Rarely a day goes by without seeing a press release or statement containing the stated aspiration of “putting customers at the heart” but to understand fully rising customer expectations, we must also escape “group think” by embracing a diversity of views and experiences if we are to deliver a truly customer-focused sector.
I am pleased to say the energy industry has taken huge strides forward in improving customer service, which is now set to be revolutionised as data and smart services transform the relationship between consumers and their provider.
But we are also firmly focused on improving the diversity of the sector. I chair Energy UK’s Equality and Diversity Forum, which holds events and workshops to share best practice across the sector and support our members and other stakeholders, to work towards becoming truly representative and inclusive employers.
At the beginning of the month at Energy UK we filmed over 50 women from across the energy sector from a range of backgrounds, encompassing roles from field engineers to policy managers and communications directors to legal experts. By doing so, we hope not only to share their valuable insights and advice but also highlight the increasing number of women already working in the sector.
Diversity is not a “nice to do” or merely altruistic. More and more companies are realising that a more diverse workforce brings economic benefits in terms of the return on investment but also means they are reaching the widest possible pool of talent if they are to help the sector deliver a smart, low carbon future. But even more than that, better representing the customers and communities we serve will be key if we are to restore trust in our industry.
This blog was first published in Utility Week on 14/2/2019.