U.K. Energy Companies Trail FTSE for Female Top Jobs, PwC Says

U.K. energy companies have less than half as many women on their boards than those in Britain’s benchmark equity index, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Women held 9 percent of board seats in the 100 largest U.K.-based oil, gas and power companies, compared with 21 percent in the FTSE 100 index of the biggest British corporations, PwC said in a report published Monday. There were all-male boards at 61 percent of the energy companies.

“The current statistics on women in the energy industry make depressing reading,” Laura Manson-Smith, PwC energy partner, said in the report. “While it is certainly too simplistic to say it must be a 50/50 split across all sectors, it is abundantly clear that equality doesn’t look like the landscape we’re in now.”

Of the so-called big six utilities, SSE Plc has no women on its executive board, RWE AG’s U.K. unit and Centrica Plc have one each, while Electricite de France SA’s EDF Energy, EON SE’s British unit and Scottish Power Ltd. have two each, according to the companies’ websites.

The report calls for 40 percent of energy company middle management and 30 percent of executive board members to be female by 2030. The U.K. government, which urges all companies to promote women to board level, has ruled out imposing quotas, while a 2011 report by former banker Mervyn Davies called for a target of 25 percent female representation at the biggest businesses by 2015. Only 7 percent of energy companies have met this goal, the PwC report showed.

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