The Future of Utilities… is it female?
With only a week to go until the Future of Utilities event in London, here at WUN we’re getting ready to be a media partner for the first time. This incredibly exciting opportunity to put women at the centre of the utilities industry, and looking at the speaking list, it really feels like the pendulum has finally started to swing.
With a female chairing the first day (one of our amazing Co- Founders, Hayley Monks), and over 20 women speakers, women are certainly a big part of the agenda. But does that mean that women are taking up a bigger part of roles across the sector? Last year we blogged about how ‘male, pale and stale’ the event appeared – with the room being decidedly short of female attendees. This year the agenda certainly seems stacked with a wide range of female talent and we can only hope that it ends up being reflected in the audience, and the wider industry at large.
But why is it so important for the industry to better reflect society at large? Because, according to the latest research by EY, having a more diverse workforce may well help utilities manage and thrive in the period of extensive disruption that we are currently seeing. We all recognise that the industry is going through a period of unprecedented change and transformation. EY quoted a study by the Centre for Talent Innovation that found that companies with diverse workforces are 70% more likely to capture new markets and 75% more likely to get innovative ideas to market. And on top of that, research by Cloverpop found that teams with diversity make better decisions 87% of the time. They said that more diversity meant that companies were able to apply different perspectives to unlock better solutions, can adapt to change and move with agility, and can find and keep the best talent.
But companies need to adjust quickly – EY’s own figures show that only 15% of senior management and 3% of board executives are female. As we approach next week’s event, looking at the Future of Utilities, with change a constant, and disruption shaking up the very foundations of this sector, we hope that companies will embrace their female talent, as it seems as though it may be the best way to ensure future success.