Back to overview

Inclusion and Diversity will help deliver Net Zero

27 Jun 2022

Leading electricity infrastructure company SSE has said a “diverse” workforce will be vital to delivering a cheaper and cleaner homegrown energy system.

Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies made the comments as the company, which has a 50/50 gender split on its board, published its most comprehensive Inclusion and Diversity report ever.

The document reveals detailed information on the company’s workforce of just under 11,000 and how it is progressing against the current strategy of increasing diversity across its business operations, which includes renewable energy assets and infrastructure and regulated electricity networks.

SSE recently unveiled it is on track to invest in excess of £25bn in the UK and Ireland’s electricity infrastructure system this decade.

This includes cutting edge developments such as the world’s largest offshore wind farm, essential network upgrades and hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydro-electric power projects.

Speaking as the report was published, SSE Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies, said:

“Achieving net zero quickly and efficiently means the energy industry must do things differently.

“We need innovative solutions that can only be delivered by a workforce with diverse perspectives, different experiences and new skills.

“I’m proud of the work that has gone into producing this document, which is our most our most comprehensive inclusion and diversity report ever.

"Our inclusion and diversity journey to date has not been flawless, and we still have a long way to go. But we have made important progress and we are committed to growing from learnings and feedback. And the challenges we face are by no means unique. Hopefully this report can become an important tool in the discussion and we continue to work with others in the industry, and beyond, to share insights and best practice."

SSE CEO, Alistair Phillips-Davies

SSE enhanced its Inclusion and Diversity strategy in 2021.

It is focused on four pillars which seek to ensure that the right ambitions, behaviours, and practices are embedded in the company: Ambition; Education and Development; Inclusive Processes; and Employee Voice.

The report charts how the strategy was developed and how the company is progressing against it.

SSE disclosed 29per cent of its employees are women with 71per cent men. It also achieved a 50/50 split in women on the board for the first time, whilst women made up a quarter of the Group Executive Committee, with an ambitions to have one in four senior roles held by women by 2025.

More than 80per cent of employees can work flexibly and almost 90per cent of women returned after maternity leave, the company also has ambitions to take female employees to 33per cent by 2030.

The Perth headquarted company also worked with employees to gather details of sexuality, disability, and ethnic minority and these are included for the first time, with just over 30per cent of employees voluntarily disclosing details.

SSE recognises that it still has more work to do and increased transparency around its performance has a key role to hold it accountable in its progress towards its ambitions. It also understands that collaboration with industry partners and others is a powerful tool to help influence wider change. 

The company works with, and has signed up to, a number of initiatives aimed at increasing diversity across operations, including: United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) UK Network’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, Powerful Women, the Armed Forces Covenant, the EUSkills Inclusion and Diversity forum, the Equal by 30 Campaign, the Social Mobility Pledge and the STEM Returners programme.

Read the full report here.