NSSG has joined forces with Women in Nuclear (WiN), in a drive to ensure the entire Sector embraces diversity and to build the business case for both diversity of people and of thought.
The United Kingdom’s nuclear industry faces a significant challenge a ahead; it’s nuclear new build renaissance means it will need to see a significant increase in the number of highly skilled people to build and operate the new nuclear fleet, as well as a skilled workforce to run the existing power stations, decommission the older ones, safely process nuclear waste and maintain the defence programme.
Indeed the NSSG’s Nuclear Workforce Assessment (NWA) shows that construction of five sites for 16 – 18 GWe new generation capacity, causes total nuclear workforce demand to rise from 87,560 in 2017 to 100,619 in 2021.
Women today are working as nuclear engineers, project managers, chemists, nuclear inspectors, senior managers and in many other roles across the Sector. But currently only 23% of these skilled nuclear roles are occupied by females.
The NSSG recognises that this is hampering its skills ambition, and its Strategic Plan to ensure our talent pipeline is robust, includes a target of 40% women in nuclear. It also embraces broader diversity and inclusivity challenges so that the nuclear workforce more closely matches the diversity of the UK population in terms of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population.
Not only will this support the Sector in closing the skills gap, we now know that diversity is correlated with both profitability and value creation. More diverse thinking breeds new ideas, new ideas breeds innovation and innovation breeds business growth.
The NSSG, working with WiN, has now established a task force on Diversity and Inclusion: taking action means spreading best practice, disseminating the tools to implement diversity and an amplification of what works well.
As a first step, working with the NSSG, WiN is generating a map of what already exists, and engaging with employers on how to apply existing tools and best practice. Examples include an Industry Charter, mentoring programmes and A Guidance Toolkit.
Women in Nuclear. Lead by Olivia Thompson, have recently produced a powerful video which demonstrates the power of diversity (you can play below). The benefits of a broadly diverse organisation are also shown in the video through real statistics and the gap that remains to reach a greater level of diversity in the workforce including gender balance. For example companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns higher than their competitors. And inclusive companies have 22% lower turnover rates due to increased morale.
There is no doubt – diversity builds better business.Download Nuclear Diversity video Olivia is a founding member of WiN UK and was chairman of the attraction committee until 2016.
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