Women’s Month 2023

HIDDEN GEMS – Women in the solar industry

We at GREEN call women solar’s HIDDEN GEMS and each August – Women’s Month – we set our sights on attracting more of these HIDDEN GEMS to pursue a career in solar energy.

Women bring a different energy and talent for a variety of tasks that add real value to any business in roles such as finance, system design, and sales. So, why not harness those skills in PV solar too? We want to get the message out there that solar is about far more than installation​ and shed some light on the variety of jobs that are available in solar.

And that’s where the CHALLENGE part of the name comes in: considering that our #GREENalumni network of installers is over 90% male, we task YOU with unearthing the HIDDEN GEMS in your midst: the colleague, daughter, partner or friend who would be brilliant in a PV business!

GREEN Solar Academy is making it easier for the HIDDEN GEMS in your circles to access the right solar training to get them up to speed: all women who book and pay for a training for themselves between 1 and 31 August will get 20% OFF that training. And if YOU book on the same invoice as the woman, you ALSO get 20% OFF your training!

The jobs of the future lie in renewable energies like solar power. You can bullet-proof the careers of the HIDDEN GEMS in your lives by recommending that they take their first steps into the industry with a solar training course from GREEN Solar Academy, just like the women who’ve shared their stories with us below.

Solar 101, for example, is designed specifically for people without a technical background, and while it is suitable for installers who will eventually go on to do their PV GreenCard, it is just as valuable for those who simply need the proper foundational solar training for SA’s PV landscape. You don’t need to know everything about how solar systems work to land an entry-level job. But the more you know, the better your chances, Don’t know what an inverter is? How about photovoltaics or net metering? Our Solar 101 course has been crafted to impart exactly that information.

And if a person already has some background knowledge, or comes from a mechanical or electrical background? Then they’re ready to jump straight into SuperSolarSchool, our 5-day PV GreenCard training that introduces participants to the calculations required for system sizing and the practical skills to physically install systems.


Read our course guide to find out which training meets the current needs and experience level of your HIDDEN GEMS, or contact the team at GREEN Solar Academy on +27 (0) 10 312 6724 or info@solar-training.org for more information.

The HIDDEN GEMS discount applies to all our 2023 trainings across the board, from the internationally-recognised intermediate SuperSolarSchool course to the advanced Commercial PV System Designer Course and the PV Financing Course!

We actually have one more treat this Women’s Month, and this time it’s for the men … if you book along with a woman on the same invoice, you will ALSO receive 20% OFF the cost of your training. Sound like a deal? Then start hunting for solar’s #hiddengems today.

General T&Cs apply. Exams and assessments not included in promotion.

Keep an eye on the GREEN Social Academy social media channels for regular updates on the HIDDEN GEMS Challenge.

#hiddengems #womensday #greenwomensday #womenenergisingwomen #womensmonth

Looking for training in other countries?


Let’s meet some of solar’s #HIDDENGEMS

Read the stories of the diverse women who’ve embarked on a solar career starting with a training at GREEN Solar Academy and then think of the #HIDDENGEMS in your own circles who would be an absolute asset to your business with just the right solar training.

Riëtte Stevens
I come from a sales and business development background, where I mostly sold advertising in magazines and publications. One of the publications I worked on was SAPOA (The South African Property Owners Association) where I dealt with commercial architects, project managers, engineer companies etc. This is where my interest in green energy was sparked – as we did interviews and features on all aspects of green and sustainable buildings.

A few years later, I applied for an administration position at a solar company and got a position as a sales executive. A year later I was promoted to sales and operations manager. I have since left and recently started my own company, SanaSolar.

My main goal is to educate clients in order for them to make an informed and educated decision: clients need to know what the limitations are on systems and what they can expect.

The Financing of PV Systems Course from opened new doors for me in the sense that I am now able to do accurate financial analysis (taking different factors into consideration i.e. capital outlay, degradation of panels, interest rate, insurance etc.) in addition to providing customised system solutions.

