager, Glen Thomson, is fully supportive of the program.

“The Women in Solar Program is a great initiative and fits with our approach to construction which is all about seeking to maximise the benefit to the local community through a targeted employment and training program. One of the best ways to achieve this is by targeting those people who – for whatever reason – face barriers to employment. And this is exactly what this program does.”

The 4-week intensive program gives participants a combination of accredited and non-accredited skills before they move into the full-time workforce, increasing the potential for success and longevity in the industry.

Increasing Diversity in the Workforce

Chandler Macleod is known for its commitment to closing the gap in Indigenous Employment and launched their Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan with Reconciliation Australia in 2018, but this is the first of their Launch into Work initiatives and the first solely aimed at increasing female participation in this male-dominated industry.

We are excited to increase the participation of women in this booming industry and play a role in increasing the diversity from the ground up. Without the support and participation of clients like Beon Energy Solutions, these programs would not see the success they are experiencing, so we are very grateful that our clients have been so willing to partner with us .

Building on a Solid Start

Chandler Macleod has successfully run programs through their Solid Start initiative, with clients ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates have the best possible chance of success for entry into the workforce and a long career. Utilising the learning from these programs along with their expert knowledge in managing the complexities of unseen bias, cultural awareness training and workforce management, Chandler Macleod is delighted to be building on this capability with the new Women in Solar programs.

Cynthia Andrews concludes “In developing these programs, our ultimate goal is always to unleash the potential of these candidates by utilising our partner contacts and expertise”.

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