Why addressing gender diversity is critical to UK industry

Janet Hogben

Whether it’s an apprentice electrical engineer working at one of our nuclear power stations; or those working to develop technologies that help customers take better control of their energy — our business relies on talented people with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills.

We are convinced that our business will be stronger if we have a more diverse workforce, however there continues to be a lack of women choosing careers in STEM-related areas. It is estimated that only one in seven people working in STEM jobs in the UK today are women.

This is why we’re determined to improve the ratio of women at EDF Energy and across the industry.

“we’re determined to improve the ratio of women at EDF Energy and across the industry.”

We have a strong heritage encouraging the uptake of STEM subjects at school. Over 60% of UK schools are signed up to The Pod, our free online sustainability and STEM education programme that we established over seven years ago. Last year, we turned our efforts towards encouraging teenage girls to take up careers in STEM and launched our #PrettyCurious programme.

As part of the programme we gave girls the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at events run by our in-house research and development team. More than 7,500 girls have engaged with the campaign online, we’ve had 1.8 million views of our film on YouTube and nine million people have watched it in cinemas.

In addition to the many initiatives we have to inspire the next generation of STEM workers, we also know how critical it is that we support women within our business. To create a culture that is truly inclusive takes conscious commitment and we ask all our employees to help us to drive this change.

Our efforts were formally recognised last year when we were the first energy company, and only the third company ever, to be awarded the National Equality Standard — the UK’s most comprehensive assessment of diversity and inclusion in business.

“we were the first energy company, and only the third company ever, to be awarded the National Equality Standard”

EDF Energy’s women’s network, which is run by volunteers and supported by senior management, has over 900 members and supports the personal and career goals of women in the organisation ensuring that we continue to recruit, develop and retain quality female talent across the business.

We know there is no quick fix however we believe strongly that by consistent and determined positive action, we will make progress.

 

 


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