The Pink to Green Toolkit: Adding a Gender Lens to Green Jobs Training Programs

Introduction Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5

Created by Wider Opportunities for Women
for the GreenWays Initiative

The green economy holds a clear promise of creating energy-efficient, safe, healthy, and sustainable communities, with an integrated approach to planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining commercial and private buildings. Moreover, because the emerging green jobs draw on many of the skills currently called upon in the building and trades fields, this new economy holds the promise of new and high-potential career paths. This could mean significant new opportunities for women to access well-paid, career-track jobs that provide economic security, enable them to support themselves and their families, and contribute directly to environmental quality.

However, many green jobs are considered nontraditional occupations for women. Women still represent less than 25 percent of the labor force and remain underrepresented in the major categories of jobs going green. This toolkit is designed to help training programs for green jobs break through patterns of occupational segregation.

The toolkit’s presentations, trainings, webinars, curriculum guides and modules, briefs, templates, tip sheets, and planning documents are designed to:

  • Help workforce development providers assess their capacity for recruiting, assessing, placing, and retaining women in nontraditional occupations;
  • Assist training providers in developing relevant plans, processes, and curricula for recruiting and retaining women in green nontraditional occupations;
  • Provide guidelines for case management of women and matters related to the unique and wraparound and support services required for women to advance on a career path in nontraditional occupations; and
  • Assist training programs in understanding and linking to organized labor, apprenticeships, and major employers.

The toolkit is a work in progress. New tools will be added in the coming months. The complete toolkit will be available online by winter 2013.

Using the Toolkit

This toolkit is organized into five categories:

  1. Outreach and Recruitment of Women
  2. Assessment and Case Management for Women
  3. Building Critical Skills of Job Readiness
  4. Gender-inclusive and Gender-focused Training Design to Facilitate Women’s Success in Building Trade Apprenticeships
    Tools for this section will be available Winter 2013.
  5. Job Development for Underrepresented Populations
    Tools for this section will be available Winter 2013.

These resources support the recruitment, training, and retention of women in jobs in the green economy. This toolkit can be used by program planners, managers, and frontline staff conducting outreach and assessment, training, case management, and job development to ensure that each stage of the employment process—from recruitment through retention—looks at how the workplace environment can be responsive to women of many backgrounds and how systems can be created or improved to address the barriers women face. The materials can help build the capacity of organizations to attract women to programs providing education, training, and support services targeted to women’s needs, and to offer assistance that helps industry partners incorporate policies and practices supporting equity and diversity. The resources also can be used to build on and strengthen existing activities, customize strategies, establish new practices and policies, and deepen effectiveness at serving all participants in an equitable manner.

Ensuring that more women are aware of and supported in entering green jobs is critical not only to achieving economic equity for women and their families but also to building a competitive workforce. To open their training and green career pathways to women, programs must be attuned to and address a range of barriers women face to entering these fields—lack of awareness, sex stereotypes, limited training and work experience, perception of work, myths and stereotypes about women’s work, sex discrimination, and institutional practices directed to men.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This toolkit was created by Wider Opportunities for Women for Pathways Out of Poverty, a project of the GreenWays Initiative. The resources in the toolkit were developed for technical assistance delivered to local partners by Lauren Sugerman of WOW and Geri Scott of JFF. Additional input in translating the materials into this format was provided by Matt Unrath of WOW and Deborah Kobes and Marc S. Miller of JFF. WOW gratefully acknowledges Chicago Women in Trades, Nontraditional Employment for Women and Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc for their contributions of content and photograghs to these presentations and materials.

This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyright by the institution that created it. Internal use, by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for noncommercial purposes, is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.