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  • by Trevor Loveday

Regulators pledge diversity as poll shows all sector chiefs are white and only 22% are female

Members of the UK Regulators’ Network (UKRN) have made a series of commitments on diversity and inclusion. Meanwhile a report shows on a survey of 23 utility chief showed that that all were white British and only 22% were female.


Energy and Utility Skills' 2021 Inclusion Measurement survey also found that 87% of chiefs were heterosexual and only 9% were disabled. Extending the leadership analysis beyond the boardroom to include middle management, the report revealed that 78% of utility managers were male. and 73% were white.


And it found that 3% of managers were from from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups while 24% were undeclared. BAME groups accounted for 13% of the total workforce but the regional spread was large with 38% from those ethnic groups in London-based utilities.


The report pointed to gender and race disparity having its roots at the recruitment stage. Females made up 22% of applicants and 28% of those finally recruited. BAME applicants made up 18% of the pool but only 11% of people recruited.


Meanwhile the following pledges were developed by the UKRN Public Sector Equality Duties working group on behalf of the network::

• “to support diversity and inclusion within our own organisations and sectors we regulate," committing also to "share experience and best practice and work collaboratively to drive change";

• to continue to strive to be more representative of the society in which we work and the consumers whom we protect and to foster an inclusive working environment;

• to be proactive in supporting and encouraging change and raising standards within our respective sectors... because it can drive better consumer and market outcomes, and it is the right thing to do.

• UKRN pledges to play a pivotal role in bringing its members together, sharing knowledge across its members to keep these pledges alive and to monitor progress.”


While the organisation said declared its members were "in a unique position to bring focus to diversity and inclusion in the sectors we regulate," it emphasise that "the industries we regulate are very different and our powers and roles varied,"

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