Achieving 50:50 – inspiring female representation throughout the energy transition

image is X Academy

To ensure the delivery of net renewable infrastructure, we must ensure that we have a capable and skilled workforce in place. The risk of not moving this along fast enough will result in stalled projects and investments.

As an experienced environmental consultant, I have spent a long-time creating a space for myself in predominantly male organisations.

I have watched our industry come together like never before to navigate an ever-changing landscape of climate concerns and emerging technologies, while we continue to fall at the first hurdle – our people.

People are at the heart of the energy transition globally. To ensure the delivery of net renewable infrastructure, we must ensure that we have a capable and skilled workforce in place. The risk of not moving this along fast enough will result in stalled projects and investments.

It’s fair to say collectively we can see the huge green jobs opportunity right in front us, and we can see the need to accelerate action towards net zero. Yet in parallel, we are facing a growing renewable energy skills gap both in the UK, and on a global scale. The opportunity here is clear, to both attract and retain talent.

Encouraging inclusion

On this International Women’s Day, I want to recognise the steps which can, and in some cases have, been taken to encourage people to join our incredible industry. Specifically, women.

As the VP of sustainability and climate action at X-Academy, I am now fortunate to be in a position in which I can directly inspire change through communication and vision, challenging the status quo. We serve as a jobs accelerator for the energy transition, with a focus on upskilling and giving workers experience on real-time renewable developments.

For a new generation of energy professionals to encounter a female leader in their first foray in the industry is incredibly encouraging. I was fortunate enough in Xodus during the early stages of my career to be surrounded by strong female leaders in the environments team, however, this was not always the case across the engineering disciplines.

Redefining expectations

At X-Academy we are actively identifying the barriers to work for not only women but for all and are tackling them head on. Finding ways and approaches for all to thrive. We recognise maintaining a work life balance and redefining the way women are seen within the workplace is hugely important. Redefining pregnancy, menopause and other female life events as lived experiences that only strengthen our skills.

Through our values, ethos, and communications, we want to ensure everyone recognises our organisation as a place to thrive and incorporate inclusivity into everything we do.

But that’s enough talking about what can be done to encourage diversity, I want to show you how X-Academy is being the change we want to see and inspiring progress.

Benefits of equal gender split

Our pilot proved commercially successful as a multi-award-winning programme. But more importantly, I want to highlight our achievement of a 50:50 gender split in our programme in year one.

This is a favourite success story of mine, and a broader indicator of change in the industry. By tailoring our recruitment campaigns and job specifications to cater to flexible working practices and those looking to upskill, we open the door to those who may either have previously felt shut off by a career in energy or just simply not see a role for them in the industry.

In my experience, women are attracted to STEM roles, but crucially we need more women represented, visible, talking about how they manage, navigate and are supported in their careers alongside key female lived experiences. 

I’ve also been encouraged recently to hear stories of energy organisations stipulating their line in the sand with suppliers that if a gender split is not achieved by 2030, they will have to take their business elsewhere. So, accelerating progress on diversity, inclusivity, and equity is not only the right thing to do, but it will also have a direct impact on the bottom line. 

Upskilling talent

X-Academy is about upskilling a diverse workforce and broadly attracting talent. It’s about enabling leadership teams to drive cultural change through their organisations. A movement which is exploring opportunities to export internationally with opportunities in Japan, Australia, the Middle East, and the US.

I feel honoured to be a part of this movement within our industry and acting on the change I want to see.  We’ve already had the pleasure of upskilling and providing experience to some incredible female talent, and it is with passion we continue to grow the impact and inspire more organisations to do the same. 


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