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Turning the TIDE – the next wave of change

Article by Celia Anderson (former TIDE chair, 2022 – 2023)

Celia Anderson reflects on her time as chair of TIDE 1

About TIDE:

TIDE (Tackling Inclusion and Diversity in Energy) is a cross-industry group and a key player in changing the energy industry so that it better reflects those it represents. To raise awareness of the work of TIDE and its search for a new leader, outgoing chair Celia Anderson has written about her time in office, the challenges faced, and the changes made to improve the sector.

As Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley said last year, we need a range of diverse voices and talents in the energy sector to tackle the challenges that face us, and reflect the diverse voices of our customers. The TIDE network has been active for 18 months, and brings together Ofgem, ENA, Energy Institute and Energy UK.

Words from Celia:

I have had the privilege of working in the energy industry for the majority of my career- a sector that moves so fast in one sense, but can move slowly in others, as I will discuss here. 

As a key part of this work, I first started getting involved in diversity and inclusion whilst working with the oil and gas industry.  If there was something relating to “women in the industry,” you can bet it was me who was sent along, as I was the only woman around!  

Of course, I was pleased to be part of this, but I quickly noticed how few women were around to seize such opportunities. I knew I wanted to be part of this change.  

Because I have been involved in developing routes for people into the energy industry for so many years, I believe that people should be valued for what they bring to the industry as a “culture add” rather than always “culture fit”.   

This has always been crucial to my approach. 

For the past five years I have chaired and then co-chaired the Offshore Wind Industry Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group – setting the D&I targets for the industry, establishing best practice and providing guidance on how to achieve.  Much of the learning was from other sectors as well as between companies in the industry.  

A huge hill to climb, but one which we’ve made – and continue to make – significant progress on. 

For the last 18 months, I have had the privilege of being the chair of the TIDE since it was launched in 2022. Bringing together key partners from across the energy sector- including Energy UK, ENA, Energy Institute and Ofgem, this taskforce has been certain in its task and remit – to increase the diversity of the energy sector and ensure inclusion is at the forefront of all policy making.  

I love a challenge, and this has certainly been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my career. TIDE’s ultimate focus has always been on learning and creating tangible outcomes that effect real change, without creating duplication across the broader energy industry.  

Recognising that there is need for change is vital, but it takes strong leadership, to put vehicles in place to drive that change but also to “walk the talk”. Energy UK, ENA, Energy Institute and Ofgem have been instrumental in setting up TIDE, resourcing it with passionate and driven individuals who believe in the D&I agenda and ambitious in what they what they believe could be done. TIDE wouldn’t have achieved the level of progress without this active involvement. 

My motivation has grown through working with such an energised and passionate group of individuals; each an expert in their own field with diverse lived experiences. I have learnt so much, seen things from a different perspective and have been able to support some fantastic initiatives, all of which I am so proud. 

Since its inception, the Taskforce has:

  • launched the Energy EDI Hub as a space to submit and share best practice, case studies, organisations and tools;  
  • delivered five webinars led by industry experts discussing a range of EDI topics;
  • launched the Leaders’ Commitment for energy leaders to lead by example and drive change within their organisations and the wider industry;  
  • developed a Health Index to help organisations assess where they are on their EDI journey – stay tuned as this will be launching in 2024, and we hope that many organisations across industry will take part;  
  • played a key part in the successful delivery of the EDI in Energy Conference;  
  • got involved with more industry events, such as the British Institute of Energy Economics Research Conference and the Energy UK Annual Conference.  

Now that the solid foundations are in place, momentum is building, and TIDE is really beginning to take off and it has already delivered more than I thought was possible in such a short time. 

The next phase is set to be so exciting.  

2024 is going to see a big push on case studies, data collection across industry and the launch of the Health Index, as mentioned above. Whilst I will miss working with TIDE so closely, I think the time is right to let someone else take on this important leadership role.   

So, back to my original musing about this being a sector which moves so fast yet often, not fast enough…there has certainly been some brilliant culture change across the industry, but I don’t believe the tide is fully turning… yet. 

It is going to take a change in culture, companies taking risks and everyone accepting that they have a part to play – and that this isn’t other people’s responsibilities.  

We are still having conversations about Personal Protective Equipment that fits, access to hygiene facilities in remote working environments, and, more recently, how to ensure behaviours that are inclusive e.g. in hybrid or virtual meetings. 

There is still a lack of understanding of micro-aggressions – albeit they may be indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination, but they can have life-changing impacts. And it doesn’t stop at the door of the office. It is how we treat each other both inside and outside the workplace. 

But we should be proud of the huge strides we have made, and the fact that this conversation is firmly on the agenda.  

For me, success will be when we value everyone for what they bring to their job, their difference in perspective, in lived experience as well as their skills and knowledge. 

I wish the Taskforce and its new Chair the very best for the future – may you keep influencing and chipping away at improving EDI in energy. Thank you so much for all the hard work, support and enthusiasm over the last year. 

Could you be the next chair of TIDE? Find out more by clicking here!

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to   

Watch a video here about TIDE:

video TIDE