I would encourage woman that are interested in solar to definitely pursue their passion. It is an exciting industry that is constantly evolving.

Connect with Riëtte:

Thoko Ndlovu
I recently graduated as a Health and Safety Practitioner. I became interested in solar energy while investigating backup power solutions for the CCTV cameras I was installing. I have completed Super Solar School, PV Mounter, Financing of PV System and Solar Power Designer for Commercial PV Systems. I’m looking forward to doing the Compliance for PV System training next, followed by the GREEN PV Designer Exam & finally my SAPVIA PV Assessment, to obtain my GreenCard. I’m actually looking to volunteer my services at an established solar company right now – looking forward to connecting with fellow #GREENAlumni.

Connect with Thoko:

Megan Hussey
I spent the 1st part of my career in restaurants, owning my own and consulting to many for 20 years. Just before Covid arrived, I decided to take a leap of faith and change the industry I had become so familiar with. My marketing diploma helped me jump into a more corporate role, but it was my passion to make things happen that carried me to where I am today. I was introduced to the world of renewable energy about 4 years ago, in a marketing role, under the guidance of Ellie Salkouw.

The industry grabbed me with both hands, and I’ve used this opportunity to create a more sustainable future for myself, our clients, and the team that grows with us. There are always challenges, especially being a female in a male-dominated industry, but I’ve used this to push through and hopefully inspire other women to follow.

Connect with Megan:

Thobeka Zuma
I came into the program as a Quantity Surveying graduate. My aim was to grow in my career and most importantly branch off into green building in the construction field. I completed the SuperSolarSchool in Ballito, and by the end of the 5 days I had learnt so much. One of the things I did was set up an online website where I could teach high school kids about solar and the power of the sun! I was also fortunate that at work I have been offered the opportunity to upskill myself more in green building. I believe this opportunity came as a result of having shown commitment by attending GREEN’s SuperSolarschool.

Connect with Thobeka:

Marli Kriek
After studying environmental management and being passionate about finding sustainable solutions for our planet, I developed a deep interest in renewable energy and its ability to shape a greener future. When the opportunity arose to join a start-up solar company, I eagerly embraced it, immersing myself in learning and frequently visiting project sites.

The decision to pursue solar training with GREEN Solar Academy was driven by my realization that solar power was rapidly transforming the energy industry. I wanted to actively contribute my skills to this movement and work towards a cleaner and more sustainable world.

Now, equipped with my newfound solar expertise, I serve as an operations manager, overseeing the coordination and implementation of solar projects.

It is profoundly fulfilling to participate in installing solar panels, harnessing the power of the sun, and reducing carbon emissions. I am incredibly grateful for the chance to make a tangible impact in the battle against climate change.

I wholeheartedly encourage other women to join the solar industry as well. It is a sector brimming with potential for growth and innovation. By embracing this field, we can contribute to shaping a more sustainable future and breaking through any gender barriers that may exist. Let’s inspire and empower one another to drive positive change through renewable energy.

Connect with Marli:

Zerilda de Beer

My story kicked off in the receptionist’s chair and evolved through roles as a legal secretary, events coordinator, and even into the analytical realm of accounting. As I kept pushing forward, I stepped into the dynamic shoes of operations manager, further transformed into a savvy product owner and project manager, and most recently became the founder of Eco Renergy SA. Today, we have three thriving branches, each a powerful hub of sustainable energy, transforming landscapes and spreading positivity like wildfire.

As a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, I’ve faced obstacles head-on and emerged even stronger. These experiences have steeled my determination to illuminate the solar sector with inclusivity and diversity. Women are forces to be reckoned with, no doubt about that. However, I also want to give credit where it’s due—my success wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of my male advisors and the expertise of our top-notch installers.

Massive kudos to the GREEN Solar Academy for infusing my journey with expertise and zest! The wisdom and practical knowledge I gained there have turbocharged my approach to solar installations. Their relentless commitment to learning and staying at the forefront of industry trends has inspired me to seek innovative solutions and ride the wave of change.

Connect with Zerilda: