Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more

Who’s in a position to make some green while taking care of Mother Nature? Not many women, it turns out.

Dozens of top global brands — including some leading cleantech companies — have no female board directors. A recent article in The Atlantic asked why that’s the case, when many of these companies market aggressively to women and rely on women for large portions of their business. As well, women make up the majority of the U.S. workforce and U.S. management positions. While the exclusion may seem less glaring with cleantech than, say, Bulgari’s fashion empire, the fact remains that women are largely absent from cleantech boardrooms.

Women aren’t nearly as present as their male counterparts in the upper echelons of most industries, but that doesn’t mean that all-male boardrooms are a prudent business decision. An analysis by consulting firm McKinsey found that the operational profits of companies with female board directors were 56 percent higher than those with only male board directors. The analysis also showed that boards with women surpassed all-male boards in auditing, risk oversight and control.

But still the glass ceiling in cleantech persists. The majority of the top 10 cleantech companies as ranked this year by the Wall Street Journal have no female board directors. At the recent Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, the seminars were dominated by all-male panels. Lists of the most powerful females in cleantech often elicit a collective “huh?” from readers — they’ve never heard of the women, and they’ve never heard of the companies.

Some organizations are bucking the trend, but they are the exception to the rule. Here’s a roundup of some big names that don’t have women in the boardroom, as well as some that do:

Cleantech companies with no female board directors:
Bloom Energy
Serious Materials
First Solar
GreatPoint Energy
Adura Technologies
Harvest Power
Ice Energy
Aquamarine Power
BrightSource Energy

Cleantech companies with at least one female board director:
Sapphire Energy
Silver Spring Networks
EnOcean Alliance

[Image via SFO CP/Flickr]


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member