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Supporting women in solar

Growing Victoria’s clean energy workforce.

We are committed to attracting more women to take the first steps in a fulfilling and rewarding career in the solar and renewable energy sectors – and supporting them in their journey.

Women are significantly under-represented in the solar industry, making up less than one per cent of electricians, plumbers, solar PV and battery designers and installers, and licensed electrical inspectors.

Learn more about how we are helping to empower women and working toward achieving gender diversity.

Clean Energy Council accredited installers and designers can also gain 10 continuous professional development (CPD) points per session by attending the workshops and events on this page. Please apply for your CPD elective training points through the CEC websiteExternal Link .

Career and professional development mentoring for women

Enhance and support your experience of the solar and home heating and cooling industries with free career and professional development mentoring.

Women working in our programs or participating in our training, who would like support to enhance their careers through personalised professional mentoring, are encouraged to reach out to us with any questions at: industrytraining@team.solar.vic.gov.au.

Who is eligible?

These mentorships will especially suit women starting out in the solar or home heating and cooling industries, and who are unsure of the direction their career could take or how to get there.

To be eligible to take part in career and professional development mentoring, you must be:

  • participating in Solar Victoria's eligible training initiatives, or
  • employed by a business participating in any Solar Victoria program, or
  • an accredited installer participating in any Solar Victoria program, or
  • able to demonstrate a link to any Solar Victoria program.

Conversation event series: A career in solar

This is a series of information sessions promoting the solar industry as a career path for women working in, or thinking about working in, the industry. This includes fourth-year apprentices, qualified plumbers and qualified electricians.

The sessions included guest speakers and industry champions promoting the solar industry and sharing what the journey has been like for them.

This initiative is funded by Solar Victoria and presented by Tradeswomen AustraliaExternal Link .

Learning outcomes include:

Speakers for the event on Wednesday 29 June 2022 included:

  • Host Services Officer, Electrical Group Training

    Kathryn is a mother of three boys and has been a qualified electrician since January 2002. She started as an apprentice with Electrical Group TrainingExternal Link in WA and overcame many obstacles throughout her apprenticeship, including a period of maternity leave in her second year.

    Completing the remainder of her apprenticeship as a young mum, the beginning of tradie life proved difficult so in 2007 Kathryn got her contractor's licence and started her own business. This began in general domestic but soon moved into solar after getting her accreditation in February 2008.

    Kathryn remained the electrical contractor and leading hand for her business as it grew, while her husband took over the business administration side. Kathryn is now back at Electrical Group Training as a host services officer.

    Kathryn’s passion in life is encouraging young women into the industry that she loves so much and volunteering in many advocacy groups where she can.

  • Director, Solar Integrity

    Bobbi has been working in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector since 2006 and has been a small business owner since 2009. Bobbi is a partner in Solar IntegrityExternal Link , based in Albury Wodonga on the Victorian and New South Wales border. Working and living on the border of two states adds greater complexity to her business and has meant that she has certainly experienced the highs and lows of the industry, but this has helped build resilience in business and life.

    Bobbi is the co-founder and volunteer for Renewable Albury Wodonga Energy (RAW Energy), a local community energy group. She is also an active member of the North East Community Energy Network.

  • Chief Executive, Clean Energy Council

    Clean Energy CouncilExternal Link is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia. Kane has more than a decade's experience in energy policy and leadership in the development of the renewable energy industry. Kane has advocated for and helped design the policies that have been critical to the renewable energy industry's growth, and continues to be an active political advocate, public presenter and media spokesperson.

Speakers for the event on Wednesday 25 May 2022 included:

  • Consultant at Advisian

    Monishka Narayan is a consultant at AdvisianExternal Link , Worley Group. She is a physicist by research expertise, having designed innovative solar cells for optimal photovoltaic performance. Monishka also has experience in project management, specifically targeting innovative research projects through enablement of smart meter data to drive energy transition such as low voltage management, impact of electric vehicles, solar and household battery on networks, and efficient demand response mechanisms.

    Monishka has led and contributed towards publications, book chapters, conference proceedings in the field of organic photovoltaics, and delivered lectures in Engineering, Maths and Physics. She has also written energy industry focused news articles, and designed workshops on innovations in the Australian energy sector.

  • Sydney Solar and Batteries

    Lily Pejkic commenced her electrical career in 2007 with an apprenticeship with Energy Australia and went on to work within the power industry for over 10 years. There she gained invaluable skills with a variety of roles including substation construction and maintenance, linesman and fibre communications technician. With this experience, she went on to start her own company, Sydney Solar and Batteries.External Link

  • Operations Manager at Clenergy

    Aurore has been working in the solar industry since 2011 and is currently Operations Manager at ClenergyExternal Link , an international leading supplier of PV mounting systems. She is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating multiple support services such as management, logistics and stakeholder engagement for the Australian business.

    Aurore is passionate about renewable energies and has extensive experience working and contributing to multicultural thriving teams. Aurore holds a master’s degree in International Business from Inseec Business School in Paris and is an active member of Toastmasters, a not-for-profit educational organisation teaching public speaking and leadership skills.

    Aurore was also a finalist in the 2019 CEC Women in Renewables Your Leadership Voice Scholarship.

