Climate change and sustainability interested Lauren Glickman since her college years. In fact, she graduated from Louisiana’s Tulane University with a dual degree in English and Environmental Policy — and left the state right before Hurricane Katrina hit.
“I was fortunate to graduate just before Hurricane Katrina but I witnessed the destruction from Miami, where I was running a grassroots campaign effort to oppose offshore drilling off Florida’s coast,” she shares. Glickman also directed a grassroots campaign in support of Cape Wind (remember the proposed wind project off the shores of Cape Cod that hit permitting setbacks?). “I was already a climate change activist at heart but Hurricane Katrina certainly solidified my career path.”
Glickman now has more than a decade of experience in renewable energy and climate change advocacy, with a strong focus on social media and online campaigns. Case in point: she worked at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), where she was responsible for re-design, re-launch, and management of AWEA’s social media program and the Power of Wind online advocacy portal. In the first six months after re-launch, it got 400 times as much traffic than previously. Glickman’s efforts earned her a spot among the top 10 social media-savvy trade associations.
Since 2013, Glickman has also been an adjunct professor at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, teaching undergraduate, graduate and executive education courses and seminars on social media theory and practice.
“There is a lot of work to be done when it comes to communications and renewable energy,” she says. And that’s one reason Glickman decided to venture out on her own as a communications consultant in the industry. She wanted to do more. “As a consultant, I’ve been able to support a range of marketing and communications objectives for organizations and companies such as Women of Renewable Industries & Sustainable Energy or WRISE, the Wind Energy Foundation — now the Wind Solar Alliance — Rope Partner, ACORE, AWEA, Renew Northeast, and others.”
“The WRISE network particularly inspires me and was my first client as a consultant,” says Glickman. She supports the network’s online engagement with its membership base and all of WRISE’s communication and marketing initiatives. “It’s a privilege and an honor to get to work alongside so many talented and driven women across the industry every single day.”
She points out that while women make up about 47% of the general workforce, in smaller industries such as wind and solar, they only account for 22 to 34% of the jobs. “Some days the challenges we face feel insurmountable, and the internet isn’t always the friendliest and most supportive space, especially for women,” she says. “However, the network is a constant reminder that the future is bright and we aren’t facing these challenges alone.”
Glickman, herself, is also a reminder of how important it is to push past stereotypes and glass ceilings. Last year, she joined in re-launching the strategic communications and public relations firm, RenewComm. It offers senior-level consulting to companies and nonprofits in the renewable energy and cleantech sectors. Now she is the majority owner and one of the managing partners.
“I’ve been able to maximize companies’ marketing budgets and deliver measurable results on something that I’m extremely passionate about. That makes me proud,” she says.
A couple of other accomplishments Glickman is proud of: delivering nearly a million comments to Congress in support of an ultimately successful extension of the production tax credit, including facilitating a fly-in for veterans working in the wind industry to advocate for the PTC extension (that was six years ago; the PTC expires at the end of this year); and launching and co-producing the podcast, Experts Only, which is hosted by CleanCapital.
“Experts Only explores the intersection of energy, innovation, and finance and has been an opportunity for me to learn a new medium, while getting to interact with people who are at the forefront of the industry, shaping the renewable energy economy,” explains Glickman.
So what has the wind industry taught her so far? “Wind power has taught me to be hopeful for the future…where I could feel hopeless, wind power and other renewable sources have taught me that climate change can be — and should be — the greatest wealth creation opportunity in human history and I am fortunate to be able to play a role in telling that story.”