Just 14% of the energy workforce in the UK are women*, but emerging sectors present an opportunity to change the market
With fossil fuels on the decline and renewables on the up, the energy industry is in a new phase of its life, welcoming new opportunities for women to shape a renewable future.
I’ve found the energy industry a really fortunate place to be as a woman at the start of my career. It’s up and coming and ever changing, open to new ideas and perspectives. It’s been a great place to get my foot on the career ladder.
said one of our rising stars, Emma.
Emma started at Bristol Energy as an Operations Advisor, working her way through the ranks over the last four years to her current role as Smart Data Manager. It marks a turning point in the energy industry, moving away from its ‘boys club’ tradition, to provide opportunities for all genders to excel in whatever area they choose, whether it’s Trading, Digital, Innovation, Operations or Finance. And although we still have a long way to go, there has been a real shift in culture in recent years, making the sector a more inviting place for everyone to be.
We spoke to Susie, our Head of Forecasting and Trading:
We have three men in the team, two women and one non-binary person, which is fantastic. Trading teams are traditionally very male dominated and, actually, the word ‘trading’ often comes with connotations of a very ‘macho’ sort of environment, and that’s not what we are at Bristol Energy, we have much more collaborative working environment that’s very supportive.
The energy sector has historically been very male dominated, and I believe this is something that really has to change. Decisions around energy have significant consequences to the world around us, especially given that they are fundamental to tackling the climate crisis. This is why it’s crucial we have a more diverse work force at the table making these decisions.
commented Sarah, our Marketing Development Manger in our Innovation team.
Sarah and Susie both started their careers in customer service at other energy companies. By talking to customers and hearing about their struggles, it became clear that working in energy could help tackle a broad range of issues; from social justice to environmental justice.
For me, my career in energy is not about the technology, it’s about people. The sector has all sorts of broad and fulfilling opportunities for women, and in order to make the extraordinary changes needed to decarbonise our society, we need the industry’s workforce to reflect our population accurately. Research shows women add value at all levels and in all sectors of the industry, through innovation, resetting business culture and bringing fresh approaches.
Now the world has woken up to the reality of climate change and need for decarbonisation, the energy sector has begun to rapidly evolve. It’s a fantastic time for women to join the industry and become a part of the conversation to help forge a new energy future.
My advice to other women would be, if you see an opportunity that interests of excites you, then go for it. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to come around, as it doesn’t exist. Employers know that they’re going to get candidates who are brilliant at some things and less good at others – but you need to put yourself out there. No one is expecting perfection.
We’re celebrating equality this International Women’s Day, encouraging more women to come and work with us at Bristol Energy. Keep an eye on our vacancies page to see if there’s something that interests you, or someone you know. Let’s continue to take collective action and shared ownership to forge a gender equal world.
More like this
- Bristol Energy is innovating to decarbonise
- Bristol businesses are greening up the city with Bristol Energy
*the Global Energy Talent Index report 2019