Our research into the world’s largest 100 utilities by revenue shows that women represent only 4% of executive board positions. As the power and utilities (P&U) sector faces transformational change, diverse boards can help to boost business performance and innovation. Our list of the top 20 global utilities with the most women on boards sets a baseline for measuring progress going forward.
The purpose of this Index is to shine a light on the current state of gender diversity in P&U. Addressing the imbalance of women in leadership positions will take time, and we are committed to joining the sector on its journey to achieve this.
More women in the boardroom = better business performance
“In any complex business environment, companies with a strong representation of women on their boards increase their chances to outperform competitors.” - Marie-José Nadeau, Chair of World Energy Council and EVP of Corporate Affairs, Hydro-Québec
Only 4% of board executives of global 100 P&U companies are female
“There are bright, talented, qualified women out there. But 4% in executive positions in P&U? You can’t hear 4% – they have no voice.” - Alison Kay, Global Power & Utilities Leader, EY
Duke, Sempra and Eskom head the list for gender diversity
We ranked the top 100 global utilities to determine who vested the most decision-making power in their women leaders.
Why yesterday’s business models won’t work anymore
“Whether you are state-owned or liberalized, in a developed or developing economy, don’t let the P&U transformation leave you behind.” - Alison Kay, Global Power & Utilities Leader, EY
Tapping into the potential of women
“For me, the most compelling reason for diversity is that we need to access the best talent.” - Stephanie Hazell, Group Strategy and Corporate Development Director, National Grid
How does P&U compare to other sectors?
In our survey, the power and utilities sector fares better for gender diversity than other infrastructure-specific industries, but lags behind consumer services and consumer goods.
What governments are doing
A number of countries have introduced legislative or corporate governance measures to promote better gender diversity on boards.
Gender diversity on P&U boards is not a women’s issue; it’s a business issue.
“It takes diversity at the top of an organization to recognize the value of people that are different – and that can have an immediate impact – and take a chance on bringing different skill sets into the company.” - Gayle Lanier, Senior VP and Chief Customer Officer, Duke Energy
A quick look at statistics suggests this is not happening for women.
“We need to get to the point where top positions are seen as accessible by women and not only for the exceptional women.” - Marie-José Nadeau, Chair of WEC and EVP of Corporate Affairs, Hydro-Québec
How 6 women leaders made it to the top
Three joined P&U after working in another sector, two after a legal career, and one from academic research. Two began their careers as engineers.