PfW appoints Beverley Smith as Director

Beverley Smith appointed as Director of POWERful Women

Beverley Smith, formerly VP of Exploration and Growth for BG Group, has been appointed as Director of POWERful Women. POWERful Women (PfW) is a professional initiative that exists to advance the leadership and development of women across the UK's energy sector, celebrating the achievements of inspirational women, supporting and connecting women in their progression, providing practical tools and challenging and supporting energy companies in taking positive steps towards a balanced and diverse workforce.

Beverley's career has spanned more than 25 years and four continents with FTSE20 company BG Group, starting as an Exploration Geologist in 1990, with increasingly senior roles in Trinidad, Nigeria, Algeria and China, before being promoted to VP of Exploration and Growth for Europe in 2015. Her wide experience in the E&P industry combined with her career growth and personal skills in leadership, analytical thinking and problem-solving make her ideally suited to the role with PfW.

Beverley says of the role: I am delighted to be working with POWERful Women to encourage the participation of women in senior leadership roles within the energy sector. Historically this sector has under-performed in terms of gender-diversity and I look forward to playing a role in that changing.

The energy sector is tackling a wide range of important issues – from keeping the lights on to helping consumers reduce energy waste and building a more sustainable low carbon future. Pfw believes that industry competitiveness relies on being able to attract and retain a diverse pool of talent capable of bringing fresh perspectives, and therefore that a much stronger female influence is needed at the top table. By bringing together a mix of industry, academic and political leaders – that span exploration, energy generation & supply, energy efficiency, technology, government and consumer issues – PfW works to support and encourage energy companies to appoint more women to senior roles as part of building stronger businesses and adapting to changing markets.

The POWERful Women initiative is supported by industry sponsors, including Dong Energy, EDF, SSE, PGS and Scottish Power. Their partners include BEIS, PWC and the Energy Institute

The board of PfW is seeking to appoint a Director

A fantastic opportunity has come up to lead the management of POWERful Women (PfW), a professional initiative that exists to advance the leadership and development of women across the UK's energy sector, during an exciting period as we look to embark on the next stage of growth. A network of over 1,500 industry, academia, political representatives and womens' groups that span all parts of the sector, PfW supports and encourages energy companies to appoint more women to senior roles as part of building stronger businesses.

We are looking for someone to take on a newly created Director role, on a voluntary, part-time basis, to lead the creation and delivery of a future strategic roadmap for the initiative. A passion for encouraging greater diversity is essential and previous experience of working within, or well developed knowledge of, the energy sector is preferable. Excellent leadership and influencing skills, the ability to work to tight deadlines and flexibility are also crucial. You may currently be working within the industry and are keen to help build the next generation of leaders. Or you may already be advancing diversity and interested in overseeing a high profile, progressive and dynamic initiative that is committed to catalysing change.

For more details and a full job description click here.

POWERful Women in Engineering

In celebration of National Women in Engineering Day - 23 June!!

Emily Spearman BEng (Hons) AIEMA MBA CEng MEI

Emily Spearman is a Chartered Energy Engineer with the Energy Institute (EI); currently she is a Senior Quality Manager at DONG Energy, having previously worked as an Asset Manager at DONG Energy and Associate Director/Senior Engineer at URS Scott Wilson. In addition to offshore renewable energy, she also has considerable experience of the global energy and oil and gas industries, having worked as an engineer at Parsons Brinckerhoff and global oil field service and technology company, Schlumberger.

Emily fulfils a number of roles on committees in the energy sector, including being on the Energy Expert Panel for the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE). Emily was elected-as a trustee of the EI, where she sits on the EI General Council. Emily has previously been on the Board of London Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and represented the UK on the World Energy Council's Future Energy Leaders. Emily's knowledge and experience of the energy sector is a key source of intel for the EI on the state of the energy sector and the challenges that the industry faces today. Emily's success, unique experiences and dedication to the energy and environmental sectors led her to the Karen Burt Award for 'most outstanding newly chartered female engineer'.

She has appeared alongside the EI's CEO, Louise Kingham OBE FEI in an ITN production, titled 'Working to Engineer a Better Future.'

Emily studied Environmental Engineering and Resource Management at the University of Nottingham and did an MBA in Global Energy at Warwick Business School.

DONG Energy is a sponsor of POWERful Women - an initiative which seeks to advance the professional growth and leadership development of women in the UK's energy sector. POWERful Women helps companies and individuals to understanding gender diversity in energy and, along with the mentoring, provides a set of resources called POWERful Tools.

