Making Work Work: gender equality at EDF - Business in the Community

Making Work Work: gender equality at EDF

EDF is working to advance gender representation across the organisation and the energy sector.

EDF is working to advance gender representation across the organisation and the energy sector. The aim is to provide an environment where all employees are paid fairly for their contribution to the success of the company, with actions designed to encourage a more balanced representation of gender at all levels: recruitment, promotion, career progression, working patterns, and reward practices. 

About EDF

EDF is the country’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity and supports customers in decarbonising their energy usage. Its purpose is to help Britain achieve net zero.

EDF is a leading investor and industrial developer of wind, nuclear and solar generation alongside energy storage, efficiency and other new technologies to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The issue

Gender equity is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equity is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection, and the wellbeing of the population. Companies have a key role to play in advancing gender equity and addressing issues such as unequal pay, unequal opportunities, discrimination and inflexible expectations. 

What EDF did

  • A diverse and inclusive employer

EDF believes an equal world is an enabled world. The company is looking to accelerate gender parity by committing to actions designed to improve gender representation at all levels and to reduce the gender pay gap overall at an individual business unit level.

  • Recruitment and promotion

EDF is committed to encouraging balanced gender representation at all stages of the recruitment pipeline, focusing on attracting and encouraging diversity at all levels. The recruitment team regularly reviews the responses from recruitment channels to ensure they are both representative and inclusive.

EDF uses software to help ensure all recruitment literature contains gender-neutral language and equity, diversity & inclusivity training is provided for recruiting managers. The training emphasises the need for a gender balance of applicants and progression within the organisation (including flexible and agile working arrangements).

  • Career progression

EDF continually monitors the progression of female employees through the talent assessment programme and in succession plans to ensure they are gender neutral, free from bias and provide encouragement to female employees to progress into more senior positions.

This work is supported by a range of other equity, diversity & inclusivity measures designed to achieve the company’s targets. As part of the Nuclear Sector Deal, EDF is committed to achieving 40% women in the nuclear business by 2030. Achieving this requires big, bold steps to get more women into the talent pipeline. In 2020, EDF ran a targeted campaign called Talent 2.0 for females in an area of the business where female representation in the senior leadership population was lower than the company target.

  • Reward practices

EDF has developed and implemented a new approach to ‘job family architecture’, designed to help individuals identify career paths and the range of options open to them. By conducting extensive external and internal salary benchmarking, EDF is working to ensure pay is free from gender bias, is non-discriminatory and fair in its application at all stages.

  • Ambitious targets

EDF has set ambitious goals across a number of indicators to ensure diversity and inclusion across the workforce. By 2030, the company intends that 40% of its employees will be women including 40% at senior leadership level.

Share of women at senior leadership level and share of women employees (2019-2021)

Employees are recruited from the widest possible pool of talent to make sure that the workforce is a true reflection of communities and customers. 50% of new starters in 2021 had one or more diverse characteristics (gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability) and 62% of EDF’s talent pipeline is female.

  • External engagement

To advance gender diversity, EDF uses internal benchmarking and is certified to level 4 of the Gender Equality European & International Standard ‘GEEIS and GEEIS-DIVERSITY’.

EDF plays an active part in campaign groups such as POWERful Women (PfW), Women’s Utilities Network, Women in Nuclear (WIN). The CEO is also a member of the Energy Leaders Coalition, making a public declaration to improve gender diversity in EDF and the sector as a whole.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • Diversity: A workforce and culture that promotes gender representation at all levels.
  • Wellbeing: Companies with flexible work, equal pay, diverse hiring, enhance the quality of life for employees of all gender.
  • Skills and employment: Access to a wider talent pool, new experiences and skills, that benefit the company and society.

For more information on how EDF operates as a responsible business, read its Sustainable Business update.