We, at Energy UK, are passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion in our sector.
We are proud of our Pride in Energy network – a forum and network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) people and their allies, and our Equality and Diversity Forum , launched in 2018. This group aims to bring people together from across the sector to network, share best practice and take practical steps to drive forward progress towards greater equality and diversity within the industry.
We’ve hosted external speakers, held free workshops and last year hosted our first-ever ‘Inclusion and Diversity in Energy’ conference – one of my proudest moments at Energy UK – which brought together expert speakers on all aspects of inclusion and diversity in energy including disability, ethnicity and race, gender and sexual identity.
There has been some progress in the sector – from increasing numbers of women in board rooms (up 13% in 2019) to the ever-increasing number of positive initiatives being taken by companies and organisations, as highlighted in our brochure to highlight positive steps.
But it’s clear that there is still much further to go.
At Energy UK we always want to help the industry be the best it can be and there is certainly more to be done on diversity and inclusion, particularly on ethnicity and disability, which can often be overlooked.
‘Diversity In Energy Speakers’ list
In light of the Black Lives Matters movement, Energy UK has been looking at what more we can do both as an organisation and with the wider sector to ensure we are actively anti-racist and work to increase the representation of a more diverse range of ethnic groups.
We have decided to create the 'Diversity in Energy Speakers Directory’ to highlight the plethora of experts from diverse ethnic backgrounds from right across the energy sector.
Ultimately, it is true that “you can’t be what you can’t see” and with this new directory our hope is to address the lack of visibility of energy experts from a wider diversity of ethnic backgrounds.
This directory – which is by no means exhaustive – will highlight the diverse talent we have in the energy sector to support event organisers and media outlets to broaden the range of voices and better represent people from all ethnic backgrounds.
The energy sector is in the middle of an exciting transition and at the forefront of driving decarbonisation as we transition to zero carbon economy. If we are to embrace that and meet our Net Zero commitment by 2050, it will be crucial to embrace diversity of thought, and the increased innovation that comes from more diverse and inclusive workforces.
We believe this directory is a small but important step in the right direction.
I hope you will sign up or encourage colleagues to do so, to help us ensure that as a sector our public face is more representative of the talent we have.