POWERful Women announces higher “40 by 30” target for female representation in UK energy, supported by 18 UK energy leaders

POWERful Women announces higher “40 by 30” target for female representation in UK energy, supported by 18 UK energy leaders


  • Industry-wide goal raised to at least 40% of middle management & leadership roles by 2030, to drive faster action
  • 16 UK energy company heads plus CEOs of two regulators commit to greater ambition on diversity from 2023, to meet energy and skills challenges ahead
  • Report shows companies are on track to achieve their own current targets but have much more to do to improve female representation at the top
  • Case studies reveal the company workplace initiatives that make a difference


POWERful Women has today announced a new target and strategy to see women in at least 40% of middle management and leadership roles in the UK energy sector by the end of the decade. A coalition of energy leaders has pledged support for the industry-wide target to achieve a gender-balanced, diverse and inclusive industry.

In the 2022 Annual Report1 of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition (ELC)2, launched at PfW’s Annual Conference today, the UK heads of 16 of the largest energy employers – between them representing nearly three-quarters of the UK energy workforce – have also published the progress they are making towards their own and industry targets on gender diversity and inclusion. The report from the ELC, which also includes the CEOs of Ofgem and the North Sea Transition Authority, shows that female representation is rising but too slowly and remains particularly poor at executive director level.


Katie Jackson, Chair of POWERful Women, said:

“To provide the talent and skills needed for a successful energy transition to net zero, we need to be doing much better on female representation in the UK energy industry and it’s time to raise our ambitions.  We’re pleased to announce our new target of at least 40% of middle management and leadership roles to be held by women by 2030, which we hope will drive faster progress at a critical time.

I am delighted that we have the backing of energy leaders in our ambitions. Despite a highly unstable and challenging year in the sector, they continue to put diversity and inclusion at the centre of their business plans. Like us, they recognise the importance of an industry that is truly representative of society.”


The Annual Report of the ELC, “Achieving a gender-balanced, diverse and inclusive energy sector”, reveals:

  • Five out of the 16 companies have already achieved both industry-wide targets for women at board and executive director levels (40% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 respectively)
  • The number of women in executive director roles, however, remain low – with 9 companies having zero.
  • Female representation in the leadership pipeline for the 16 companies is now at 32%, higher than for the UK industry as a whole and equivalent to the FTSE350
  • All companies are either on track or have achieved their own targets on gender diversity and inclusion.


A priority for the Coalition’s work in 2023 is addressing the barriers faced by women at middle management level. The report also includes case studies showcasing examples of the workplace policies and initiatives that make the most difference to women and diversity data.


Katie Jackson continued:

“Our tracking and public reporting of companies’ progress reveals that there is still a long way to go towards gender balance, particularly when it comes to executive director level. But the number of women in the leadership pipeline to these roles is looking stronger, with these 16 companies now on a par with the FTSE 350. The leaders recognise that there is more to do and we are delighted that they have made strong commitments today.“


Tom Glover, UK Country Chair at RWE, member of the ELC and speaker at PfW’s Annual Conference and report launch today, commented;

“As leaders we want to attract and retain the best people for the energy transition.  That means we need a step change in the number of women at all levels, including leadership, which means putting our commitments on diversity into action and role modelling inclusion.  The ELC will work together in the coming year to address the barriers women face particularly at middle management in the UK energy sector, and to support higher ambitions towards gender balance across the industry.”


Monica Collings, CEO of So Energy, who joined the ELC in September, and is also speaking at the Annual Conference today commented;

“Statistics continue to show that the representation of women at the top of the energy sector is disappointingly low, which means we are missing out on critical skills and talent.  We also need an energy industry that reflects and can engage with its customers, particularly now. I am pleased to join the Energy Leaders’ Coalition to help address these challenges and to share examples of programmes that can make a positive difference to companies’ diversity and to women working in the industry.”


Chris O’Shea, CEO of Centrica, added:

“It’s incredibly valuable that so many energy industry leaders meet up regularly for honest conversations about how we are doing on our diversity goals and how we can do better. There’s a genuine willingness to be transparent on our data and to learn from each other what actually makes a difference to women. I urge all leaders across the sector to read today’s Annual Report and commit to putting diversity at the heart of their approach.”


Both the target announcement and the launch of the ELC Annual Report are being made at POWERful Women’s 2022 Annual Conference ‘How the energy sector can build inclusive cultures and deliver on diversity goals’ on Tuesday 22nd November at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy . It will feature high levels speakers from government, energy companies and other sectors to discuss the gender D&I issues of the day and to share the good practice that makes a difference to women in energy. The full programme can be found here.





Anna Stanford, Communications Adviser: +44 7961 234634  anna@powerfulwomen.org.uk



  1. Report available to download at: https://powerfulwomen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/FINAL-ELC-Fourth-Annual-Report-Nov-2022-PAGES-FINAL-WEB.pdf
  1. The Energy Leaders’ Coalition, formed in May 2018, now comprises:
  • Louise Kingham OBE, SVP Europe and Head of Country UK, bp
  • Dominic Kieran, Managing Director, Cavendish Nuclear
  • Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive, Centrica plc
  • Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax 
  • Simone Rossi, Chief Executive, EDF Energy
  • Kevin Dibble, UK Country Manager, Engie Group
  • Michael Lewis, CEO, E.ON UK
  • Cordi O’Hara, President, National Grid Ventures, National Grid 
  • Andy Samuel, Chief Executive, North Sea Transition Authority
  • Jonathan Brearley, CEO, Ofgem
  • Duncan Clark, Head of Region, Ørsted UK
  • Tom Glover, UK Country Chair, RWE 
  • Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, ScottishPower
  • David Bunch, UK Country Chair, Shell UK
  • Monica Collings, CEO, So Energy
  • Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE 
  • John Evans, CEO, Subsea 7  
  • Craig Shanaghey, President – Operations EMEA, Wood


About POWERful Women

POWERful Women (PfW) is a professional initiative working to achieve a gender-balanced, diverse and inclusive energy sector in the UK to meet the needs of a net zero future.  Our new target is for at least 40% of middle management and leadership roles to be held by women by 2030. To deliver this we work with business leaders, D&I experts, government, the regulators, aspiring women and partner organisations to accelerate change. We support, challenge and connect: publishing research and annual statistics on female representation in the industry; encouraging collaboration, learning and sharing through the Energy Leaders’ Coalition; running a mentoring programme for women; providing practical career and D&I resources, case studies and guidance; communicating the benefits of better diversity and inclusion; and running networking and learning events. We Find out more at www.powerfulwomen.org.uk