The clean energy sector has a diversity problem

There is ample statistical evidence of the bottom-line benefits of a diverse workforce. “Companies in the top quartile for racial diversity are 36 percent more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile,” according to an analysis from the consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

In terms of diversity in the U.S. energy sector overall, a significant decline in the male-dominated coal industry has had the ripple effect of improving the profile of other energy sectors in recent years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest annual report on energy employment.

Energy analysts also observed that the oil, gas and coal industries are losing workers to new clean energy companies, which attract a younger — and presumably more diverse — hiring pool. Nevertheless, the U.S. energy industry overall continues to resist diversification, and the clean energy sector is no exception.

Drawing from statistics compiled by the Energy Department, in September of 2021 the clean energy organization E2 observed that clean energy employment is still “dominated by white men.”

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