The Influence of Women in the Solar Industry

By Maria Carrillo
March 08, 2017
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It’s International Women’s Day! Today we recognize and celebrate women all around the world. As a member of Pick My Solar’s female population, it’s necessary for me to highlight an important movement we’ve all observed both inside and out of the solar industry….the buying power and influence of women.

Not only do women rule the economy, they are also the group responsible for the majority of solar installations in the United States. In 90% of American homes, women are involved in or make the decision to buy solar panels. Women are known as the Chief Purchasing Officer in their households. The phrase, coined by leading women’s marketing expert Marti Bartletta, refers to the fact that women in the United States have immense influence when it comes to buying and making decisions involving money.

Women’s Consumer Power

Though women around the world are still fighting for equal access and opportunities in education and the work force, we have made notable traction over the last few decades. As women continue to have increased access to education, the number of women participating in and making up the work force has risen. In turn, the number of women owned businesses has increased, and women are earning more than in the past.

Globally, women are earning $13 trillion annually, which is expected to rise to $18 trillion within the next five years. As of now, 60% of personal wealth in the U.S. is held by women. According to Harvard Business Review, not only are women earning more money, but their income is rising at a faster rate per year compared to men’s. Over 1.3 million women in the U.S. earn over $100,000 annually. Women own 40% of private businesses in America. Women now hold 51% of the stock market. It is estimated that  women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the U.S. in next decade.

Women globally control $20 trillion every year  in consumer spending. That number is expected to rise to about $28 trillion within the next International Womens Dayfive years.  In the United States alone, it is estimated that women’s contributions range from $5 to $15 trillion in spending and account for for 85% of all consumer purchasing.

Women’s Influence in the home

When it comes to the home, studies show that  women control ~ 92% of decision making. Women influence or introduce 80% of home improvement projects, and 75% of women identify as the primary household shopper. Over half of products mass marketed towards men are bought by women (such as  technology and electronics.) 68% of vehicle purchase decisions are made by women.  

Data shows women are the primary decision makers when it comes to buying for the home, but they also call the shots when purchasing a new home. Women influence or make 91% of new home buying decisions. As well, more single women buy homes than single men. Single women make up 17% of the current housing market.

Women and Sustainability

Women have long pioneered the fight for clean water, clean air, and healthy food in their communities. It’s no surprise that women have been found to be more eco- friendly when shopping for  products, whether it be their food, household cleaners, or renewable energy. Women are also prone to drive recycling habits in the house, and respond more strongly to eco friendly advertisement. When making a decision on solar power, women are more likely to consider the environmental benefits of clean energy as well as the financial sustainability it will provide their household.

Women make up more than a substantial portion of solar sales, due to their influence on decisions made in the home, as well as their power in spending. By not marketing effectively to women, the solar industry is missing a critical opportunity to reach its target audience of potential buyers. As women continue to shatter glass ceilings everywhere, the solar industry must continue to find new ways to engage women if they want to achieve continual profits and success.

Maria Carrillo

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Maria Carrillo

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