EmPowered Women in Solar: Lauren Armata
Jun 30, 2021
by Amanda Cronin
We continue to see more and more women shifting to roles in industries that have been predominantly led by men. According to the 2020 National Solar Jobs Census, women represent only 30% of the solar workforce, with solar photovoltaic (PV) installer jobs particularly male-dominated. However, we’ve seen a huge increase in women emerging into these roles. With leaders in solar prioritizing workforce diversity, the number of women employed in the industry has increased by nearly 4,800 to more than 69,000 in 2020 alone.
The solar industry continues to post record growth and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that solar PV installer will be the fastest growing job through at least 2028. This means we need even more women in the field.
To help highlight opportunities for women to join the workforce, we took the opportunity to interview Lauren Armata, Solar Installer here at EmPower Solar, and learn about her experience working in a male-dominated role in the solar industry.
Q: What interested you in working in solar energy?
“I felt like I needed to get out in the open and work in a field where I can spend my days outside. I researched some trades that I could get into and went to electrical school and learned a lot. One of my teachers talked to our class about solar one day, and I thought it was really interesting. So I looked up who was hiring in the solar industry and I saw EmPower Solar and did some research on the company and knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Q: What were you doing before becoming a solar panel installer?
“I was in the security field. I was watching a lot of footage every day and making sure buildings were secure and safe. I was working inside all day in a room in the dark. I always knew that I liked to be outdoors and work with people and decided that I needed to make a change.”
Q: What’s it like being a female working in a male-dominated field/industry?
“I honestly forget I’m a female working here sometimes. We all get along and work so well together and respect each other. To me, I don’t see a difference. It’s just like I’m working with family.”
Q: Have you faced any challenges as a female solar installer?
“Honestly, I haven’t faced any challenges being a female installer other than me being short!”
Q: What would you say is the most important aspect of your job?
“The most important aspect of being an installer is safety. Safety is number one. I want to make sure I’m safe at all times and my team is safe at all times. It’s important to make sure there’s no distraction. We make sure to look out for one another and make sure we have each other’s backs.”
Q: How long have you been with EmPower Solar, and what has been your favorite job/how many panels do you think you’ve installed?
“I’ve been working for EmPower Solar for 9 months and this September will mark one year… Wow, I honestly don’t even know. I work on the commercial team and we’ve had a lot of projects over the last 9 months. I would say the number of panels installed must be in the hundreds!”
Q: What have you learned from this job and your role here that you never knew before?
“Wow, I’ve learned so much! But, I would say I’ve learned so much about construction and what it takes to build a project and the different roles and responsibilities of other teams we work with to get a project completed.”
Q: What’s the best thing about being a solar installer?
“The best thing about this job is that you get to be outside. Installing panels on roofs allows us to enjoy a great view all day, a nice breeze when the weather is nice, and an overall great workday. On top of that, we’re making an impact and helping the environment so it’s a win-win!”
Q: What would your advice be to other women who are hesitant to become solar installers?
“If you don’t mind getting dirty, using your hands, working with tools, and being outside then you have nothing to worry about. Right now it’s a beautiful day, we have a beautiful view, and a nice breeze, so if you’re looking for something different to do where you’re not inside all day and making an impact in the work that you do, then this could be the perfect job for you!”
Work With Purpose
Our solar installers are an important part of the work we do here at EmPower Solar. We take pride in providing hands-on solar energy education and training under the guidance of senior engineers and energy management professionals. However, solar involves more than just the installations, and we employ professionals with skills in sales, construction, operations, design, and more.
Explore Careers in Solar
If you’re interested in working with the most elite and experienced solar workforce on Long Island and in NYC, check out our careers page for a list of current openings!
We offer competitive pay, comprehensive health/dental/vision plans, a 401K plan with 4% match, 13 vacation days + 10 paid holidays, development/training opportunities, and more.