Authors: Julia Rhee
Julia Rhee is the Green For All Tour Ambassador for The Black Eyed Peas' 2010 tour. Sign up for updates from the tour and a chance to win a meet and greet with the Peas. One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Where are the women in green jobs?" With so much public attention focused in construction, a historically male-dominated field, people wonder about the role of women in green careers. Meet Dawn Moody, longtime Philadelphia resident and green-collar worker with the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA). Dawn came out to volunteer with us at the Philadelphia stop of The Black Eyed Peas tour. The proud mother of a college freshman who encourages her peers to unplug appliances after use, Dawn is a living example of women who are redefining the industry in green construction. “The best thing about my job is that I help people conserve energy and put a few extra dollars in their pocket. They don’t have to choose between buying groceries in the refrigerator or heating their house,” Dawn says proudly. As a BPI Certified Energy Auditor, Dawn and her agency work with low to moderate-income residents to find ways to save energy in Philadelphia households. With so much of our carbon footprint stemming from wasteful energy use in our nation’s commercial and residential buildings, retrofitting homes and buildings goes a long way - in both environmental and economic savings. And because housing in low-income areas is more likely to leak energy and heat, an energy audit can quickly identify low-cost solutions to better insulate the home and save substantial costs in high utility bills. As Dawn points out, those extra dollars can go a long way.
A Woman’s Work
With more opportunities for job training and employment in energy conservation than ever, ECA is spreading the word and working to bring more women into the field. They’ve joined up with the Veteran’s Administration, Women’s Health Resource Clinic in Philadelphia, PathWays PA, and other community organizations to increase access and awareness. Dawn added that she understands the misconceptions about women in green jobs. “I think women underestimate themselves in believing they can’t do this work. But if you can become a mother, carry a child for 9 months, and get up at 3 o’clock in the morning to change a diaper, then doing an energy audit is a piece of cake.” “Being green today,” Dawn said wisely, “means that 25-30 years from now, my grandchildren will be able to benefit from the energy conservation of my generation.”