This International Women's Day, the DCSEU is celebrating women working in energy efficiency. Though they make up only 24% of the energy efficiency workforce, women are bringing their passion for the environment and helping people into the forefront of the industry, helping to deepen the impact these initiatives have on local communities and our world at large. The DCSEU is proud to highlight five of its own women team members working to build a brighter, more sustainable future for the District.
"I always joke that I feel like a Planeteer from the show Captain Planet. It’s empowering to see so many women that work in this industry leading and helping to effect change. It’s powerful to me the impact that we as women are making to improve and help our environment.
The part I like the most is we can actually measure and see our success. To see our work truly make an impact to residents and businesses that really need the help."
- Patrice Brooks, DCSEU Low-Income Program Manager
"I got into a career in energy efficiency by seeing firsthand how countries, including the U.S., were using inefficient standards and practices. It's a cyclical problem, with communities lacking access to cleaner energy solutions. This inspired me to want to help out locally here in DC, and to help the city meet its energy benchmarking goals.
Working as a woman in the healthcare market has been very influential in how I view the impact of energy efficiency improvements. The work that hospitals in the District are doing is important, and the facility managers at these sites are working hard to improve the healing space that patients walk into. It is much more than reducing electric and gas costs, it is about creating a safer living environment for everybody.”
- Shannon Gallagher, DCSEU Account Manager
"Climate change will affect all people across the world. Gender, however, plays a critical role in individual vulnerability, with women typically more likely to be negatively affected by the impacts of climate change, and having limited access to power and resources. To combat this vulnerability, it is imperative that women also play a role in the fight against climate change. As a woman working in the industry, I am proud that I can contribute to the fight and represent our specific needs.
The opportunity to directly improve my community is by far the best part of my job."
- Solome Girma, CEM, DCSEU Director of Program Management
"I've always wanted a career where I can aid in conservation of the environment. Currently, as a small business Account Manager, I am able to support the needs and concerns of business owners by offering energy efficient solutions when they are faced with high utility costs.
It makes me proud to know that I am making a difference within the DC community. I encounter so many women-owned businesses who are very environmentally conscious and it inspires me to work harder together as women to save the environment."
- Leigh Harrold, DCSEU Account Manager
"We all must do what we can to preserve the environment so our children and our children’s children will still have the opportunity to enjoy nature. If we don’t do our part, such as changing behaviors and exercising our right to vote, then we risk not being able to enjoy our world due to climate change.
Washington, DC is a diverse city and I am grateful to work in a field where 'green jobs' mean something to the residents and the government. Through my work I get the chance to educate individuals about energy efficiency and how the career they train in helps not only them, but the economic development and growth our city."
- Gleniss Wade, DCSEU Workforce Development Program Manager