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The Upstate Economy

Reaching out to 'green' women in the sustainable economy

Upstate communities are reaching out to women working in the sustainable economy. This week, community group Greenworks Buffalo Niagara hosted the first in a series of events for  "green" women, and many are still bumping their heads against the glass ceiling.

Event organizers say women hold a unique role in discussions about environmental sustainability and the economy as they're the largest consumers in the nation, but women don't often hold leadership roles in green companies.

Diana Cihak, who spoke at the first Greenworks event, works as business developer for a project that transforms organic waste into energy with close to zero emissions.

Cihak says despite the noticeable contribution to the sector, women are running into similar barriers encountered in other areas of the economy

"You know, it's part attitude. We just have to say: you know what, it's been like this for a lot of years and we're just not going to accept the prejudice, we're going to continue to do our jobs, and do them well, and prove ourselves in the field," Cihak said.

Cihak says educating young people of both genders about environmental sustainability is crucial to the future of the industry, as well as the state and national economies.