Both men and women are needed to achieve change
Around the world, there is real momentum to get more women on boards. Many countries are exploring legislation and quotas for women in the boardroom, while others rely on voluntary action. Obviously appointments need to be made on merit, but the current underrepresentation of women suggests that utilities are losing out by not drawing from a wider pool of talent.
What is needed to bring about real and meaningful change? Current leaders have to accept that gender diversity on P&U boards is not a women’s issue; it’s a business issue.
To make change happen, the men and women on P&U boards and nominating committees need to look beyond their existing networks and approaches, and consider people of different genders, backgrounds and ethnicities. Current CEOs and leadership teams need to examine:
- Whether their top female talent is making it to the top
- What barriers might be preventing this
- How to overcome them
We are committed to joining the sector on its journey to address the imbalance of women in leadership positions. We will debate this issue extensively with industry leaders – men and women — to explore how to identify, attract and nurture future P&U women leaders.
As part of this, we’ll be conducting research to identify successful diversity programs in the sector, obstacles to progress and what steps P&U companies can take to get more women into the senior leadership positions and build a pipeline for future women in the boardroom.
We will also explore the role of coaching and mentoring of future women leaders throughout their careers, drawing on the knowledge and experience from many markets and many leaders. Another key enabler is the use of networks and networking, connecting women in both local markets and across P&U markets worldwide.
This index creates a baseline for evaluating progress on gender diversity. We hope to look back in five to ten years and see a real difference in the numbers documented in these reports; that will be a testament to the willingness of sector leaders to make change a reality.
Ask yourself...If your daughter asked you how to succeed in this industry, what would you say to her?
Read related articles from the Index of women in power and utilities.