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INTRODUCTION

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Melanie Onn
People & Skills
Sponsor
RenewableUK

Recruitment and representation

RenewableUK is a trade body that is proud of its commitment to increasing diversity within its staff. It recognises diversity in its broadest sense and actively seeks to recruit from parts of the community traditionally underrepresented in the industry.

RenewableUK believes that starting from a position of inclusivity from the outset, presents the kind of industry of which we all want to be a part. Recruitment is undertaken across a wide range of platforms to reach a broad audience and all adverts state that the organisation welcomes applications from diverse backgrounds as advised in the OWIC Diversity and Inclusion guide.

RenewableUK believes that diversity across age, gender, ethnic background, sexuality, socio-economic and abilities provides the greatest wealth of talent and innovation, ensuring a vibrant mix of skills and creativity thanks to those differing experiences. 

Interviews are undertaken by a range of staff at RUK, not only to provide development and learning opportunities for all but to ensure that there are different perspectives and attitudes amongst the interview panel so we do not simply have senior managers appointing in their own image.

Two of the five senior managers are women, and amongst the wider staff, women dominate. Each of our national offices are 50:50. RenewableUK has a higher than average representation of people from minority ethnic backgrounds although due to career progression outside of the organisation this has dipped slightly for 2021.

A full review of internal HR policies is underway and a new up to date Diversity and Inclusion Policy is expected to be completed and adopted by the end of 2021.

Switching it up

Encouraging people into the renewables sector is an important function of the association, and the approach that is taken on behalf of industry applies equally to the association itself. We want to foster a sense of entrepreneurialism amongst our staff which is why we have been pleased to see the Switch List launched under our umbrella thanks to the brainwave of a former intern, who went on to be a policy analyst and now project coordinator within RenewableUK, Alicia Green.

The Switch List was developed to bring women in the industry together, to be identified and logged in one place for information sharing and networking. Also, critically, it acts as a source for speakers at conferences, panel contributors and written submissions to overcome the regular utterance that ‘there aren’t any women in the industry’ and ensure more women’s voices from across the industry are heard. There are currently plans to review the list and revamp it into a more interactive space.

Diversity is key

To aid the organisation in prioritising diversity, it has a self-organised group for Diversity and Inclusion led by staff members keen to inform and advise on where the organisation can improve and develop better practice. Parul Patel is the current lead convenor of the group supported by Aparna Coutinho and Oankar Birdi. The group is open to all staff to join and establish campaigns, initiative or to provide a space for discussion on matters relating to diversity.

 

Most recently it has opened up conversations about the potential for diversity awards and industry recognition and will be pursuing that in the months to come. Thanks to this group, RenewableUK committed to 50:50 gender representation at its conferences, aiming to end so-called ‘manels’ with the potential at Global Offshore Wind 2021 for a 100% panel of women. Parul also sits on the OWIC Diversity and Inclusion sub-group to provide a conduit for initiatives the association is undertaking to the group and also bring back any industry standards for the association to learn from. 

This group also inspired the principle behind the Deputy CEO’s PowerOnn podcast to provide an alternative platform for those within the industry who will be the next generation of leaders and senior decision makers, who are from a range of backgrounds, coming into the industry through a range of different routes and rather than talking explicitly about their specific form of under-representation, or the work they are doing to try and address the issue within the industry, are simply showcased through their participation, and in discussion on particular topics of relevance to the industry. Although in its early stages, it has been well received with over 750 downloads and garnered international interest.

Over the rainbow

RenewableUK is working with Pride in Energy to build externally visible and supportive LGBTQ+ activities, with the specific intention to go beyond merely adopting a ‘rainbow’ version of the RUK logo on social media during Pride Week. RenewableUK is committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community in and into renewables and intends to establish a meaningful role that seeks to address the challenges many in the LGBTQ+ community face.

BEST PRACTICE GUIDE 2021 - INTERACTIVE