International Women’s Day 2019: Addressing Imbalance in the Energy Sector

It’s no secret that the energy sector is perceived as male dominated and whilst those that have been in the industry a long time have achieved some amazing things and demonstrated real ambition with regards to climate change mitigation, the future success of the industry is, to an extent, reliant on it becoming more diverse.

Despite various initiatives and drives, the energy sector appears to remain one of the least gender diverse sectors in the UK and not only does this create a vicious cycle, rendering women less likely to join an industry that they perceive to lack gender balance, it also has a variety of other, often more nuanced impacts.

A diverse workplace allows for greater diversity in terms of thoughts, approaches and ideas. Meeting fast approaching carbon budgets and mitigating climate change is hinged on pursuing creative, forward thinking solutions. This requires innovation and the more different types of people we have involved in the industry, the better. The scale of the challenged posed by decarbonisation and the necessity for a multi-faceted approach to this is epitomised by a statement from my colleague, Alex Taylor:

“Mitigating the effects of climate change will be one of the biggest challenges in any sector within the 21st  Century – and we’ll need a workforce fit for the 21st Century to get it done – particularly in the energy industry where we need as many different ideas, perspectives, approaches as we can get!”

There are various studies that suggest that, for a myriad of reasons, women are more concerned with environmental issues, hence are more inclined to adopt a greener approach to energy. Whilst it is not a given that women are more progressive on energy issues than men, greener more innovative companies do tend to have more women on their boards and in their staff teams than the more conventional fossil fuel power and energy networks (Mitchell, cited in Vaughn 2018)

At Ecuity, we believe strongly that diversity of thought in our organisation allows for a more rounded, creative approach to tackling the problems our clients face and is also beneficial in helping us to play our part in the energy transition.

We also look forward in continuing to support efforts to increase diversity across the energy sector.

Vaughan, A. (2018). Lack of women in energy ‘holding back fight against climate change’. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019].

Some words from the Ecuity team:

“Why should we strive to have more women working in the energy industry?”

“Tackling the energy challenges of today and the future will require talent, determination and ingenuity, characteristics women working in our business have demonstrated in abundance over many years. Success or failure will impact on everyone in society and it is vital that we embrace not only women, but everyone interested in working in this industry.’’

“Because women tend to bring a different set of skills which is crucial particularly as the sector undergoes deep change.”

“The energy industry is grappling with big issues such as how to support action on climate change. Such big issues cannot be solved with only one half of the population participating! We need female voices and skills. The female colleagues I’ve worked with have been intelligent, hard-working and professional.”

“Climate change is an issue which affects us all and so should be an issue tackled by us all.”

“Diversity within teams and the workplace has been shown to increase output and innovation – with a higher diversity of viewpoints, comes different ideas and eventually more varied solutions.”

“Different cultures, gender, ideals and opinions raise the overall level of quality and suitability of the potential solutions for clients and consumers, meaning that the people we deliver to should be happier (which is the ultimate goal after all!) with the range of energy solutions that a diverse group can provide.”

“Mitigating the effects of climate change will be one of the biggest challenges in any sector within the 21st  Century – and we’ll need a workforce fit for the 21st Century to get it done – particularly in the energy industry where we need as many different ideas, perspectives, approaches as we can get!”

“An EY report found that 93% of oil and gas executives believe climate change is real and around two-thirds want to do something about it. Increasing the number of women can solve this. Yale reported that women, on average, are more likely than men to be concerned about the environment and climate change.”

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