Our response to the 30% Club

SSE is taking significant steps to become a more inclusive and diverse organisation. It is recognised that the energy industry has tended to be more male-dominated, and one that has not attracted the widest pool of talents into the sector.  With a looming skills challenge, we know that recruiting and developing a skilled and diverse workforce is essential to our future success. Our actions now are being taken in the wider context of a business world that is realising the importance of inclusive and diverse workforces in creating successful organisations.

SSE’s policies and practices around gender diversity have been recognised – including, yesterday, by Bloomberg – as being a leader in this area.  Whilst this is the case, and whilst we are investing significantly in initiatives to promote inclusivity at SSE, unfortunately this week we have been unable to sign up to a particular organisation called the 30% Club. The goal of the 30% Club in the UK is to achieve a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-350 boards by 2020 and a minimum of 30% women at senior management level of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.  As an organisation with a Board that consists of 33% female representation, SSE fully supports these goals and commends the efforts of the 30% Club and the progress made as a result. However, with just 18% of our senior roles (those reporting into the CEO, Finance Director and also their direct reports) filled by women at SSE, we are unable to commit to achieving a 30% target in this timeframe.

SSE has a lot of work to do in support of the initiatives we have committed to, and we are determined to take the right actions to bring meaningful and significant change throughout the business – with the aspiration to be in a position to sign up to targets like those set by the 30% Club. Our Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies wrote to the 30% Club’s Global Chair, Brenda Trenowden, to provide more detail on this decision and the inclusion initiatives SSE is currently undertaking and fully committed to.