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Energy UK, Ofgem and Energy & Utility Skills lead energy sector’s drive towards 50:50 gender representation

Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, and Ofgem, the sector’s regulator, will be the first organisations from the energy sector to partner with BBC’s ‘50:50 The Equality Project’, which aims to improve gender representation and deliver cultural change in the workplace.

Born in the BBC’s London newsroom, BBC 50:50 The Equality Project is the organisation’s commitment to creating journalism and media content which fairly represents the world. The project has expanded beyond the BBC through a global network of over 100 partner organisations in 26 countries and has recently reported their first data which shows that 50% of the partners have reached the 50% women contributors mark in their content in March – compared to 31% when they first joined.

The announcement comes as Energy UK hosts the Inclusion, Equality and Diversity Conference today, delivered in partnership with Ofgem and sponsored by Accenture. Senior industry figures and experts will discuss inclusion and diversity, visibility and voice, employee engagement, flexible working, inclusion post-pandemic and the power of networks – among other topics in a free-to-attend two-day virtual conference.

Energy UK, Ofgem and Energy & Utility Skills have all been working in partnership to explore where closer collaboration can facilitate positive change across the sector.

Emma Pinchbeck, Energy UK’s chief executive said:

“The UK energy industry is going through an exciting transition to achieve net zero emissions but our success depends on attracting a pipeline of diverse talent with all the skills, ideas and expertise required to meet the challenge.

“We know that diverse and inclusive working environments are more innovative, and that we need to include more under-represented groups in the energy sector if we want to better reflect the society we serve. 

“There has been some progress to improve diversity and inclusion in the energy sector, but much more needs to be done. So, we’re delighted to be one of the first few organisations partnering with the BBC 50:50, and we hope that more organisations in the sector, including our members, will follow suit.”

Ofgem’s CEO, Jonathan Brearley said:

“Ofgem and the industry have a big challenge ahead to become more diverse and inclusive.

“The seeds of diversity are growing in our sector, with individual organisations doing great work to change, but we must do more to nurture and promote diverse talent to best serve consumers and help tackle climate change. 

“That’s why we are proud to sign up to the BBC’s 50/50 campaign, to make sure that in all our communications, Ofgem reflects the consumers we serve.”

Nina Goswami, BBC Creative Diversity Lead for the 50:50 Project said:

“Ofgem and Energy UK are part of the global network of more than 100 organisations, across 26 countries, all looking to ensure they are fairly reflecting their sectors and audiences. Through our partnership, we will be able to drive real and sustained change in the energy sector.”

Louise Parry, Director of People & Organisational Development at Energy & Utility Skills said

“As a member led organisation representing the major infrastructure companies in water, power, gas and waste management and their supply chains, we are committed to working with the sector to improve the diversity of their workforce to better reflect the customers they serve.

“We are delighted to be a supporting partner of Energy UK and Ofgem and fully endorse the BBC’s ‘50:50 The Equality Project’. We are working with our members to ensure that women and those from minority communities are fairly represented in the media and encourage their partnership with the BBC on the project . Working collaboratively, our members have already made good progress through delivery of the sector’s Inclusion Commitment but recognise that there is still a lot to be achieved.”

Notes to editors

  • Find out more about the Inclusion, Equality and Diversity Conference on Energy UK’s website.
  • Energy UK is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion across the sector, for example, by banning all-male panels at our events or establishing the Equality and Diversity Forum, the Pride in Energy network and most recently, launching the Diversity in Energy Speakers Directory in collaboration with Ofgem and Citizens Advice.
  • Energy UK also held its first Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Conference in 2019.
  • Energy UK is the trade association for the energy industry with over 100 members spanning every aspect of the energy sector – from established FTSE 100 companies right through to new, growing suppliers and generators, which now make up over half of our membership. We represent the diverse nature of the UK’s energy industry with our members delivering over 80% of both the UK’s power generation and energy supply for the 28 million UK homes as well as businesses. The energy industry invests £13 billion annually, delivers £31 billion in gross value added on top of the £95 billion in economic activity through its supply chain and interaction with other sectors, and supports 738,000 jobs in every corner of the country.
  • Ofgem is the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, a non-ministerial government department and an independent National Regulatory Authority recognised by EU Directives. Ofgem’s role is to protect energy consumers now and in the future by working to deliver a greener, fairer energy system.
  • Energy & Utility Skills brings industry leaders together to identify and address the skills challenges our sector faces. They provide membership, assurance and skills solutions to help employers attract, develop and retain a sustainable, skilled workforce to ensure the seamless delivery of essential services to 65 million people each day and UK Industry.
  • Find out more about the BBC 50:50 Equality Project here.