Many energy companies are not taking adequate action when it comes to gender diversity, especially at senior levels.
EY's Women in Power and Utilities Index 2015 measures the diversity progress of the largest 200 global energy and utilities companies globally by revenue. It reveals that Origin Energy is the only Australian company successfully ranked in the top 20 companies rated globally. Origin Energy ranks an equal fifth with the US-based Ameren Corporation. They have set targets to increase gender diversity right across the company and are making progress on this.
The Index investigates the number of men and women on the board of directors and also identifies the number of women in senior management teams. EY's report suggests a correlation between having more women on corporate boards and more high-performing business.
EY's report found that companies with gender-diverse boards performed an average of 2 per cent better per annum than ASX 200 companies overall, and they perform over 7 per cent better per annum year than the companies with no women on their boards.
Unfortunately EY's report identified that the number of women in senior positions across the companies ranked had dropped over the last year. 2015 sees 300 women serving on the top 200 global utilities boards whihc is 14 per cent of board members, as comp[ared to being 15 per cent in the previous year.
Also female non-executive directors is 17 per cent, but last year was 18 per cent. Although only a small decline, this can still casue a big impact. EY's report states that "All it takes is for a few utilities to lose one senior woman and fail to replace her with another woman, and the sector is in a net negative position."
Download the report here.