EDF Energy is dedicated to building a low carbon energy future for customers. But as a company, we’re about more than just that. We’re about the people who work with us – celebrating their diversities and capturing the value that their differences bring. We believe that a culture of inclusion forms the basis of a truly sustainable business and is vital to shaping a strong and fresh-thinking organisation.
Recruiting from the widest possible pool of talent and assessing every potential employee against our four key behaviours – Integrity, Inclusion, Inspiration and Impact – we make sure that our workforce is a true reflection of our communities and customers. Their unique perspectives not only give us a better understanding of customers from all walks of life, but bring fresh ideas on nuclear safety too. And, ultimately, achieving Zero Harm is our number one priority.
Every year employees across EDF Energy & EDF Group raise awareness and celebrate Diversity and Inclusion. As part of the activities, we asked five of our employees to sum up what Inclusion means to them:
Our attitude towards diversity is reinforced by our various employee networks – Women’s Network, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Supporters Network, Disability and Carers Network, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Network, Working Parents’ Network and our most recent addition, the Forces Support Network. These networks provide a platform for employees to share their views, tell us what we’re doing well and make recommendations for improvement. This creates a real sense of community and a workforce who feel that their opinions are valued. It also helps us to address business challenges and get closer to our goal of becoming a truly inclusive employer. One that encourages inspiration, innovation and employee commitment to a better energy future.
Disability and Carers Network events offer friendship and support.
Events were hosted during Carers Week (6-12 June) to raise awareness of working carers and the support available for them within EDF Energy. At the Hove office, a drop-in day was organised by the Disability & Carers Network (DCN) with the support of Carers UK, the UK’s only national membership charity for carers. London employees were invited to a “pop the kettle on” session to pick up a leaflet, share experiences and network over tea and cake. Information points were set up at five other EDF Energy offices across the UK and – as a follow-up to the events – a live webchat will be held for employees on the 13th July to raise the profile of working carers.
The Disability & Carers Network, set up in September 2010, has gone from strength to strength and now has nearly 800 members. It organises regular events, has an informative newsletter and aims to improve the working environment for employees with disabilities and those with caring responsibilities. It is not known exactly how many working carers there are in the company but, if EDF Energy is the norm, around 11% of employees will be caring for someone who is elderly, chronically ill or disabled.
Mel McCallum, who helped run two in London, was pleased with the level of engagement. “We had interest from carers and managers, who wanted to know more about how they can support their teams. The events opened my eyes to just how many people I know who have carers’ responsibilities and it has been great to receive feedback on what more we can do to support them as well as offers of help and praise for DCN and EDF Energy.”
She was joined by DCN Treasurer Saadia Alege, who was moved by one carer’s story. “I was very inspired by Olatunde Biyi, a carer who talked about his son’s disability and all the charity work he is currently involved in. Thanks to him, I now know that stem cell donation is not a daunting task and it can be as easy as donating blood. I am pleased he has received some support from the company and the DCN.”
Mel Staunton organised the event in Hove which was visited by around 35 carers. “What is really apparent is that carers often don't identify themselves as such – they put all their energy and effort into taking care of the person they're looking after. We had Carers UK on site which provided an insight into the robust support that a charity can offer. We also had Unison and HR present which enabled us to signpost people to support such as flexible working policies, time off for dependants, the Employee Assistance Programme and what the in-house Occupational Health team can do. What was pleasing is that some managers came to see us, as well as sending people they knew were carers to see us, so we are starting to raise the profile and need for supporting carers. It’s amazing how resilient some carers are and how they just get on with life! They are truly an inspiration to us all.”
A strategic partnership between the Women’s Networks at EDF Energy and at EY is proving popular and productive.
Following a successful launch last year, the two Networks joined together again for a second event in London on the 15th June on the theme of “Influence and Impact”. More than 150 attendees (including men and women) were there to hear an inspirational speaker, share ideas and connect with like-minded individuals.
“The two organisations are a great fit because both are dedicated to developing, retaining and recruiting female talent. We are the first energy company to be awarded the National Equality Standard and EY is a valued business partner and also a Diversity & Inclusion leader. That’s why this women’s network partnership makes sense – to go beyond working together, to growing together and jointly championing diversity and inclusion in our own companies and across the industry", said Nilufar Anwar, NNB Legal and SteerCo Member of EDF Energy’s Women’s Network.
