The 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

At SSE, we understand the role that transparency and disclosure has in supporting performance improvement – particularly when it comes to inclusion and diversity. In June 2017, we became the first FTSE 100 company to publish its gender pay gap and since then we’ve been recording, analysing and publishing more and more data about our workforce.

This data is helping drive real change and I’m delighted that our efforts have resulted in SSE being included in the 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, a benchmark for strong gender disclosures and best-in-class policies and practices. This index tells shareholders and potential shareholders which companies are taking gender equality in the workplace seriously.

With just 104 companies included in the Index globally, this is a great achievement for SSE. We’re one of only two energy companies to be included, and one of just six UK businesses.

Our inclusion in the Index shows we have made great strides with bringing change to SSE. But whilst we are moving in the right direction, we know there’s more work to do to improve our score in the years to come.

Last September we published our ‘Valuing Difference’ report which showed the financial return generated from investment in inclusion and diversity at SSE. Like with the Bloomberg Index, the numbers generated from this research were instructive – they told us how to bring the greatest return per £1 spent.

So focused action is what we’re doing now. Working with inclusion specialists Equal Approach to implement our new Inclusion Strategy for 2017-2020, we have developed five key objectives to transform diversity and inclusion at SSE.

Leading the way is our first objective, to attract and recruit a more diverse pipeline of employees. This will be key to driving long-term change, and we’ve been using our partnership with Teach First to work with 10 schools in areas where SSE has struggled to hire apprentices – providing those young people with skills and insight into the STEM industry, whilst gaining a new pool of talent for our business to recruit from.

Secondly, we want to understand why people are leaving SSE, so we have employed an external party to conduct exit interviews with 300 leavers to capture specific feedback on culture, inclusivity and reasons for leaving. These findings will be anonymised and presented back as overall findings which will then help inform any action we need to take.

Third is to help drive progression and promotion within the company and create opportunities. Along with our online self study tools, we’re continuing to target personal development . We will be focusing on two key aspects of leadership: Presence & Impact and Negotiation & Influence in the coming months and will start by rolling this out to our senior women population first

Our fourth objective is to embed the right behaviours through our management development  content and our “working differently” principles which are now being extended across the Group, marking a significant movement in cultural change.

And finally, our fifth objective is around mentoring, networks and partnerships. A six month accredited mentoring programme is being offered for Managing Director level and the level below. This offers a solid mentoring framework and we are looking to bring this in-house through a train the trainer offering with SSE’s Learning and Development team.

All of these actions are designed to make SSE a truly inclusive organisation that’s fit for the future. We believe that building an inclusive culture will bring the diversity we seek. We’ll continue to be open and transparent about how we’re doing this, and keep on publishing data to ensure we’re accountable for progress being made.

If you have any feedback or questions about our initiatives, please email sustainability@sse.com.

About the author

Rosie MacRae HR Programmes Manager

Rosie MacRae has worked for SSE since 2012 in a number of HR roles having previously worked in a variety of different sectors. She heads up the company’s diversity and inclusion programme.

Read more articles by Rosie MacRae