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Energy industry hopes to turn the TIDE on diversity with new Taskforce

A new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) taskforce is being launched today to drive industry-wide action to improve diversity across the energy sector.

Spearheaded by Energy UK, Ofgem and ENA, the TIDE (Tackling Inclusion and Diversity in Energy) Taskforce will bring together leading experts across industry to combine cross-sector insights, building on the existing work of various groups across the energy industry. It will run for 18 months and be held to account through a regular reporting requirement.

TIDE is being launched at the industry’s flagship EDI Conference, sponsored by Accenture. Attendees at the conference will have a chance to shape the priorities of the taskforce through interactive sessions held both in person and online.

Ten specialists are already committed, including representatives from POWERful Women, Pride in Energy, and the Young Energy Professionals, and a call for nominations for a further 10 places will open once the priorities have been agreed. It is hoped that this phased approach will allow for skills to be matched to taskforce priorities and uncover people who may not already have visibility within industry, but have valuable experience and ideas. 

Energy UK’s Director of Strategic Communications and EDI lead, Juliette Sanders said:
“It is essential that the energy industry works collaboratively to ensure it attracts and retains a diverse workforce. There is some great work happening in some parts of industry and TIDE aims to bring together the people that have already driven change to provide a high-level coordinated approach across industry. We want to ensure that rather than duplicating, we combine knowledge and share experience to adopt best practice across all parts of industry. ”

Jonathan Brearley, CEO at Ofgem said:
“True representation is at the heart of any successful industry and so we must move further and faster to ensure we can attract the very best people from all backgrounds into the energy industry.
“I’m really pleased that for the third year in a row, we will have the energy industry’s leaders coming together once more to get to grips with this issue, and that this year we will be launching a taskforce to take away actions and report back. I look forward to meeting everyone again to really ask ourselves the hard questions – what progress have we really made? And if we are to be truly representative of the population of which we are a part, what’s next?”

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:
“Year on year the energy sector continues to decarbonise, decentralise and digitalise, and I am thrilled that through partnerships and events like this we can keep making progress on the critical fourth D of diversity. Equity and Inclusion are at the heart of what we do, serving every home and business in the country and through existing avenues and new ones, like the cross-industry taskforce, we’ll keep doing what we can to make positive change for all.”

Taskforce initial Members:

  1. Celia Anderson, Gender Champion for the offshore wind industry and co-chair for the OWIC Diversity Working Group
  2. Josh Atkins, Head of Communications ENA, and chair and founder of PRIDE in Energy
  3. Lesley Babb, Head of EDI, Ofgem
  4. Dr Elizabeth Blakelock, Principal Policy Manager, Citizens Advice
  5. Caroline Gundu, Senior Consultant CGI and Chair of YEP Forum
  6. Amelia Heatly, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Electralink
  7. Jonathan Lydiard Wilson, Senior Independent Advisor, JLW Innovations
  8. John McCalla-Leacy, Partner and UK Head of ESG, KPMG
  9. Juliette Sanders, Director of Comms and EDI lead, Energy UK
  10. Georgina Worrall, Project Manager, Powerful Women