Why Fortum ranks highly for gender diversity
Fortum is a consistently strong performer in the EY Women in Power and Utilities Index. In our latest report, the company ranked in 16th place for diversity globally and 7th place for diversity in Europe. The global ranking represents an increase of five places from the previous report.
Tuomela says Fortum embeds diversity across the business.
“Fortum and its leaders are committed to diversity in all forms. It’s emphasized in our code of conduct and in our framework for choosing board members. Our most recent past chair of the board was a woman, who is a strong and widely recognized role model. Our values and open leadership principles stress the importance of a diverse and inclusive corporate culture and empower our people to believe in themselves. We lead according to those principles.”
Fortum also runs leadership programs and mentoring initiatives to encourage women with leadership potential.
The company also recently joined the gender initiative presented by C3E at the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial. The initiative, which is linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, targets equality in pay, opportunity and leadership to 2030.
Experience across the energy sector can boost careers
Tuomela’s own journey to leadership has not been a straight path, and she credits her varied experience across the business as helpful in many ways. Tuomela has worked as a controller, as well as in investments and projects, and her experience spans nuclear, hydro, thermal and trading.
“I didn’t plan to have this role. But I was given lots of opportunities to take different positions — I’m open to going outside my comfort zones. I thought ‘if I don’t know everything, now I can learn.’
“I tell other women not only to seek higher positions but also consider making horizontal moves to gain experience in a different role or a different part of the organization. Be open and curious to learning new things.”
Tuomela is serving on the board of directors of three other companies — construction company YIT, nuclear power company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and hydroelectric utility Kemijoki Oy, of which she is the chair.
“This has broadened my view. I see how megatrends are affecting other industries, and I gain new ideas and insights. Personally, it also helps me to consider how I could better present and argue my own cases with Fortum's board of directors.”