To find out more about the POWERful Women project and view the pledges that energy companies are making in support of their aim to advance the professional growth and leadership development of women in the UK's energy sector, visit

Lord Hutton joins the PfW board

We are delighted to announce that PfW has a new board member. Lord Hutton is Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association. He has been a Member of the Upper House since 2010 following 18 years as the Labour Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness. Lord Hutton was appointed Chair of the Nuclear Industry Council in 2013. He was invited by the coalition government to Chair a Commission on public service pensions, with its final report being published in 2011.


Shell pledge


Ceri Powell (Shell's Executive Vice President Upstream International Exploration) has committed to support the aims of POWERful Women and move the industry forward in gender diversity. She says:

"If we do not commit then we shall not get there as an industry. I currently have 37% women and I will do my utmost to increase that to 50% in the coming years .. 2020 will be a stretch but we shall try" Ceri Powell, EVP Upstream International Exploration, Shell


We are the City - Oil and Gas Award Shortlist

Anar Damji | Baker Hughes

Awaiting bio...

Anne Bailey | Baringa Partners

Anne is a strategic consultant passionate about renewable energy development, particularly in emerging markets.

As a Senior Consultant at Baringa Partners, she provides quantitative data-driven advice to players in the energy industry; including power project developers, investment banks, funds and government. She supports clients in issues across the project development lifecycle, from new market entry strategy to commercial due diligence, financial modelling and optimisation of operational performance. Previously, she worked to optimise performance of existing assets and capital projects for heavy industry.

Anne graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with a first class degree in Engineering (MEng). Passionate about addressing educational inequality, she worked on initiatives to increase the number of successful state-school applicants and supported Teach First recruitment. She is also keen to dispel the myth that science and engineering are 'subjects for boys' and speaks at various events to encourage girls to study STEM subjects at university.

Anne Claudel | BP

Luck = Preparation + Attitude + Opportunity + Action.

Preparation – Master in Civil Engineering in France, fluent in English and German, enough Spanish to order tapas. An intense training with Schlumberger (international oil-services company) started my love for Oil & Gas and its people.

Attitude – A resilient and can-do mind-set took me to live in 6 countries and work in over 14. My EQ combined with a proven track record of delivery gets me the respect of colleagues, including oilrig workers.

Opportunity – Grab it. Network. Chairperson of Society of Petroleum Engineers London 2016/17 (2,200 members). Committee member of BP Women Network. Volunteer with Inspire the Future: energize kids to choose further education.

Action - A Yes-Woman... Before BP in London, I froze in Canada by -40deg, sweated in the Algerian desert by +50deg, and looked like a Teletubbie in my survival suit offshore North Sea.

I believe in capability, not in gender considerations.

Eleanor Collins | BP

'I was born in the UK and grew up in Warwickshire. Having nurtured an interest in the Sciences and Art and Design through school I elected to study Chemistry at Durham University. I completed my Masters of Chemistry in the automotive lubricants industry and have since gained experience in research for upstream oil production and fuels and lubricants product development. I currently sit in my seventh professional role formulating the next generation of Castrol Magnatec Products. Driven by an acute interest in innovative technology and the responsible provision of energy I also input to BP Group Technology as an Emerging Technology Champion. I love my job because it requires both scientific application and creativity. I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM students, raising awareness of the importance of gender parity and championing diversity of thought in the workplace. I am involved in several initiatives to achieve these goals, including organising classes and teaching at local schools, speaking at Universities in the UK and hosting events to empower and inspire colleagues to achieve their full potential. In my spare time I like to travel, cook, exercise and paint portraits.'

Kerrine Bryan | CB&I

Kerrine Bryan is an electrical engineer and children's book author.

She has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 10 years.

In 2014 she was listed by Management Today Magazine and The Sunday Times as one of the UKs top 35 women in business under the age of 35, which highlighted her work as a lead engineer for a large North Sea Offshore oil platform project. She is the 2015 PRECIOUS Award winner for outstanding woman in STEM.

Kerrine is a volunteer mentor for the IET and a STEM Ambassador, with a passion for educating youngsters on what engineering is really about. This led her to set up Butterfly Books, and work with her brother and a close friend to publish children's educational picture books, including 'My Mummy is an Engineer' and My Mummy is a Plumber, which were published in 2015.

