By Fran Woodward, Director of People & Culture, Good Energy
Having a good gender balance in your company can make a real difference to the way your business performs and the way you approach sustainability.
In the UK as a whole, women make up almost half of the workforce, but in the fields of science and engineering that proportion plummets – and only a small fraction of these women ever make it to a senior level.
In 2016 just 9% of boardroom seats in energy companies were held by women, while FTSE100 industry-wide levels sat at only 26.1%.
That’s why Good Energy wanted to do something different.
A 50:50 split
When Good Energy was founded by its chief executive Juliet Davenport, there were very few female faces in the industry.
Here in 2016, we have almost equal representation on our board and pretty much a 50–50 split across our workforce.
Benefitting the business
This diversity has been a huge draw for women, including those at a senior level, wanting to join Good Energy.
Our purpose of protecting the planet for future generations, our willingness to challenge the status quo and the flexibility we have in our working practices (for both men and women) are other big incentives.
Good Energy’s CFO, Director of People & Culture, Head of Customer Service and Head of Brand, Digital and Marketing are now all female, and we also have unusual track record of getting women in senior levels on interim contracts to join us long term.
Making sure we have this balance has meant that we think more holistically as a business, seeing the picture from different angles. That means you get a much better, fuller debate on business decisions.
Benefitting your workforce
There is plenty of evidence from around the world which shows that companies with an equal amount of men and women on their boards, in their senior teams and in their workforce are more likely to be successful.
Research has also shown that the share value of companies with more women on the board perform better than those with more men.
If more businesses focussed time and attention on encouraging and enabling diversity, the overall outcome to society could be one of great possibilities.