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EDF Energy wins ‘Race for Opportunity’ Award for leading the way on ethnic diversity among UK businesses

By EDF | Posted October 09, 2013

EDF Energy has been recognised as a leader in developing diverse workforces after winning the Employee Network Award at the 2013 Race for Opportunity Awards Gala Dinner. Race for Opportunity (RfO) is the race equality campaign from Business in the Community, a charity dedicated to promoting responsible business and corporate social responsibility.

Race for Opportunity’s eight awards celebrate private and public sector organisations that are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and are demonstrating tangible results.

EDF Energy won the award for its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network, which is aligned to the company’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy. The Network was established in 2010 and has grown from 25 members to more than 200. It has a formal structure, with senior ‘business champions’ and a sponsoring Director as well as work streams such as ‘recruitment’, ‘inspiring the next generation’ and ‘career progression and development’.

The EDF Energy BAME Network was praised by Race for Opportunity for its recently developed mentoring scheme. The pilot scheme focused on support for BAME engineers and scientists within the company, with those who took part receiving coaching and training from EDF Energy’s Chief Technical Officer and his leadership team. Employee Engagement survey results have shown that those who took part in the scheme felt an increased drive in wanting to progress their career, with many going on to successfully apply for EDF Energy’s ‘Emerging Talent’ career development programme.

The Network was also applauded for its commitment to the legacy of the London 2012 Games, by organising the ‘EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge’ for students from six colleges in London’s Olympic boroughs. Students were provided with access to professional Olympic track and field coaches, with the Challenge designed to improve the students’ employability skills, such as team-work, and initiative, as well as increase their interest in sport. More than 60 per cent of the students who took part in the programme said the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge improved their life skills.

Since the Challenge finished, EDF Energy BAME Network members have continued their work with the colleges involved, by providing employability workshops for more than 130 students.

Janet Hogben, EDF Energy’s Chief People Officer and Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Group said “If we truly want to recruit and retain the best diverse talent, creating a culture of inclusion is fundamental. External recognition from Race for Opportunity is something that I am extremely proud of. It is a significant milestone for EDF Energy’s BAME Network and for us as a company and something that I know we will continue to build on in the future”.

Sandra Kerr OBE, National Campaign Director of Race for Opportunity, said: “Dynamic and effective leadership is key to create real, sustainable change for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in UK organisations. Companies’ tone, culture and priorities are set from the top, so it’s essential for senior business leaders to engage in developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. EDF Energy has worked incredibly hard to provide that leadership, and we should celebrate their efforts and achievements in promoting diverse talent across the organisation.”

More than 500 business leaders gathered at The London Hilton on Park Lane for the Race for Opportunity awards ceremony, which was sponsored by EDF Energy, Google and HSBC.


Photo caption: Tim Boylin, EDF Energy’s BAME Network Sponsor, Dr Val Kohler, EDF Energy’s Risk and Internal Control Director, Ezra Anajonu EDF Energy’s BAME Network Chair and Faith McLeary EDF Energy’s BAME Network Communications Lead receive the company’s Employee Network Award at the Race for Opportunity gala dinner.