Lindsay Kelly | PwC

Lindsay has audited large multinational oil and gas clients with listings in both the US and UK, with a primary focus on group audit coordination across a significant number of countries. She has been the lead senior manager on Shell in the Netherlands, lead manager on Schlumberger in the US and LyondellBasell in the US. In particular, she has focussed on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of audit processes by utilising new technology, including data analysis. In addition to client work, Lindsay spends a significant amount of time mentoring young women through informal coaching sessions.

Nicola Hartshorn | British Gas

I'm so fortunate to have found a career that always challenges and engages me, allowing me to be both creative and analytical. British Gas has given me some amazing opportunities to learn and grow into a well rounded UX professional (my favourite being leading the redesign of our online account management system).

I have a particular passion for lean UX – getting things out to users quickly to gain real world feedback for further improvements. I love collaborating with my scrum and empowering all my team to take an active interest in the design of our products. I want to ensure everyone feels like they have a voice so they can buy into our products and love what we build – it really works! I enjoy thinking outside the box and challenging the norm when finding solutions and, above all else, I want to make clear and simple experiences our users love.

Rachel Todd | BP

I am a Senior Fuels Technologist in BP's Global Fuels Technology Team. In my current role, I am responsible for supporting the development of new fuels products for BP, for many countries around the world.

During my 4+ years at BP, I have been involved in multiple projects, including the recent development of BP's latest fuels currently being launched in a number of countries. I also led the development of a new fuel product for China, for which I was recognised with a Tallow Chandlers award in 2014.

I have a Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Reading, graduating in 2008. I am a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Women's Network Committee at the BP site at which I am based. I also participate in mentoring and careers events, organised by the Tallow Chandlers, to promote studying of STEM subjects.

Rose Haziraei-Yazdi | BP

I am an Offshore Structural Engineer in BP Upstream and currently work within the Upstream Engineering Centre, providing discipline engineering support to multiple regions and projects. I have held a number of roles since joining BP in 2012, including working in the North Sea region to develop a sustainable concept for an offshore life extension project as well as providing structural integrity management for two offshore platforms. I also recently worked in a central role, supporting the BP Head of Upstream Engineering in delivering the global engineering strategy. I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012 with a master's degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. Currently, I'm pursuing professional accreditation with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), where I am also a member of the energy expert panel.

Sarah Walker | GE Oil & Gas

Awaiting bio...

Energy sector continues to lag behind UK industries in developing senior female talent – new report

Only 6% of executive boards seats in top 100 UK-headquartered energy firms are held by women - a fifth of PfW's target of 30% by 2030

· Number of board seats held by women remains static at 9%, in contrast to UK FTSE100 industry-wide levels of 26.1%

A new report by PwC in association with POWERful Women (PfW), an industry body that promotes female leadership in the energy sector, exposes a marked lack of progress in the number of females in senior energy positions over the last 12 months.

One year on from the launch of the 'Igniting Change – building the pipeline of female leaders in energy'1 report, which reviewed the number of senior women working in the industry, the latest analysis shows that despite widespread recognition of the benefits of gender equality, the dial hasn't been shifted on the ground.

The inaugural report, researched and produced by PwC, revealed that of the top 89 UK-headquartered energy companies2 (including oil and gas, power and renewables), 61% had no females on their board while only 7% had at least 25% female board representation.

According to Igniting Change 2, these figures have only shifted by 1% year on year.

The new analysis also reveals that:

· The number of board seats held by women remains static at 9%

· Only 6% of UK energy firms sampled had female executive board members (previously 5%) – a fifth of PfW's executive board level target of 30% by 2030.

· The proportion of female board executives across key energy sectors has also remained unchanged (nuclear: 8%/ oil and gas: 7%) with the exception of Power and Utilities which has risen by 1% to 18%.

The numbers are in stark contrast to the Women on Boards (Davies Review's) latest update, which shows that the percentage of women on UK boards overall had increased to 26.1%.

The report's original recommendations still stand. There clearly needs to be a stronger, more determined focus from CEOs to take a lead.

Ruth Cairnie, Chair, POWERful Women, says, "I really fear that Energy is standing still while many other sectors are now making progress, and at a time when Energy needs diversity more than ever. We need leaders to show real leadership, they are the key."

More women need to be encouraged to take up careers in energy at all levels and PfW will continue to work with and encourage all concerned to take more action and ensure the industry doesn't lag further behind others in the UK.

While the 2015 report exposed the gap between the inspiring stories of many senior women in the energy sector, and the overall poor statistics, the latest update has simply cemented this worrying trend – and put a spotlight on the need for attitudes to change more consistently across the sector.

Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of the women on boards review, comments, "The POWERful Women initiative, with its clear focus on improving women's representation at senior levels within the energy sector, is an excellent example of the businesses themselves leading the change. It also shines a welcome spotlight on the highly capable women available within the sector."

In interviews with senior female figures, their responses diverged from the actual quantitative results of the analysis. As part of this research, PwC has interviewed over 50 prominent figures (both male and female) in the energy sector to understand their stories, their thoughts on what the barriers are for women in energy, and how those barriers might be overcome.

Laura Manson-Smith, PwC energy partner and co-author of the report, comments,

"When we launched our Igniting Change report last year there was widespread shock at the low numbers recorded and recognition of the strong focus needed to drive change across organisation, from developing a sustainable pipeline of young women recruits to strong female leaders.

"The latest figures show that this general acceptance hasn't translated into action – and that's not good enough. The industry should be worried by these numbers and ask why is it so different from others and why does it seem so difficult to change?"

To drive this change, PfW is working with other organisations which are active in the same space, such as the WISE campaign to promote careers for women in science, technology and engineering. PfW is also encouraging energy companies to work together more actively: providing a hub for them to share good practice and learn from each other.

In response to the trends highlighted in the 2015 Igniting Change report, further efforts have also been made to bring forward the cohort of women in senior management positions whose next career aspiration is to secure a Board position. The PfW mentoring scheme, POWERful Connections, is a growing network - which demonstrates the building appetite for change within the sector.

– ENDS –

For more information, please contact:

Maria Blakley, Project Manager – POWERful Women, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Katie Crabb, Communications Manager, Energy Institute, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lynn Hunter, Communications Manager, PwC, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to editor

1. The inaugural Igniting Change report, was launched in February 2015 and can be accessed via

2. The Igniting Change 2 report analyses a range of published data including annual reports filed in 2015. The report can be accessed via

About POWERful Women (PfW)

The organisation was founded by Baroness Sandip Verma and Laura Sandys MP in June 2014 to advance the professional growth and leadership development of women in the energy sector. The organisation brings together a mix of industrial, academic and political leaders spanning exploration, energy generation and supply, energy efficiency, technology, government and consumer issues. It works to support and encourage energy companies to appoint more women to senior roles as part of building stronger businesses and adapting to changing markets. Its aim is to see 30% of energy sector Board positions to be held by women and 40% of senior management positions to be held by women by 2030.


'Igniting Change 2' - new PwC report to launch in May

PfW are delighted to announce that the follow up report to 'Igniting Change - building the pipeline of female leaders in energy' will launch at the House of Lords on 9 May 2016. 

Invited guests will hear from Sir Phillip Hampton, Chair of Women on Boards, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

PfW has been working with the companies who pledged their support and our Ambassadors to help implement the reports recommendations for HR, Senior Management, CEO's and Aspiring Women.

In response to the report recommendations a mentoring programme, POWERful Connections, was launched in June 2015 and POWERful Tools - a repository of resources to ingnite change was launched in December 2015. 

Our sincere thanks to PwC for their continued support in monitoring the progress made by the sector, an important theme for our board who also aim to celebrate teh achievements of the many inspirational women who are already making a difference in energy, promote the business benefits of a diverse workforce, challenge and support energy companies in taking positive steps to ensure more women are represented at senior, Director and Board level and support and connect women in their progression.



Amber Rudd MP's endorsement of POWERful Women

thumb 342303320 Amber Rudd MP

My 2016 Pledge to Women

The secure, clean and affordable energy system we are building needs a new wave of female engineers. I want to inspire the next generation and champion the role of women in energy. I support initiatives such as POWERful Women which seeks to advance female representation in the sector.

Cuadrilla pledges to support gender diversity in energy

POWERful Women welcomes another pledge for gender diversity in energy, by Cuadrilla.  Cuadrilla is a UK company based in Staffordshire. Formed in 2007 as a privately owned exploration and production company, their focus is on bringing together experts to recover natural resources.

Cuadrilla is aiming to be a "model company" for unconventional exploration in the UK. It is acutely aware of the responsibilities this brings, particularly with regard to safety, environmental protection and working with local communities.  Here is their pledge for POWERful Women;

"Cuadrilla pledges that at least 40% of our middle management will be female by 2025 and that we will support, through our community donations programme, initiatives which encourage more young women to pursue STEM subjects".


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