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RESTalk EP 126: Trailblazing Women in Energy Efficiency

Mar 20, 2024 BuildersGeneralProvidersRaters


“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”- Estée Lauder

For our March episode during Women’s History Month, we welcome Sharla Riead, Lead Instructor at EnergySmart Institute, and Emelie Cuppernell Glitch, VP of Programs for Performance Systems Development to focus on the recognition of women in the HERS® (Home Energy Rating System) rating industry.

Sharla shares her extensive background, beginning with founding an energy auditing company in 1979, which evolved into a HERS rating company, and subsequently into roles in quality assurance and training within the industry. She emphasizes her company’s impact and the shift she has observed toward greater female involvement in the sector.

Emelie details her journey in the industry, from her initial interest in science and residential energy to her current role as vice president of Performance Systems Development. She discusses the challenges she faced as a woman in the field, including overcoming assumed biases and the importance of establishing credibility. She reflects on the changing landscape for women in the industry, noting improvements and sharing a personal anecdote illustrating past gender assumptions.

Our conversation concludes with their advice for women entering the industry, highlighting the importance of continuous learning, self-trust, and getting outside one’s comfort zone. Both guests underline the evolving nature of the industry, noting an increase in female participation, the growing list of role models, and encouraging more women to join. Sharla and Emelie stress the value of diversity and the need for different perspectives in building science and energy efficiency, illustrating the industry’s ongoing transformation and the significant contributions of women.

Links to Sharla and Emelie on LinkedIn are below along with a press release from the RESNET® Inaugural Class Recognizing Women Pioneers in the HERS Industry during the 2023 RESNET conference in San Diego.




Listen to the full episode here.