Women in Solar

Diana Melody knows exactly what the workers on her rooftop are doing -- she volunteered with GRID Alternatives for around six months before a knee operation put her out of commission.
What do a high school student, city council member, solar professional and a network engineer have in common?
“I love nature and believe it is our responsibility to take care of it” states Nichol Conigliaro. Nichol is a Navy veteran and recent graduate from the job training program, Proteus Inc. “I learned about GRID Alternatives through Proteus. I had such a great time with everyone and loved that we were a team” stated Nichol.
As the Volunteer Training Assistant it is great to have the opportunity to get to know our wonderful volunteers and how they came to learn about GRID Alternatives. With that in mind, one afternoon I had the opportunity to meet Alison Van Dusen in our office, after completing her first install.
Jennifer White is here to help. The UCLA Graduate has master’s degrees in both Public Policy and Education, she is self disciplined, highly motivated and is currently channeling her significant energies into her position as a GRID Alternatives Outreach Fellow.
When Richmond-resident Kirk Essler first heard about GRID in the local newspaper, he thought that solar at no cost for income-qualified families just sounded too good to be true. “I knew my house was perfect for solar,” he explained, “…but if something sounds like such a good deal, you have to be cautious. But I went ahead and applied – I had nothing to lose.”
Retired great-grandmother Gloria Williams knows first-hand about the changes in Silicon Valley: she has seen it all over the last 40 years she’s lived in her split-level home in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park. This March, as millions across the globe celebrated International Women’s Month, Gloria wrote a new page in Belle Haven’s history as the first recipient of a GRID solar system.
Eager about what the day will bring, students from Ceres High School’s Manufacturing and Green Technology Academy strapped on their safety gear, ready to install solar in their hometown of Ceres. School officials and students filled the front yard of the home, as media captured the story of stewardship and volunteerism in the small town.
It was during a college class that Ms. Gonzales heard her fellow students talking about an all women crew volunteering with GRID Alternatives San Diego. “All I heard was ‘job’, ‘crew’ and ‘tools’, and I thought, I could do that!”
GRID Bay Area is thrilled to announce that our first Women In Solar (WIS) intensive training was a huge success! The program was a part of GRID’s WIS initiative – a national push to build a strong and sustainable solar industry through greater inclusion of women’s voices, talent and leadership, as the industry's workforce is currently only 23.9% female. Over the local two week training program, GRID was proud to see women with a diverse set of backgrounds (from veteran to veterinarian!) come together to form a rockin' 10 woman team.

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