In an opening address, Jim Crawford, Sizewell C Project Director, spoke about some of the positive initiatives the two companies were undertaking to increase diversity. Jim highlighted that women represent only 14% of professionals working in careers linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. He warned that, “if we do nothing, there is a risk of a shortage in the talent and diversity needed to foster innovation in our company and in society.”
Our guest speaker was Melanie Eusebe, Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Management at Hult International Business School and chair and co-founder of the EY-sponsored Black British Business Awards. In a dynamic presentation, she explored communication theories along with practical exercises to help people increase their own influencing skills in work and in life. Thanking Melanie and everyone for their participation, Stephen Church, EY Energy & Assets Partner, said he was proud of the strong, long-term relationship forged between EY and EDF Energy. He invited everyone to make a pledge saying what they would do to increase their own influence and impact.
Feedback after the event has been extremely positive with 97% of the feedback providers rating it good or excellent (74% -excellent, 26% - good); 100% agreeing it provided networking opportunities; 100% stating they would recommend it to a friend; and 97% agreeing it supported their personal development.
Jim Crawford said he found Melanie inspiring and charismatic. “She has achieved a lot with our people tonight by using the techniques and skills she shared, which kept the audience engaged.”
Becca Hodgkins, Sustainability Officer, Cardinal Place, said: “This was the first joint Women’s Network event I have attended. It provided a fantastic opportunity to interact with, and share ideas and experiences with, EY employees as well as others from EDF Energy.”
Niki Rousseau, Communications and Community Liaison Officer, Sizewell B, added: “It was a great opportunity to take time out and focus on personal development, explore the theory and take part in practical exercises whilst building upon network relationships.”
The partnership builds on the strong business relationship EDF Energy has with EY, in particular within Nuclear New Build (NNB). For example, EY has supported the development of the Hinkley Point C investment case and the establishment of a Treasury function for NNB, and has provided assurance for project delivery as part of NNB’s multi-partner project delivery model.
We attended the Everywoman Awards 2015, held at The Dorchester in London on December 2, 2015, which acknowledged women who have been an inspiration in their respective careers.
Sponsoring the awards Reception, representatives from EDF Energy congratulated and celebrated the winners on the day.
When it comes to building on our industry reputation as a diverse and inclusive business, we’re just as ambitious. We’re currently one of only three companies to achieve the National Equality Standard for our approach to Diversity and Inclusion - a national standard that supports businesses in realising the benefits of diversity in the workplace. On top of that, our BAME network won the prestigious Employee Network Award at the Race for Opportunity Awards 2013 - a Business in the Community initiative.
Energy achieved a level two rating (out of three levels, the third being the highest) in a recent Gender European Equality Standard assessment by NGO Aborus. The standard looks at a set of nine different criteria including areas such as Training and Development, Career Progression and Healthy Work-Life Balance. The standard will be reassessed November 2016.
We’re in the Top 100 LGBT-friendly employers again! In 2015, we were listed as one of the UK’s best companies for LGBT people, entering Stonewall’s Top 100 employers in 75th place. In 2016, we stayed in the Top 100 and moved up to 68th place despite tough competition from over 400 organisations. We’re proud to champion LGBT inclusion at work and in the community. Our active LGBT Supporters Network connects and supports all of our employees on LGBT matters, however they identify. It received a Highly Commended Award from Stonewall in 2015 and 2016 for its work on sexual orientation and gender identity too. Come join our growing pride!
In collaboration with Thirty Three EDF Energy won Best use of Mobile, where the judges commented on the clever way we had built the graduate insights app, providing a simple yet effective way to encourage content creation and sharing by the graduates. We also won best Diversity and Inclusion initiative, which showed the approach taken to internal and communications campaigns, external profile raising and our participation in Brighton Pride.
In collaboration with ThirtyThree, we won the CIPD ‘Best Diversity Initiative’ Award in the 2014 Recruitment Marketing Awards. The award was presented to us for our work to build awareness of our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and the work we do to build a truly inclusive working environment. This includes our Diversity and Inclusion Week, involvement in Brighton Pride, external advertising, and our employee diversity networks. Our entry was described by the judges as "a great campaign which was underpinned by a real and genuine desire to change. Strong results and a clear plan for the future."
