Supporting London’s young Black men to work in the gas industry

26 Jan 2021
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GLA Design Labs

We’re proud to be participating in the Greater London Authority (GLA) Design Labs 12-month programme tackling underrepresentation of young Black men in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

The programme is part of the Workforce Integration Network (WIN) within the Mayor of London’s Strategy for Social Integration to improve pathways for underrepresented groups in the workplace.

The GLA Design Labs programme will see us receive bespoke one-to-one support to build an action plan to tackle the underrepresentation of young Black men in our company. We’ll also gain access to an exclusive showcase of leading diverse recruitment specialists, as well as the opportunity to network and engage with companies leading the charge in diversifying the construction sector.

We know that Black people are hugely underrepresented in the gas industry and we’re looking forward to championing change in our sector. In London alone, 33% of Black men are unemployed compared to 15% of white men. 18% of young men in London are Black but only 4% of young Black men are working in our industry.

Glenn Norman, Director of Southern Operations, said: “At SGN, inclusion is at the heart of everything we do. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made, but like many other companies, we can do more to create a more diverse workforce. We’re taking steps to attract talent from underrepresented groups and are excited to be part of the GLA Design Lab programme, helping us to work collaboratively and build stronger networks. We know the value a more inclusive workforce can bring our customers and our business, and we want to be part of much needed change in London, and beyond.”

We’re engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to broaden our focus and attract talent from underrepresented groups. 

Data and working with community stakeholders are key to making a difference here, especially given our diverse geographic spread. In London, black and minority ethnic (BAME) people make up 38% of the working population, making this our focus area for attracting and retaining talent from diverse groups. In Scotland, that number is currently only 3%. We’ll continue to work hard to attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds, because we know the value a more inclusive workforce can bring to our customers and our business.

Our sector – like many others – can do more to create a more diverse workforce, and we’re taking active steps to encourage applications from candidates across each spectrum. We’re supporting our managers to consciously challenge bias and privilege, and partnering with organisations across the energy industry to make the sector more accessible.

By engaging, educating, and embedding talent from more diverse communities, with clear communication and close measurement underpinning our strategy, we hope to address the current imbalance in the coming years.