The number of women at the top of the UK energy sector has risen, but this does not outweigh the all-male boards that dominate this sector. According to a study conducted by POWERful Women and PWC, the 2020 annual board statistics have shown progress in the number of women occupying board and executive board seats increasing to 21% and 13% respectively - a significant increase from the prior year. However, what remains notable is that 38% of the UK’s top energy companies still have no women on their boards at all, whilst 79% have no women occupying executive board seats.
Although it is certainly acknowledgeable that more women than ever are moving into managerial positions across sectors, it is still questionable. The proportion of women in senior organisational roles globally has remained at 24% over the last decade. Why have the statistics remained the same? What affects women’s progression into senior posts? We view the organisational culture, recruitment practices, and differing experiences as barriers to driving this change.
There is a view that organisations are set up by men and for men, which saturates numerous issues in organisational life. For example the general culture, working time, ways of behaving, and methods of guaranteeing progression. This can create problems for women.
Organisations can get impervious to change through the tendency of ranking directors to recruit 'in their own image', implying that they enlist people who are as comparable as conceivable to the current occupation officeholders. Women tend to have not as much formal experience and international experience as men. This is partially down to family obligations, worsened as the number of dual-career couples is increasing.
Renewable Energy, a niche within a sector is still relatively new. Sarah Merrick, founder, and CEO of Ripple Energy commented ‘the more conservative fossil and nuclear energy sectors have an ‘old boys’ club’ culture which has led to business being overwhelmingly dominated by men. However, due to the relative ‘newness’ of the renewable energy sector, its culture has not had the time to fully develop’. Women’s voices are not as overlooked, requiring more attention to the role us women can be a part of.
The Good Energy Group PLC showcases a diverse, and 50% female board paving the way forward for many other companies. Founded by Juliet Davenport with the intention and ambition to tackle climate change by generating and investing in renewable energy, the business continuously developing to become regenerative with both environmental and social impact. Juliet comments ‘I am proud of the positive steps we have made on gender balance and the women who are already benefiting. But all of us on the Energy Leaders’ Coalition recognise that we have so much more to do to move from unconscious bias to ‘conscious inclusions.’
Sunrock Recruitment, a female, minority-owned renewable energy recruitment agency based in London, UK understands and believes in the benefits of a diverse management team, allowing us to be representative of our service. We generate a positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. It is part of our mission to facilitate the placement of women in new career opportunities, developments, and sectors.
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