Solar in USA: Sunrun Achieves 100% Pay Parity, a Move Towards Gender Equality

One major way to help increase gender equity in most industries is to ensure pay equity. That includes in the solar industry and Sunrun just made the announcement that it’s reached pay parity, meaning that all employees regardless of gender, who perform similar work in similar locations across the United States are paid equally.

"Fair and equal pay for all genders and races is a fundamental human right and integral to the Sunrun ethos," said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and CEO. "In the United States today, the workplace inequity that exists is unacceptable. On average, women are paid 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. Taking real action to address the issue is the right thing for our business, our communities, and our society." 📷

Overall the solar industry is still led by white men, who comprised 36 percent of all senior positions in the solar industry, those who earn $75 an hour or more. That’s according to the 2017 US Solar Industry Diversity Study by the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) Women’s Empowerment Committee and The Solar Foundation. The same study found that 21 percent of employees in the solar industry are white women and only 4 percent are women of color. Men of color make up 28 percent of workers in top positions at solar companies. 

The installer said it is the first national solar company to reach gender pay equity, a move that began in 2016 when it committed to The White House Equal Pay Pledge in 2016 under the Obama Administration. In working to make the pledge its business practice, Sunrun made changes to its compensation practices, which included ending the policy of asking potential hires their prior salary history. The solar installer also gives equal parental leave for all employees.

The change occurred before a new law in California made it illegal for an employer to use past salary history to be included in compensation decisions for new hires. "Integrity is one of Sunrun's pivotal values spanning across the entire organization. It permeates how we engage with customers and local communities, to how we pay our people," Jurich said.

Sunrun also has a highly diverse executive team with women making up 50 percent of its senior leadership team, including Jurich, and roughly 40 percent of its board. 

"We are building a company that furthers the greater good of environmental stewardship, smart, profitable growth, local community enrichment, and creating an employment experience that advances the lives of all of our team members. The issue of fair and equal pay is as important to men as it is to women at Sunrun," said Chris Dawson, Sunrun's Chief Operating Officer.

The solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the US and it’s more diverse than some industries but working to be more inclusive. In 2016 the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) introduced a workforce diversity guide to help address the issues, for instance. 

Source: Solar Reviews

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