‘An inclusive and diverse organisation is essential to our human capital strategy.’

Inclusion and diversity programmes carried out by SSE have yielded a fourfold financial return for the company, according to a new report.

According to the report by international consultants Equal Approach, the utility company saw a £4.52 return on investment for every £1 invested in gender diversity programmes between 2014 and 2017.

The report adds that by focusing its current inclusion and diversity strategy over the next three years, it could achieve a return on investment of £15.

SSE’s director of human resources, John Stewart, said the company’s diversity strategy between 2014 and 2017 focused on encouraging women into the business and helping them progress up in the organisation.

The company’s new inclusion strategy for 2017-2020 focuses on five key areas, including embedding inclusive values throughout the organisation and mentoring, networks and partnerships.

“For SSE, an inclusive and diverse organisation is essential to our human capital strategy and meeting the looming skills gap expected to impact the energy industry in the early 2020s,” said Stewart.

“Our future commercial success genuinely depends upon the actions we take now to attract, develop and retain a workforce that can provide the skills and talent we need.”

“Equal Approach’s analysis shows these actions delivered significant financial value for SSE, but we are committed to going further to create a truly inclusive culture right across the organisation – one that celebrates difference in every sense,” added Stewart.

“This means we need to move from focusing on actions linked to specific individual characteristics, like gender, to actually embedding real inclusion throughout the organisation. Our new Inclusion Strategy for 2017-2020 is an important next step for SSE – one that challenges us to focus on fewer, more important factors using an evidence-based approach that drives real change. We believe that this will ensure SSE grows from strength to strength to meet the challenges of the future.”

The chief executive of Equal Approach, Dawn Milman-Hurst, said: “SSE now has a significant opportunity to embed the principles of inclusion and diversity throughout its business and create a truly inclusive culture over the next three years.

“Achievement of this offers substantial commercial benefits for the organisation, and would confirm SSE as an industry leader in this area that others aspire to emulate. I look forward to seeing SSE implement their new inclusion strategy and the business benefits gained as a result.”

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