Supplement Profiles Female Leaders in the UK Energy

A new supplement has put the spotlight on the growing number of women in senior positions in the UK’s energy sector.

‘Women in Action in the Power Sector,’ includes excerpts from extensive interviews that profile fascinating projects being managed by female executives at leading stakeholder organisations. 

These include Pamela Taylor, Partner on Ofgem’s Innovation Link, a service for innovators which provides opinion on energy and power ideas and helps the regulator to react proactively to changes in the sector. She said: “We are always hearing that there are regulatory barriers, but if you ask somebody what they are, a lot of the time people find it hard to articulate.

“On one hand (Innovation Link) supports innovators and gives them a place to go at the regulator to trial things, but it gives us the answer to that question: ’What are the regulatory barriers?’ Then we can start to understand business models.”

Sian Baldwin joined the sector as a non-executive director at Xoserve. Now its Chief Executive, she is calling for greater collaborative attention to be paid to the governance of data architecture and assets. She said: “We tend to tackle problems by duplicating data in more than one place. Our architectural governance needs to be improved, our asset management as an industry needs to be improved and there should be conversations about the number of management teams, boards, governance committees that we have and whether all that really represents value for money for consumers.”

“These features make for fascinating reading, showing diversity operating in practice and demonstrating the clear business benefits of attracting and then retaining such talented individuals in our sector,” added Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, which is at the forefront of bringing industry leaders together to identify and address the skills challenges. “The energy and utilities sector is focused on increasing its appeal to the very best talent in the UK, at the same time as delivering a diversity of workforce that reflects the very communities and society it serves. Publications like this really bring these efforts to life.”

These efforts include Talent Source Network (TSN), the sector’s digital attraction platform, which has recently transitioned to full roll-out after a successful pilot year. Amey, Cadent and SGN have recently joined 19 other leading sector employers to endorse the initiative. TSN aims to raise the sector’s visibility with underrepresented groups, including women and those from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

The Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy reports that the gas industry’s 184,000 workforce is only 14% female. Women make up 22% of the nearly 72,000 people that work in power. However, early indicators show success in attracting more women to TSN’s website to learn about the sector. With over 55% of the 31,000 visits to the website being from female users during the first two months of 2018, the potential to challenge UK stereotypes and address gender imbalances is clear.

“Women are under-represented in the energy and power industry – but that doesn’t mean they are not there,” said supplement producer and editor of New Power, Janet Wood. “We have not interviewed them because they are women, but because they are doing important and interesting work. We hope it will provide evidence of the important role women have to play in ensuring the UK power industry remains at the cutting edge, show something of the contribution women are already making, and provide some inspiration and reassurance to women entering the industry for the first time.”

Click here to read Women in Action in the Power Sector, which also includes an interview with Allison Roche, Unison’s Energy Policy Officer.
To read the full versions of the interviews, recommend interviewees for New Power or to enquire about subscribing, contact Janet via
janet.wood@newpower.info

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