The Walmart Foundation  and Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation recently announced a partnership to launch the “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” initiative, connecting women to the emerging green economy by providing green job training. With generous support from the Walmart Foundation, BPW Foundation will establish a pilot program and award $60,000 grants to four organizations to expand their capacity to train women for green jobs.

“Women are underrepresented in “green” and “greener” sector jobs and we are focusing our efforts to make sure women are trained, recruited and retained for the sustainable jobs of the future,” said BPW Foundation Chair, Roslyn Ridgeway. “Green jobs often pay more, so supporting women’s entry into this sector will improve women’s wages and improve the lives of families and communities.”

The goals of the initiative are:
o        To improve the lives and careers of working women;
o        To provide opportunities for employers by increasing diversity in the workplace and providing them with a larger trained workforce pool;
o        To build capacity for training providers.

BPW Foundation is committed to creating successful workplaces and strengthening the U.S. workforce. To achieve this, the workforce must be inclusive. The work of BPW Foundation strives to increase the number of women in better-paying, non-traditional fields and ensure that careers of the future are pursued equally by all genders. The “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” initiative will explore women’s demand for green jobs and how to ensure that they are recruited, trained and retained in the sustainable jobs of the future. In particular, the project will support opportunities for women with specific needs and challenges, including low and moderate income women, displaced women workers, under-represented populations and women veterans in different geographical locations.

Partners and Local Pilot Sites

Although much work has been done to develop gender-responsive workforce solutions, that work has yet to include the green economy and, therefore, women remain under-represented in green sector jobs. BPW Foundation understands the value of collaboration and partnership to accomplish systemic change and is looking for initiative partners and pilot sites that support successful workplaces. In addition, BPW Foundation will identify companies with green jobs that welcome and support women in their workforce.

Selected sites will have a strong interest in expanding green jobs and training for women, a proven track record demonstrating training and outreach capabilities and be a recognized leader in one or more of the following areas: environmental or sustainability programs; relevant green industry-driven training and job placement and green career awareness, guidance and development; or women-focused training programs and services. By teaming with established training providers, BPW Foundation will be able to further engage women, determine how to meet their needs and expedite their entry into jobs they may not have considered.

The selection of diverse organizations and geographical reach will represent opportunities to study and evaluate a range of providers, populations, regions and industry sectors. BPW Foundation will be tracking all elements of this project, and distributing lessons, models and best practices for utilization by companies, organizations and businesses interested in supporting and expanding the role of women in the emerging green economy. A result of the Red to Green initiative will be program and service models that help women understand, access and excel in these careers and industry as they evolve.

The Successful Workplaces Movement

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation began the Successful Workplaces Movement to transform and redefine today’s workplace by focusing on issues that impact women, families and employers. The Successful Workplaces Movement combines research, policy, resources and programming in order to create systemic change. Such change is necessary to build supportive and successful workplaces; and to break down the final barriers to the full participation of women in the workplace. Creating systemic, sustainable change requires the collaboration of employees, employers and policy makers.

For more information about the “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” initiative and the Successful Workplaces Movement, visit the BPW Foundation website at or email to

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • Green Veteran

    Keep up the good work. We would love to see more stories of women veterans getting green jobs!

    • Tracey de Morsella

      Thanks. We would LOVE to here more stories of women vets in green jobs!!! If you here of any, let us know.

  • Tracy Crawford

    I am actually a woman vet with a green industry business and I’m very active in the sector on a few levels.

    I am wholly impressed with this initiative by the Walmart and BPW Foundations. I would hope to see more of these types of programs from the government as well!

    • Tracy


      Thanks for speaking up. What do you do in the industry? Do you have any advice for women trying to breaking into the industry?

  • Margaret

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.