22 Sep So Energy CEO Monica Collings joins coalition for better female representation in the energy sector
POWERful Women has today welcomed the CEO of So Energy, Monica Collings, onto the Energy Leaders’ Coalition (ELC) , a group of major UK energy company CEOs and leaders who have made a public commitment to improving gender diversity and inclusion within their organisations and the energy sector as a whole.
Female representation at senior levels in the UK energy industry remains poor. Women currently occupy only 27% of board seats, 15% of executive director roles and 29% of the executive pipeline within the top 80 largest employers, according to data published in June this year .
The ELC was established in 2018 to address this underrepresentation and now comprises 18 CEOs of the UK’s top energy companies and the regulators Ofgem and North Sea Transition Authority. It is a recognition that better balance is not just good for business , it is essential for engagement with consumers and attracting and cultivating the diversity of talent companies need to meet the significant challenges the energy sector currently faces.
Commenting on the commitment, Monica Collings, said;
“As a female CEO in an industry where women are underrepresented, I am thrilled to be joining Powerful Women’s Energy Leaders’ Coalition.
Here at So Energy, we are proud to represent the customers that we serve, and by promoting diversity and inclusion we better reflect the needs and views of our customers. It’s more important than ever to have diversity of thought in the current energy crisis to ensure we deliver innovative “out of the box” solutions for increasingly complicated issues. Ensuring women are present at the top table, as I have been in recent high-level talks with Government, helps ensure this.
With recent OECD/IEA analysis showing that women only make up 14% of senior managers in energy-related sectors, female role models are essential in order to inspire the next generation of leaders and ensure diversity and inclusion remain high on the agenda.
This follows previous research by POWERful Women that half of the UK’s energy companies have all-male boards. These stark figures make clear, now more than ever, that everyone in the industry must play their part in rewarding careers for women and champion equality.”
By joining the ELC, the leaders sign up to a charter, committing them to communicate their company’s ambition, targets and timeline for change and be accountable for progress.
Nick Wayth, Chief Executive of the Energy Institute and PfW Board Member, welcomed Monica’s appointment:
“I am delighted to welcome Monica Collings onto the Energy Leaders’ Coalition. Her experience, influence and strong commitment to better balance and inclusive workplace cultures means she will be a highly valuable addition to the group, as it steps up its work to address the under-representation of women in the energy sector. Diversity of thought and background are even more essential today as companies strive to capture the talent, innovation and leadership they need for a successful and affordable transition to Net Zero. Commitments from CEOs like Monica are important for driving change and we look forward to working together to achieve results.”
Every year in the autumn the ELC companies publish the progress they have made against their own diversity targets and wider industry targets. This year’s Annual Report will be published on 22nd November and will also include case studies on the diversity and inclusion initiatives that are making the most difference to women.
ELC members also commit to providing the resources and support internally to deliver improvements, and to advocating with their peers and with government for better balance across the industry. They meet regularly to learn from each other, share challenges and successes, and plan practical collective action.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Energy Leaders’ Coalition was formed in May 2018. It now comprises the heads of the following 18 organisations: bp, Cavendish Nuclear, Centrica, Drax, EDF Energy, Engie Group, E.ON UK, National Grid, Ørsted UK, RWE, ScottishPower, Shell UK, So Energy, SSE, Subsea 7, Wood, and the regulators Ofgem and the North Sea Transition Authority. The ELC’s Third Annual Report, published in November 2021: ‘Accelerating gender diversity and inclusion for the Net Zero challenge’ can be found here.
- 2. The full set of POWERful Women statistics by company for 2022, published in June, can be found here
- For example, McKinsey, May 2020: “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.”
About So Energy
So Energy was founded in 2015, merged with ESB Energy in 2021 and now operates under the So Energy brand supplying 100% renewable energy to over 300,000 domestic customers in Great Britain. A business with customer-centric values and green credentials, the backing of ESB’s extensive resources and expertise, So Energy is a challenger supplier to the legacy retail energy incumbents.
So Energy has consistently been recognised by customers and the wider industry for their outstanding customer service since they were founded in 2015. In 2020 they were a Which? Recommended Provider. They were also recently ranked Britain’s 8th fastest-growing private company in the 2020 Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100, making them Britain’s fastest-growing private energy company and have since launched a first-of-a-kind solar and battery storage solution for customers.
About POWERful Women
POWERful Women is a professional initiative working to increase the representation of women at the top of the UK energy sector. Our goals are to see 30% of executive board roles and 40% of middle 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 better gender diversity and inclusion (for example, through D&I working groups and sharing good practice). More information: www.powerfulwomen.org.uk