The energy industry has a women problem

Only 4 percent of executive positions are held by women

Published July 29, 2014 3:37PM (EDT)

      (<a href=''>auremar</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(auremar via Shutterstock)

Ernst and Young recently released its Index of women in power and utilities (P&U), a survey of leadership of the world's 100 largest companies in the P&U sector. Surprise, surprise: Only 4 percent of executive board positions across these companies are held by women.

Alison Kay, Global Power & Utilities Leader at Ernst and Young, writes of the sector's untapped potential:

The global power and utilities sector has significantly underperformed the broader markets in recent years, with global utilities lagging behind the global equity markets on price by almost two-thirds over the last five years.

Even sadder is the finding that P&U is actually the third highest ranked industry for number of women on boards in 2013, coming in after only consumer services and consumer goods, and leading financial services, technology and telecommunications.

Here are more fast facts from the report (warning: they won't make you feel better):

  • The top three countries for women on boards in all industries are Norway (40.9 percent), Sweden (27.0 percent) and Finland (26.8 percent)
  • Companies with the best record of promoting women are up to 69 percent more profitable than those that don't
  • The three best utilities companies for women are Duke Energy Corp. (6 women of 25 in leadership), Sempra Energy (5 of 16), and Eskom Holdings (2 of 9).

We don't have to remind you that companies with women in top management positions perform better than those with only men. Maybe P&U will take the hint and recruit for their best interest.

By Joanna Rothkopf

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Executive Leadership Power And Utilities Women