Energy leaders’ initiative aims for more senior women in energy

POWERful Women has launched an initiative to drive up the number of women at senior levels and middle management in the UK energy industry.

The Energy Leaders’ Coalition comprises eight chief executives from the UK’s energy sector who are making a public declaration to improve gender diversity in their companies and in the sector as a whole. The coalition is in response to new board statistics that show little progress by the UK’s top 80 energy companies over the past 12 months in meeting targets to improve gender diversity:

  • Women still occupy only 13% of board seats (up from 11% in 2017);
  • Women still occupy only 6% % of executive board seats (same as 2017)
  • Half the companies have no women on their boards at all (up from 46%)

Ruth Cairnie, chair of POWERful Women, said, While some progress has been made in getting women into senior positions, it is moving far too slowly.  We are missing out on a wealth of female talent. The Energy Leaders’ Coalition shows what good leadership looks like and we hope will inspire others in the sector to take convincing action.”

The issue was also raised by National Grid’s past chief executive Steve Holliday, when he gave the Future of Energy lecture for the BIEE this month. He noted that of the top 80% of energy companies in the UK, 46% have no women at all on the board, and said companies should set ambitious targets and stick to them.

The new Coalition comprises:

Keith Anderson, chief executive, ScottishPower

Juliet Davenport OBE, chief executive, Good Energy

John Pettigrew, chief executive, National Grid

Alistair Philips-Davies, chief executive, SSE

Simone Rossi, chief executive, EDF Energy

Matthew Wright, managing director, Ørsted UK

Paul Cowling, managing director, innogy Renewables UK

Sinead Lynch, UK country chair, Shell


Further reading

Women in power: providing expertise throughout the industry every day

Interview: Katie Black, National Infrastructure Commission

Interview: Vicki Spiers, AIGT and CNA

Interview: Allison Roche, Policy Officer, Unison

Interview: Catherine Mitchell, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Exeter

Interview: Nina Skorupska Chief Executive, REA

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