Can you hear me?
Only 4% of board executives of global 100 P&U companies are female

EY - Can you hear me? Only 4% of board executives of global 100 P&U companies are female
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You are reading an article from the Index of women in power and utilities series. To read more, visit the homepage.

When we first searched for statistics on the number of women on power and utilities (P&U) boards globally, we struggled to find them. So we commissioned independent research into the top 100 global P&U companies by revenue to create the Women in P&U Index.

For the Index, we analyzed (during October to December 2013) these companies, to determine the number of women on the board of the headquartered company and on the senior management team. Our research revealed that women account for:

EY - Can you hear me?

4% of board executives in P&U

Executive directors are officers or leaders in the organization, or major shareholders (e.g., Ministries in the case of state-owned utilities). They often represent the organization in a specific area, such as HR, finance or operations (generation, transmission and distribution, etc.)

18% of non-executive directors

A non-executive director (also called external director, independent director and outside director) is a member of a company’s board of directors who is not part of the executive team. A non-executive director typically does not engage in the day-to-day management of the organization, but is involved in policy making and planning exercises.

15% of board members (both executive and non-executive)

12% of the senior management teams (SMT)

The executive management of the company, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer or equivalent roles (such as executive director, managing director)

With just 4% of women in executive positions across the sector, it is clear there is much room for improvement. Even the 18% of female non-executive directors falls far short of the 25%-40% ratio of women board directors put forward by countries suggesting or implementing quotas. For example:

  • Finland, Iceland and Norway already have quotas of 40%
  • Canada is proposing 40% by 2019
  • The UK is proposing 25% for FTSE companies by 2015 

By promoting more women into these underrepresented executive officer roles, utilities can create more diverse leadership teams to navigate the disruptive change facing the sector.

Read the full report.

Read related articles from the Index of women in power and utilities.

The top 20: Duke, Sempra and Eskom head the list for gender diversity P&U is transforming: why yesterday’s business models won’t work anymore Winning the war for talent: tapping into the potential of women Diversity: P&U versus other industries
EY - The top 20 EY - P&U is transforming EY - Winning the war for talent EY - Diversity


Percentages of women in leadership positions in top 100 global utilities by revenue

EY - Can you hear me?

Source: EY Women in power and utilities index