Graham, L. et al.
Critics are taking aim at the solar industry after activists tweeted a photo of a solar panel that did not have a single woman on it’s 17.6 square feet. A further investigation revealed that no woman has ever spoken on any of the world’s solar panels.
At a press conference earlier this month, the C.E.O. of solar panel company FlareSolar, Bill Hendricks, flat out admitted to reporters that he would never put a woman on any of his solar panels.
“It doesn’t really make sense… Solar panels require a direct path for the sun’s rays, putting a woman on one would directly interfere with that,” said Hendricks. His statement was met with boos from the crowd.
“No, please, you don’t understand-” shouted Hendricks over the defiant cries, explaining that by his estimate, solar panels with woman on them would only receive about 77% of the light . “Besides,” he added, “we can’t put women on solar panels, they’re not designed to handle that much weight.”
Three minutes later the hashtags #PhotonsNotPhoTONNES and #MassIsASocialConstruct were trending on Twitter, with calls to cancel Hendricks and scrap solar energy in general.
Activist Kayleigh Fowler, appalled at the lack of representation, is determined to become the first-ever woman to sit on a solar panel. But she says her ambitions were thwarted by a group of men determined to keep her out.
“When I tried to climb onto the solar panel, I was rudely berated by a group of male technicians,” said Fowler. “They said I was ‘trespassing,’ and that what I was doing was ‘extremely dangerous’” she hissed, shaking her head. “This is exactly the kind of continual harassment that keeps women out of STEM.”
Though she wasn’t able to break the glass ceiling, she was able to crack the glass surface of the solar panel, which will require thousands of dollars in repairs. “I take that as a small victory,” she declared.
While Fowler hopes to shed more light on the lack of gender diversity in the industry, she is encouraged that all the solar panels she’s seen so far have been predominantly black.