UK energy chiefs call for renewed gender equality efforts


The chief executives of eight of the UK’s biggest energy companies are calling for further efforts to increase the number of women in the senior echelons of the industry.

The Energy Leaders’ Coalition consisting of EDF Energy, Good Energy, Innogy, National Grid, Scottish Power, Shell, SSE and Orsted believe that “strong leadership” is needed on the subject of gender balance to meet future industry challenges.

The call follows the release of statistics from POWERful Women’s latest report on the board composition at the top 80 UK energy companies reveal “disappointingly slow” progress on employing women at the top ranks, and recognising female talent.

According to the report, only 16% of board seats are occupied by women, representing a marginal increase from 13% in 2018, and only 6% of executive board seats.

The report adds that 42% of all the companies have no women on their boards.

The group’s first annual report details the results of their research with a view to identifying the barriers to improved gender balance in their own organisations, and plans for the second year to continue learn and share best practice whilst making tangible improvements.

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of ScottishPower said; The first year’s work of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition has been important in identifying the barriers to gender balance at senior level. We all know that a diverse workforce is the best way to drive success not just in our own business, but also for the sector as a whole.

“The energy industry is changing. If we are to overcome the challenges of becoming a net zero country by 2045 and make the most of the opportunities – of decarbonisation, digitalisation and changing customer expectations – we also need to make the most of the talent available. That means addressing the under-representation of women at senior levels.”

The Energy Leaders’ Coalition comprises the following eight CEOs:

  •      Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, ScottishPower
  •       Juliet Davenport OBE, Chief Executive, Good Energy
  •       John Pettigrew, Chief Executive, National Grid
  •       Alistair Phillips-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