The clean energy sector has been and will continue to be a job-creation engine, attracting some of the best, brightest and most passionate members of the 21st-century workforce. Nextracker’s own hiring reflects this, as we’ve added scores of new global team members over the past year and have dozens of current openings we’re seeking to fill.
But we’re also well aware of the lack of diversity and racial inequities in the solar and renewables workforce and have been working diligently to rectify those disparities. That’s a major reason why Nextracker is one of the cofounders of Renewables Forward, a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative launched last year “to identify specific ways to work together to create the change we all recognize is needed, commit to this change, and drive a larger industrywide partnership between CEOs and organizations.”
Renewables Forward was founded on four guiding principles:
- Assessing diversity and inclusion in our industry to raise awareness around inequality and benchmark progress toward a more diverse and inclusive industry.
- Developing and sharing corporate practices and policies for a consistent drive toward increasing diversity and inclusion within our companies and the industry.
- Creating a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of candidates in the renewable energy industry.
- Investing in the under-resourced and minority communities in which we work.
As part of the initiative, I have been actively involved as a member of the Renewables Forward HR Collective. I’m so proud to announce the completion of our first major initiative —the just-issued HR DEI playbook.
This playbook extends beyond a discussion of general concepts and focuses on clear, tangible steps that renewable and clean energy companies can take to tackle diversity and inclusion within their organizations as well as across our industry. Featuring 13 downloadable sections across four main topic areas, the “how-to” guide provides easy-to-follow, tactical suggestions that companies can immediately implement to make measurable changes in how they recruit, hire and engage with their employees. Each section follows a straightforward “what this is,” “why it matters” and “examples” outline, with links to other resources provided.
The playbook includes tools for companies to assess the current state of their organization’s DEI progress, implement unconscious bias training, improve recruiting and onboarding practices to be more inclusive, measure and manage their compensation and promotional processes, and engage with their employees more effectively throughout their employment all the way through the exit process. Over the next several months, we will continue to enhance and add content to the playbook.
Additionally, we believe that while it was created for the clean energy and renewables sector, many of the ideas in the playbook can be successfully applied to other industries. We encourage all companies that can benefit from our shared ideas to take advantage of this important work.
Here at Nextracker, we have heightened our focus on DEI over the past several months. We started by completing a global survey of our staff to benchmark how our team members felt we were doing. The results allowed us to identify and prioritize very specific actions that we needed to take to improve not only the employee experience but also improve the overall diversity of our workforce.
We have already implemented several processes and policy changes, such as doubling referral bonuses for diverse candidates, enhancing our sourcing efforts to include more diversity resources, and finalizing our plan to provide every global team member training and awareness of unconscious bias. We completed analyses on compensation, promotions, and other organizational metrics to help identify any disparate treatment. Our future plans include using “anonymous” resumes during the screening process as well as increasing our level of engagement and discussion with our colleagues around the world on this important issue.
It is our sincere hope that our collective efforts will improve the diversity of not only Nextracker but the solar and renewables industry overall.
Watch the video below to learn why Nextracker is More than Just a Place to Work.
Dorothy Serdar is the Vice President, Human Resources at Nextracker. She directs the strategic and operational Human Resources activities and implements high-impact HR programs and practices.