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Good practice case studies

Senior Leadership Diversity: EDF’s 2030 Ambition


EDF aims to provide a great place to work, by enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for colleagues across EDF families in the UK. In this ambition, EDF recognised the critical importance of diversity specifically amongst their c.86-strong senior leadership in the UK. Diverse senior leadership teams directly enhance decision-making, employee engagement & retention, they drive innovation and ultimately contribute to stronger overall business performance.

So, from 2021, EDF started actively monitoring the diversity of their senior leadership in terms of Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation & Disability. They set several targets, including 50% of their senior leaders to have one or more of these diverse characteristics by 2030 … an ambitious objective, and one they are well on the way to deliver with a structural & measurable approach.

Key Elements of EDF’s Approach:

Since the start of 2021, our Chief People Officer along with our CEO, have incorporated a Senior Leadership Diversity objective into our Company Scorecard, in this way tying our diversity efforts directly to enhanced business performance. This has ensured shared accountability, and signals very strong Executive Team commitment.

EDF’s approach to driving diversity in their senior leadership is underpinned by a cycle of concrete actions happening throughout the year (non-exhaustive):

Executive Team Focus

EDF Executive Team (8) get together three times a year for an Executive Team People & Talent Review, specifically focussing the discussion around the talent, diversity and succession agenda of EDF in the UK. In this meeting, they revise the depth/breadth of their succession plans for each senior leadership role, taking action on specific senior leadership development needs, encouraging internal mobility, and reviewing performance & potential of all senior leaders.  

EDF Leadership Talent Pool

Throughout the year, EDF central Talent & Career Management team works with the business units to continuously identify potential candidates who are ready to take up senior leadership positions, both in the long (5+ years) and short (2+ years) term. Based on a robust nomination & assessment process, they assess c.20 potential senior leaders throughout the year – they encourage business leaders and HR colleagues to nominate diverse talent to go through this process, with the aim to steadily feed their succession pools for senior leadership roles. EDF pool of talent in direct line to these senior leadership roles is c.70 and it is 65% diverse.    

Business Unit MD Engagement

In the course of Q2, typically around May, EDF Chief People Officer along with Head of Talent, visit each Managing Director to take a deep dive into their respective direct leadership team – in these discussions, they analyse (1) current make-up of the team, (2) flight risks/potential movement/natural attrition, (3) development needs of each individual leader where applicable, and (4) succession planning for each leadership role. As the business and its structure continuously evolves, they also revise the senior leadership roles in scope of their diversity measure – are there any new roles they need to add or roles that need to be removed? 

Quarterly Monitoring

At the end of each Quarter, EDF central People Analytics teams issue a report to update the Executive Team on progress on their diversity measure. The reporting process for this measure is tightly managed and systemised, to ensure integrity of the data.

In addition to all the above structured & focused actions throughout the year, they have also implemented a well-managed recruitment process when a vacancy arises in their senior leadership team – they review their talent succession pools across EDF, and where their internal pools aren’t as diverse as they could be, they integrate a look into the external market, as well as into their wider EDF Group internationally, to surface diverse potential candidates for the role. At all levels of recruitment, they ensure their interview panels are diverse and all interviewers are well-trained.      

Conclusion & Results

Since EDF has introduced the Senior Leadership Diversity Measure and their structured actions & approach, they have seen a real step-change in the diversity of their senior leadership team. They ended 2021 on 20.9% and at the end of Q1 this year (2024) they report 34.1% diversity of senior leaders. While the path to 50% in diversity in 2030 is challenging, EDF has a full commitment of their Executive Team

And it’s about much more than just these numbers – the focus on diversity of EDF’s senior leadership team has had a much wider impact across EDF in the UK. A few examples: (1) they’ve seen increased scores in their Inclusion Index measured annually in their Employee Survey. (2) they’re seeing a better conversion rate of diverse applicants to new hires in their recruitment processes, and (3) retention of diverse employee base has improved.    

In summary, a diverse senior leadership team can drive innovation, improve financial performance, enhance market understanding, boost company reputation, attract top talent, manage risks more effectively, and underpin EDF in the UK’s commitment to social responsibility.