BHM Interviews Shereen Morgan, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Centrica

Black History Month Diversity Champion, Shereen Morgan, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Centrica talks to Black History Month about the importance of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Centrica

Centrica is a global energy company how important is it to have a diverse workforce in today world?

Centrica operations span across many territories. To meet and exceed the needs of our customers, in a market that is continuously evolving, it is crucial our workforce is reflective of the society in which we live and operate. It is also critical that as an organisation we reflect the diverse communities our brands represent.

How important is Diversity and Inclusion at Centrica and what is your approach?

Very. We place equality, diversity, care and respect at the heart of our policies and everyday practices. At Centrica, we would like all colleagues, regardless of background, to work within an environment where they can bring their whole selves to work.

The Centrica values are our DNA and it’s fair to say, Inclusion is a key component. It informs the approach for our people and our customers. Our approach is quite simple, we focus on inclusion, as when we do this d

iversity is sure to follow. My overarching aim is to create an environment where everyone can flourish and have a meaningful career at Centrica. Everyone is considered to be talented.

We have 9 global employee networks – covering Ethnicity, LGBTI+, Carers, Disability and Wellness and more. These networks are championed by internal role models, who with support from the wider Diversity and Inclusion Team, are creating safe spaces for open dialogues. These networks personify inclusion to me, they empower our employees to have a voice and act upon any barrier they face. Most importantly, their findings influence our company’s strategic direction.

Centrica team (Shereen Morgan, Diversity & Inclusion Manager centre) at the Business in The Communities (BITC), Best Employers for Race in 2018, alongside Sandra Kerr.

From a personal and professional perspective. It’s only right, that I acknowledge progress for groups across the sector is slow, and, there is much more work to do. I’m pleased to say Centri-ca recognises that an inclusive workforce underpins our success for our employees and ensur-ing our leadership reflects the world around is vital to understanding and satisfying the chang-ing needs of our customers. This is why we developed our 2030 Responsible Business Ambitions, which galvanises Centrica’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, Internally and externally.

You are The Diversity & Inclusion Manger at Centrica. What does your role entail?

Simply put, the purpose of my role is to identify actual or perceived barriers to inclusion across the employee life-cycle and put in place with the support of the business, actions to remove and mitigate its impacts.

On a day to day basis this means, debiasing key people processes, for instance ensuring our job descriptions and advertisement embrace inclusive language principles, creating unconscious bias training and tools to help employees understand their own bias, which often gets in the way of decision making within key processes like career succession and promotion discussions.

Within this role, you realise quite quickly that the inclusion agenda at its best is not owned by a central function, but truly a collaborative effort with your business, to translate insight into tangible action.

What do you see as the most challenging aspects of increasing a more diverse workforce and what steps have the Centrica taken or plan to take to meet such challenges?

Progress. I find focusing on representation is not enough. If an individual or group does not feel included, they will simply leave an organisation. My role is getting under the skin of what makes Centrica a great place to work and what we can do to retain talented employees. I also feel it’s a collective effort. Gone are the days of employers keeping their cards close to their chest. To make a material difference and progress the D&I agenda, we’ll need to share best practice and collaborate as an industry.

In terms of the steps we are taking. The introduction of our 2030 Responsible Business Ambitions – a set of 15 goals centred around an overarching ambition of “helping you run your world in ever more sustainable ways” is made up of four pillars, focused around customers, climate change, colleagues and communities’

We’ve been active in each of these areas for many years but wanted to bring them all together and set specific targets to 2030 that will accelerate our positive social and environmental impact on society.

As part of our Colleague’s goals, we aspire for our senior leadership to reflect the full diversity of our labour markets, with ethnicity and gender diversity at the heart. By 2022, we aspire for 33% female and 10% ethnic minority representation in senior leadership, in keeping with our commitment to the Parker Review and Hampton Alexander recommendations.

Targets are one thing, but I am also pleased to say, Centrica has a thriving Ethnicity working group, which has recently launched as a network. This group was set up to progress the agenda and identify the actual or perceived barriers which ethnic minority employees may experience. The Ethnicity Network officially launched as a Network during the National Inclusion Week. All of Centrica’s Employee networks are inclusive and the Ethnicity Network is no different. All ethnicities are welcome as members or supportive allies. I look forward to updating you on their progress.

Do you have any internal staff networks?

Yes, nine global employee networks, which covers a broad spectrum of groups and interests globally.

What are your main areas of recruitment?

We recruit across a wide range of disciplines, including but not exclusively, Finance, HR, Engineering, Call Centre, Digital, Trading

Can you tell us about your graduate and student recruitment programme and when do applications open?
We open for our Graduate programmes late October and for our Summer Placement programme in January. We are open all year round (when vacancies permit) for apprenticeships

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career at the Centrica?

Be curious, ask questions and think outside the box. We’re not a corporate that each day is the same, we have a plan and we want to execute it… but in keeping with customer changing needs and expectations. Be yourself! We actively embrace and celebrate difference, we do not have a Centrica mould!

Finally, as a Black History Month Diversity Champion for 2019 are you planning to put on any events at Centrica?

Yes, mainly in the digital form this year. Our aim is to spark healthy conversations and debate, so we’re hosting listening session and online chats using yammer. We’ll be sharing our unconscious bias learning module with the business this month too and of course using the Black History Month resource packs to heighten awareness of black history across our teams.

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