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Data Reveals Energy Sector’s EDI Progress and Challenges

Press release

Today [11 June], the energy industry will present the results of two sector-wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) surveys at the flagship EDI in Energy Conference, hosted by Energy UK, Energy Institute and Energy Networks Association.

The event, sponsored by Policy by Murray, will hear the energy sector results of Energy and Utility Skills’ 2023 Inclusion Measurement Framework which measures workforce characteristics across the wider utilities industry. Findings from the 2023 Inclusion Measurement Framework show that while there is continued progress in gender diversity in energy, women make up only 27.5% of the participating organisations’ workforces. This is far behind the UK workforce, of which women make up 48%. 

Disappointingly, the picture doesn’t change much when looking at data on ethnicity, sexuality or disability representation; whilst there has been slight improvement the energy sector still falls behind both the wider utilities industry and UK workforce.

Additional data, also released today, reveals that in its first year of running, 37 organisations within the energy sector participated in the Health Index created by TIDE. The Index is a new initiative to allow organisations to anonymously benchmark their EDI maturity against others, as well as provide TIDE with an indication of where further support might be needed, and a baseline from which to measure progress. 

Findings from the Health Index show the sector has strong performance when it comes to encouraging employees to be involved in EDI, embracing opportunities flexibly and ensuring there is a nominated person and strategy for EDI. However, the results also show that one in three respondents were reactive in training hiring teams and managers in inclusive hiring practices, and further work is needed in engaging the supply chain.

Energy and Utility Skills will be presenting the findings in full at the EDI in Energy Conference today where attendees will also hear from the CEOs of Energy UK, ENA and the Energy Institute, with Baroness Sandy Verma, co-founder of POWERful Women holding them to account on actions and progress.  With data collection still cited as a challenge across industry, delegates will also hear leading energy companies which have had success in collecting workforce data discuss how to measure impact, as well as practical tips and tools to improve accessible communications, recruitment processes, engage with the supply chain and ensure inclusive working environments. Throughout the day, personal perspectives from across the sector will hammer home why progress on EDI must continue and the difference it can make when companies get it right, and there will be opportunity to input into TIDE’s future priorities and work.  

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive at Energy UK, which represents over 120 companies across the energy industry, said: 

“The energy industry needs a resilient, innovative workforce to meet the challenges of tackling climate change and bring society with us in the energy transition. The cross-industry Health Index and Inclusion Measurement Framework is an excellent and simple tool which will help the whole industry understand our workforce and priorities for improvement, and I encourage as many companies to take part as possible.  “I hope that attendees of the Conference feel empowered and inspired by the actions this sector is making, and the actions they can take themselves.”   

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive, ENA, which represents the UK’s energy network operators said:    

“As the UK accelerates towards a decarbonised energy system, to get there we need to embrace the power and opportunity of diversity. Today’s research shows the progress we still need to make in order to help build a workforce that challenges group think, brings diversity of thought, ideas and experience, and provides new equitable solutions for a clean, fair and affordable energy system.   

“Working with our partners, ENA is committed to using the insights generated by the Health Index and Inclusion Measurement Framework to help drive diversity, equity and inclusion sector-wide, supporting the creation of the energy workforce of tomorrow.”   

Dr Nick Wayth FEI, Energy Institute Chief Executive and POWERful Women Board Member, said: 

“The old adage – you can’t improve what you don’t measure – rings true for industry diversity data and underpins the vital need for tools such as the Inclusion Measurement Framework and Health Index.  

“A diverse workforce isn’t just a target setting exercise, but a fundamental component of an equitable and just energy transition. It’s fantastic to be celebrating success, and discussing solutions, at the EDI in Energy conference.” 

Lauren Maddocks, Associate Director, Policy, Public Affairs and Comms, Policy by Murray, said: 

“We are proud to sponsor the conference for a second consecutive year, underscoring our commitment to creating a genuinely inclusive hiring processes and cultures. This EDI Conference provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the work we’re undertaking with clients in the Energy sector, moving beyond mere promises to achieve sustained and measurable progress.”   

The results can be found here.    

Energy EDI Data collection 

– The Health Index tracks initiatives, processes, policies and people to understand the activities of the sector. 

– The Inclusion Measurement Framework (IMF) measures the diversity characteristics of the sector across the employment lifecycle.  

– These are complementary tools which will help both individual companies to benchmark themselves, as well as being to build up an industry-wide picture of whether actions are leading to results, and where to focus. 

– The IMF will open for 2024 data submissions in September 2024, and the Health Index will open again in 2025.