Covid-19 could accelerate pace of change on inclusive workplaces

Covid-19 could accelerate pace of change on inclusive workplaces


Bringing Gender Diversity and Inclusion Commitments to Life’ 1  is the Second Anniversary Report of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition


  • New report from 14 energy leaders committed to greater female representation
  • Ingredients for a recipe for inclusion to create a Net Zero workforce
  • Diverse skills and thinking needed at times of disruption and uncertainty


UK energy leaders are accelerating change to their employees’ working practices in response to the Covid-19 crisis and this can support the development of the talent and skills needed for the energy transition, a new report published today by POWERful Women reveals. ‘Bringing Gender Diversity and Inclusion Commitments to Life’ 1  is the Second Anniversary Report of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition2, a commitment by the heads of 14 of the UK’s top energy companies to improving gender diversity and inclusion within their own organisations and across the UK energy sector.

Download/view the report here.

The report reviews progress made by the companies in the past year, including what has been difficult and why; the good work each organisation is doing in case studies that others can learn from – the ‘recipes for inclusion’; and plans for year three to overcome remaining barriers in a shifting world.

Recent analysis by POWERful Women and PwC of the boards of the top c.80 UK energy companies3 has reinforced the need to drive greater representation at senior levels:

  • 21% of board seats are occupied by women
  • 13% of executive board seats are occupied by women
  • 38% of the UK’s top energy companies have no women on their boards at all
  • More than two-thirds (79%) have no women occupying executive board seats.

Ruth Cairnie, Chair of POWERful Women, commented;

“We’re delighted to publish the second anniversary report of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition, a response from the very top of the industry to the poor level of representation of women in senior roles.  In the report, the companies share the strategies and programmes that are doing the heavy lifting to improve inclusion and diversity – and bringing real results. 

At times of uncertainty and disruption, diversity and inclusion are more important than ever. While we must ensure that lessons are embedded and gender stays on the agenda during the recovery, I am reassured to see that many UK energy leaders are accelerating real change in their working practices to ensure they have the best talent available. There is more to do but this will help equip the industry for the energy transition and economic challenges and opportunities ahead.” 

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder, Good Energy, commented;

“The energy industry remains deeply unequal and we can’t allow Covid-19 to make things worse. It’s inspiring to see this issue being taken seriously by energy leaders – our renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion should convince others to follow suit.” 

The report is being launched at POWERful Women’s 3rd Annual Conference, which this year takes place online and during National Inclusion Week. The conference ‘Leading and learning on diversity and inclusion: equipping the sector for the energy transition’ will feature government, energy leaders and influencers at the heart of the energy transition and at the forefront of diversity and inclusion – to share good practice, listen and learn.

Speakers include the new Permanent Secretary at BEIS, Sarah Munby, and six members of the ELC:  John Pettigrew of National Grid, Sinead Lynch of Shell UK, Tom Glover of RWE UK, Juliet Davenport of Good Energy, Will Gardiner of Drax and Alistair Phillips-Davies of SSE.





Anna Stanford, Communications Adviser: +44 7961 234634



  1. Bringing Gender Diversity and Inclusion Commitments to Life the Energy Leaders’ Coalition Second Anniversary Report, October 2020. Available to download at


  1. The Energy Leaders’ Coalition was formed in May 2018 with 8 companies:
  • Simone Rossi, Chief Executive, EDF
  • Juliet Davenport OBE, Chief Executive, Good Energy
  • John Pettigrew, Chief Executive, National Grid
  • Duncan Clark, Head of Region, Ørsted UK
  • Tom Glover, UK Country Chair, RWE
  • Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, ScottishPower
  • Sinead Lynch, UK Country Chair, Shell UK
  • Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE


It was expanded with a further 6 members in September this year:

  • Peter Mather, SVP Europe and Head of Country UK – bp
  • Will Gardiner, CEO – Drax
  • Nicola Lovett, CEO – Engie
  • Michael Lewis, CEO – EON UK
  • John Evans, CEO – Subsea 7
  • Robin Watson, Chief Executive – Wood


  1. The full set of POWERful Women statistics by company for 2020, published in June, can be found here


About POWERful Women

POWERful Women is a professional initiative that seeks to promote the professional growth and leadership development of women across the energy sector.  Our goals are to see 30% of executive board roles and 40% of management roles filled by women by 2030.  We do this in three ways:  campaigning and reporting (for example, annual board statistics, the Energy Leaders Coalition, company pledges), supporting women in their careers (for example, through our mentoring programme, POWERful Connections) and providing practical support to companies committed to increasing their gender diversity (for example, through our I&D forum).  More information at