Our Future Female Leaders
At So Energy we believe energy suppliers should better reflect you. That means bringing more diverse and balanced voices to the table, because we know that doing this means everybody wins. This is key in addressing the complex challenges that the future of energy faces.
That is why our Diversity and Belonging Strategy is anchored around three main objectives; to be an equitable, diverse, and inclusive employer whilst creating a culture of belonging, to attract and develop the talent of today and tomorrow, and to work in partnership with the energy community to create a gender balanced, diverse and inclusive UK energy sector representative of the customers and communities we serve.
Prioritising Female Leadership
Women are severely underrepresented in the energy sector, which is why So Energy has set various diversity targets, including 50% female representation across the junior, middle management and leadership levels by 2028.
Our Women in Leadership initiative was set up in line with this and serves as a fast-track programme to support professional development for women and the unique barriers they face, in turn levelling up female progression. This programme compliments our work with Code First Girls and The Circl Leadership Development Programme to address the skills and training gap in leadership and technology for women and non-binary people.
Launched during International Women’s Day in 2023, the Female Leadership Fast-Track Scheme is a six-week course for 2 successful applicants. Split into different modules, the course includes themes across different leadership styles, understanding yourself as a leader, the impact of micro and mega trends on leadership, the place of gender and culture within different leadership styles, negotiating and influencing, as well as the ways in which leadership aligns with the value and ethos of an organisation.
‘Personalised development plans with ‘real-time’ application and visible impact’
Speaking to our inaugural trainees, Becky Strachan and Sonika Advani, as they graduated from the scheme this summer, it was clear the impact that the scheme has had both on a personal level and within our wider organisation.
“Taking part in this programme has been hugely influential in my leadership journey so far, both on a personal level and professional level within my wider team. It’s given me some amazing skills that I regularly use to support my own development and the development of those around me in a variety of ways, particularly with exposure to other areas of the business as the Vice Chair of So Energy’s Women’s Affinity Group (EmpowHER). I’ve also worked with other internal affinity groups (such as our LGBTQIA+ affinity group) to share the knowledge and strengthen as many other people’s skillsets as possible, which has not only been supported by our Senior Leadership Team – it’s been facilitated by them wherever possible, staying true to our values!”
Becky Strachan, Operations Team Leader
“While undertaking the course, I was able to implement my learning in my real-time work setting through coaching and mentoring my team. With an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, I was able to contribute to making my team a safe space for all team members across different backgrounds and cultures. The course exposed me to many inspirational women leaders who shared their experiences, which I was able to take away and reflect in my own leadership learning. I acquired many invaluable skills, with one of the most notable ones being how to effectively negotiate within different settings.”
Sonika Advani, Customer Operations Team Leader
Broader Diversity and Belonging Initiatives
To underpin our Women in Leadership initiative, So Energy is an active member of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition, making a public declaration to improve gender diversity internally and in the sector as a whole, POWERful Women, an initiative to create a gender-balanced, diverse, and inclusive UK energy sector, and the Tackling Inclusion and Diversity in Energy (TIDE) task force, an industry-wide effort to improve inclusion and diversity across the energy sector. So Energy are also dedicated to ensuring flexible and collaborative HR policies with Enhanced Maternity and Paternity Leave, whilst working with our employees to ensure individual needs are met.
“As an industry, the energy sector has a long way to go to level the playing field, and only through challenging structural inequalities head on can we begin to address the change that is needed to promote better diversity and representation. The Female Leadership Fast Track is just one way that So Energy hopes to inspire and champion the future female leaders of the energy sector both internally and more broadly across the industry.”
Julie-Ann Wyatt, Head of People
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