We celebrated International Women’s Day last Sunday, 8 March (International Men’s Day is on 19 November, if you were wondering).
It’s crucial that women continue to be supported, even if it feels like we’re edging closer than ever towards gender parity.
Did you know, for example, that women are 47% more likely to experience severe car injuries, because the safety features in a vehicle are designed for male bodies? Or that only six countries give women equal legal work rights as men? (And Britain and the US aren’t included on this list).
You only have to look up the chain in a company to get a glimpse of the disconnect, with department heads and senior managers being predominantly male. And the energy sector isn’t exempt from this, as a traditionally male-dominated sector. That said, we should be proud of the strides we’re making at National Grid.
We’re committed to working with more women and supporting women with opportunities to work in the energy sector. The energy industry needs to recruit 400,000 jobs over the next 30 years, which means opening the door to a much wider range of people. Our Building the Net Zero Energy Workforce report concluded that, in the energy sector, ‘women and minority groups are still underrepresented’.
Part of the reason for this is that there are too few female role models in the energy sector and there is a lack of understanding of the range of jobs you can do to be part of a cleaner energy future. That’s something we at National Grid have tried to improve.
As part of International Women’s Day (IWD), we shared the stories of some of the women who make this business great. Among those were Peggy Smyth, our chief financial operator in the US. She said: “If I were talking to young women considering a career in the sector, I would say ‘What are you waiting for? We’re changing the world.
“We have an opportunity, given our structure and scale, to influence the direction of the energy industry and to make energy cleaner and more affordable for people. We are working every day to make people’s lives better, providing them with heat, light and power. It’s a great time to join the energy industry and there are many opportunities for women to help lead the way.”
Another colleague we focused on was Susan Robson who, as well as being Principal Consultant in our internal consultancy team, is also chair of Women in National Grid (WiNG) – a voluntary role – working on inclusion and diversity in the UK, both inside and outside the company.
“We’re at the start of an amazing journey into delivering solutions to the most important issue of our time, clean energy,” said Susan. “To do this, we must have people who bring creative and critical thinking to the table – skills I developed through the science and law aspects of my degree.
“There’s an exciting career out there in energy; both in and, most importantly, beyond engineering.”
To find out what else you can do to support women at National Grid in the UK, get in touch with WiNG@nationalgrid.com; our Employee Resource Group that supports and promotes gender diversity across the UK business.
Or, for the US business, contact the Women in Networks group by emailing EmployeeResourceGr@nationalgrid.com.