The Tackling Inclusion and Diversity In Energy (TIDE) initiative took the lead in a special diversity session at BIEE’s Research Conference on 21 September. Despite the early hour, more and more chairs had to be brought in to accommodate enthusiastic attendees at the breakfast session.
They heard from three organisations on approaches to diversity and inclusion that are bearing fruit. First from Cadent, where work on this issue began in earnest just four years ago. In that time the company has grown employee networks and given them access not just to senior leaders but also to investment and in resources like e-learning for line managers. The networks have been ‘genuinely empowered’, and the benefits have not just been in greater understanding of and support for colleagues but also in positive outcomes for the company such as in recruitment.
Second from So Energy, which sees itself not just as a challenger in the energy retail market but also ready to challenge outdated attitudes in the industry. The company wants to value everyone’s individuality and difficulties; to create a culture of belonging; and to attract and develop talent. This summer the company launched an initiative with its supply chain partners, inviting them to sign up this year to take the same journey, and nest year to formalise plans to increase diversity and representation. So Energy hopes that companies who join the initiative will in future give the same invitation to their own supply chains, further spreading the benefits of inclusion and diversity,
Finally the University of Surrey’s work with UKERC on energy modelling was highlighted. This aims to open the doors to allow more people from different disciplines and sectors to join in with energy market modelling – providing the tools for many different people to join in with what seems an esoteric and complicated activity.
With these examples of change delivered, the session moved on to a workshop format, with participants feeding back and exchanging their own experiences and ideas.
To make use of these experiences and add your own: