Women rising to the top of UK energy sector

3rd July 2020

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Christopher Willans

Women occupy significantly more board seats at top UK energy companies than they did last year, analysis by PwC and the POWERful Women initiative shows.

Their latest 'state of the nation report' shows that women now account for 21% of board seats in the energy sector – a noticeable increase from the 16% recorded in 2019 and the 13% in 2018. The number of executive board seats occupied by women has more than doubled from 6% to 13%, while 11 of the 80 companies studied have already met POWERful Women's 2030 target of 30%. In total, there are 25 more female board members since the last review in 2019, and the number of female executive directors has increased by two-thirds.

However, 38% of the UK's top energy companies have no women on their boards, although this is better than the 42% recorded last year. The findings also show that 79% have no female representation among their executive board seats, down from 89% in 2019. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that firms in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom quartile.

“This year we have seen the most progress since we started compiling board statistics five years ago,“ said POWERful Women chair Ruth Cairnie. “The increase in the number of women in executive director positions is particularly noteworthy. Nonetheless, there is a long, long way to go before the representation of women at senior levels is sufficient or sustainable.“

Picture credit: iStock

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