There are still not enough women in senior roles in the energy industry in the UK – that was the key message from Nicky Morgan, MP and Minister for Women at the recent POWERful Women event held to mark its first anniversary.
Cranfield University’s recent Female FTSE 2015 report highlighted different sectors with companies who had reached this 30% target – and those who have yet to reach it. For example: –
- 61% of the top 100 UK-headquartered energy companies have no women on their boards
- Only 5% of executive boards seats of energy companies are held by women, and:
- There are no female chief executives of medium to large energy companies that are headquartered in the UK
- That’s despite 70% of those surveyed for the ‘Igniting change’ report believing that their companies are too male-dominated.
Minister Morgan said: “So energy companies need to commit to a real culture change. And to have real sustainable change, that change must come from within.
“At every level and in every role, women need to know their contributions are valued and their development is taken seriously. That’s why the new POWERful connections network is so important.
“Women need to see senior staff leading by example, and they need to see role models all the way up to executive level.
“I’m very conscious of the fact that, with my education hat on, that if we don’t continue to encourage more girls and young women into STEM subjects and careers, businesses will miss out on the home-grown talent that is vital for future development and economic growth.
“Over the coming months, I’ll be continuing to encourage girls to get into STEM-related careers through the Your Life campaign – effecting the kind of culture change that we need has to start in the classroom and continue right through to the workplace.
“A vital part of that culture change is challenging the all-too-frequent male-dominated culture found in this sector – this is where initiatives like POWERful Women come into their own.”
She added: “Looking back over my time in government in the last parliament, I remember the launch event I went to last year in Aberdeen when I was responsible for oil and gas taxation at the Treasury.
“I wasn’t quite the only woman in the room but there wasn’t much competition…”
Julia Clarke – who has joined Scottish Energy News as Energy Policy Consultant after a 15 year career representing the consumer interest with Which? in Scotland – was among the POWERful Women guests. She added:
‘Despite the presence of strong women in politics in Scotland – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon perhaps being the most prominent – this representation is not particularly well reflected in energy companies, either north or south of the border.
“And in my experience, reflecting the gender make-up of the population can only help build trust with the consumer. This event shows that some energy companies are behind the idea – now we need more of them to deliver!”
For more information:
POWERful Women: www.powerfulwomen.org.uk
Women’s Engineering Society: www.wes.org.uk
Photographs by Martin Gammon www.hereandnowphotography.com