Powerful Women

23 October 2018

Libby Townsend, People Director, OVO Energy talks about how we're recognizing ways we need to make changes here and now.

Libby Townsend, People Director, OVO Energy

It’s no surprise that ‘how to improve gender equality in the workplace’ reached Google’s top five searches around gender equality in the past year. The Gender Pay Gap has shown we still have a way to go, which makes ensuring we have equal representation at senior leader level a priority for us today.

We have an incredibly engaged and proactive workforce who have given us an abundance of ideas following focus groups with our people. From this our employees have launched the first Parents Network, working on providing more support, particularly when it comes to returning to work.

We’ve also put all of our job adverts through gender bias screening and pulled together a template job description to help the hiring manager post their application in a way that’s inclusive.

The Gender Pay Gap launch earlier this year made us recognise that we need to make changes here and now. We decided to make a Powerful Women Pledge, to give ourselves an ambition to keep us on track in term of increasing the female representation in key areas at OVO. Powerful Women is a company whose aim is to help organisations increase the professional growth and leadership development of women. Of course, it felt like this was the perfect start to help us maintain focus and as a result of our efforts we hope to start closing the gender pay gap too.

We remain committed to try and attract the best female talent to join OVO and to positively champion this we are putting even more focus on inclusion and diversity and achieving the following pledges through Powerful Women:

  • 40% female Director roles by 2025
  • 25% females in Tech by 2025
  • 20% female Smart Metering Engineers by 2020

Some of these ambitions might sound out of reach at the moment and we’ve still got a long way to go, but we’re always looking for ways to challenge ourselves and ultimately it’s part of how we can make OVO better for everyone.

This year as part of our sponsorship of the Women’s Tour, we equalised the prize money so that the winning female received the same prize money as the men’s Tour of Britain. There’s been a long campaign for parity in cycling and as title sponsor we believed it was an important step to offer equal prize money and address the imbalance. Next year’s Women’s Tour will feature more stages than ever before with six stages, for the first time in the event’s history, showing the growth in women’s cycling and inspiring more people to get on their bikes.

At OVO, inclusion and diversity is about cultivating an environment which is open to all, increases engagement, fosters creativity and gives everyone a greater sense of belonging. This year we’ve started to take steps to improve and make OVO as accessible and inclusive as possible, we’re excited to empower not just women but everyone who is part of the OVO family.