EDF Energy is first energy company to achieve the National Equality Standard (NES) award, the UK’s most comprehensive assessment of diversity and inclusion in business. The NES has been developed and sponsored by EY in partnership with 18 other UK and global companies, is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Home Office and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). EDF Energy was recognised for having outstanding practices in 21 specific areas, such as its mentoring programme to support gender diversity at all levels of the company, its employee networks, the business’s support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees and the work it has done to support unemployed young people gain employment skills via its BAME network and recruitment team.
We’re very proud to be in partnership with a range of campaigning organisations. Our work with organisations such as Business Disability Forum and Stonewall help to inform our thinking and ensure we keep up with best practice so we can support our colleagues, customers and communities as an inclusive organisation. Sponsoring the Great with Disability site and working with the Graduate Recruiter’s Disability Café Club gives us a better understanding of the needs of our disabled candidates and helps us to make our recruitment process more disability friendly.
We work closely with Business in the Community as members of their Race for Opportunity and Opportunity Now campaigns – helping to improve opportunities for ethnic minorities and drive gender balance in the workplace respectively. As part of our membership with Race for Opportunity we are one of the main sponsors of a piece of research by two eminent professors at Oxford University and Said Business School which looks at the business case for race diversity.
As well as that, we’re also committed to building on our position as a Stonewall Diversity Champion by securing a place in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list. We believe developing these strategies will help us make the most of the skills that a diverse workforce can offer.
Business in the Community offer a number of practical ways for businesses to work together and take action to help tackle some of the key issues facing society. They provide a range of services, practical guidance and creative solutions that help businesses review, improve, measure and report.
Building on 30 years of action, Business in the Community is working to shape a new contract between business and society, in order to secure a fairer society and a more sustainable future. Today, they engage thousands of businesses through their campaigns.
The Race Campaign from Business in the Community is committed to improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities across the UK. It is the only race diversity campaign that has access to and influence over the leaders of the UK’s best known organisations. The campaign has three main aims that focus on leadership, progression and recruitment.
The Gender Campaign from Business in the Community aims to increase women’s success at work, because it’s not only good for business, but good for society too. They empower employers to accelerate change for women in the workplace and work with their membership of employers, from private, public and education sectors to offer tailored, practical and pragmatic advice on workplace issues.
Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of women and men who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act. Section 28 was an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools; as well as stigmatising gay people it also galvanised the gay community.
The aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent such attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from ever occurring again. Stonewall has subsequently put the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda by winning support within all the main political parties and now has offices in England, Scotland and Wales.
Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit member organisation that makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people.
They provide pragmatic support by sharing expertise, giving advice, providing training and facilitating networking opportunities. This helps organisations become fully accessible to disabled customers and employees.
The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion is the UK’s leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace. They work with organisations to make change happen across six Strategic Themes - Unconscious Bias, Inclusive leadership, Agile Working, Workforce Representation, Managing Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Marketplace and Access to Opportunities.
Founded in 1999, everywoman is a global membership organisation that champions the advancement of women. Members include well-known companies looking to develop and retain a pipeline of female leaders, and women who are looking to advance themselves in organisations or their own business.
In 2012 Cisco’s Connected Black Professionals organisation brought together over 15 companies for an event called Your Future, Ambition at Cisco House. The aim of the event was to inspire young people from predominately ethnic backgrounds about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based subjects and the exciting career paths they could follow. The key takeaway theme from the event from both the education institutions and key corporate stakeholders that attended, was Legacy. Hence the Your Future, Your Ambition initiative will continue through a number of key activities culminating with an annual event taking place at a showcase venue to bring together as many children and students to explore all that is possible.
We are employers like you – large and small. Employers for Carers has evolved from a group of employers committed to working carers, is chaired by British Gas and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK. Our key purpose is to ensure that employers have the support to retain employees with caring responsibilities.
Employers for carers provide advice and support for employers seeking to develop carer friendly policies and practices. They work with organisations to identify and promote the business benefits of supporting carers in the workplace.