  • Owner at SEC Inspections

    Melissa has worked in the general management of SEC InspectionsExternal Link since 2013. Prior to this Melissa worked in various roles including Smallman Electrical Contracting and as a qualified Hairdresser. Melissa's key roles include financial management, marketing and managing the training facility at The Institute of Electrotechnology.

    Melissa has worked previously as an assistant to the Transport Manager. Melissa excels in contract customer relations, liaising with key industry stake holders to ensuring KPIs and customer satisfaction are maintained to the highest standard.

  • Workplace Diversity Officer, Tradeswomen Australia

    Chelsea previously worked as a Workplace Health and Safety and Human Resources Administrator for a plastering company while completing her university studies. She has a Bachelor of Arts, minoring in Islamic studies and majoring in politics and international relations. She then went on to complete post-graduate qualifications in Human Resource Management.

    Chelsea is passionate about shifting the workplace culture to better facilitate diversity and equal opportunity for women. Having worked in a male-dominated industry, Chelsea was able to experience and understand first-hand the barriers that exist for women in the trade industry.

Understanding bias workshops

Achieving diversity in the workplace begins with personal awareness at all levels of the workplace and understanding what biases may be present – our conscious biases (those we are aware of) and our unconscious biases (ones we may never be aware of).

Understanding bias workshops build understanding and education around unconscious bias (for example, negative thought patterns and mental shortcuts), habits and behaviours – covering topics on race, gender and age.

This initiative is funded by Solar Victoria and presented by Tradeswomen AustraliaExternal Link .

Learning outcomes include:

  • understanding what bias is and how to recognise it
  • understanding the link between unconscious bias, habits, and language
  • learning the impacts of bias on people's lives through lived experience
  • learning how to question attitudes around gender and language
  • learning skills to manage bias and change behaviours.

Speakers at our last workshop on Wednesday 11 May included:

  • CEO at RACV Solar

    Andy McCarthy is a lifelong advocate for renewable energy, electric vehicles, a smarter and more responsive grid, and the economic and social opportunities that exist within the energy transition. He is passionate about creating improved social and environmental outcomes, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

    The founder of Gippsland Solar - which was acquired by RACV in December 2019 - Andy still leads the organisation as CEO and Director of RACV Solar.

  • Group CEO at Printing with Purpose and Indigenous Employment Partners

    Group Chief Executive Officer at Printing with PurposeExternal Link and Indigenous Employment PartnersExternal Link , Sara is a Kamilaroi woman with 15 plus years’ experience in mainstream recruitment.

    Both Printing with Purpose and Indigenous Employment Partners are wholly Indigenous owned and operated social enterprises, with a mission to provide culturally appropriate employment, recruitment and training services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • Award-winning tradeswoman

    Rachael Keiley is an award-winning tradeswoman, business owner and gender equity advocate. Rachael has over 10 years of experience as a qualified plumber and is currently juggling three different business ventures. She was recognised for her training excellence as an apprentice of the year and was the winner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Women in Plumbing and Gas Award.

  • Respectful Relationships Educator, Department of Education and Training, Victoria

    Previously the founder of Nirodah, Respect Australia and co-founder of Club Respect, Paul has over a decade of experience successfully engaging men in discussions about the impact of living through outdated modes of hyper masculinity. His philosophy is underpinned by an empathy-based model that draws on research into the impacts of trauma and neglect on neurological and emotional functioning.

    Paul currently works at the Department of Education and Training, and has led the creation of prevention initiatives using The Man Box research as the foundation of the programs. He is passionate about shifting the narrative amongst our community to encourage men and boys to embrace healthier forms of masculinities

  • Workplace Diversity Officer at Tradeswomen Australia

    Yasara is a Workplace Diversity Officer at Tradeswomen Australia and recently completed a Master of Human Resource Management, graduating at the top of her class. During her degree, she was appointed as Vice President of the university’s Human Resource Association and completed an internship in the security industry. She also holds an undergraduate degree majoring in psychology and has clinical experience in the mental health arena.

    Yasara is passionate about fostering and strengthening diversity initiatives to open doors for women and minorities working in male dominated industries. She aspires to cultivate positive and supportive organisational cultures and to advocate for the mental health of all employees. Her degrees in psychology and human resource management, coupled with her work experience, has given her invaluable insight into the importance of mental health. She believes that success in people’s careers does not need to come at the expense of their wellbeing.

You can also subscribe to our Industry newsletter or follow us on FacebookExternal Link or TwitterExternal Link to be updated about these events.

Networking and useful resources

We encourage women in solar and those considering a career in solar to reach out for support, advice and resources from established and respected organisations.

Among those committed to growing a community that encourages women to join and be successful in the solar industry are:

About our commitment

Solar Victoria is investing $11 million to deliver a comprehensive training and workforce development package. Our aim is for the residential solar and the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry to have the skills and capabilities to deliver our programs and to support growth.

Boosting training and workforce development will ensure Victoria has an ongoing supply of skilled workers to support growth in the renewable and clean energy sector.

Any questions?

For general enquiries please email industrytraining@team.solar.vic.gov.au or call our Customer Service team during business hours 8:00am – 6:00pm Monday – Friday (except public holidays) on 1300 376 393.

For information about other initiatives helping to grow Victoria's clean energy workforce, see Training and workforce development.

Promotional resources

Many of our training and workforce development initiatives are open to people working outside our programs, so we encourage training providers, local councils, businesses, community groups and others to promote them. See Training and workforce development promotional resources.

Reviewed 18 January 2023

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