POWERful Women Annual Conference 2021 (Online)

November 30, 2021 – December 1, 2021
10:30 am – 02:00 pm
POWERful Women

POWERful Women’s Annual Conference held across two mornings on 30th November and 1st December 2021.

About this event

POWERful Women is working to increase the representation of women at the top of the UK energy industry.

Are you joining us for the POWERful Women Annual Conference 2021?

We are excited to share our new speakers. Check out our latest programme and register now to secure your place.

The POWERful Women Annual Conference 2021 provides a platform for the UK energy sector to engage with peers and key thought leaders. This conference is an opportunity to discuss gender diversity and inclusion issues of the day and to share knowledge on “what works well” – and what doesn’t – when it comes to improving diversity and creating a more inclusive workplace where unique talent can thrive.

DAY 1 – Tuesday 30 November, 10.30am – 2pm

From a marathon to a sprint: why do we need greater female representation at the top of the energy sector and how do we accelerate progress?

Day 1 is a morning of high-level plenary sessions featuring discussions with energy company CEOs, regulators, diversity and inclusion leaders and the UK Energy Minister (tbc).


10:30 Welcome to the conference – Ruth Cairnie, Chair of POWERful Women

10:35 – 11:35 Session 1: Diversity and inclusion for net zero – reflections on COP26 and where do we need to go from here?

  • The Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth (tbc)
  • Lauren Van Der Kolk, Group Head of Transformation at National Grid, and Ruth Cairnie, Chair of POWERful Women, introduce the Significance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Net Zero agenda
  • Ruth Cairnie presents the current state of gender diversity in UK energy and the actions making a difference, including launch of the Energy Leaders’ Coalition’s Third Anniversary Report.

11:45 – 12:45 Session 2: What should business leaders be doing to accelerate change? Are we accountable, visible, and inclusive enough?

  • Panel discussion with:
  • Duncan Clark, CEO, Ørsted
  • Dominic Kieran, Managing Director, Cavendish Nuclear
  • Melissa Stark, Managing Director, Accenture (confirmed)
  • Lindsay McQuade, Chief Executive, ScottishPower Renewables (confirmed)
  • Hannah Mary Goodlad, Head of Baltic Sea Area Development, Equinor
  • Moderated by Colette Cohen, CEO, The Net Zero Technology Centre

12:55 – 13:55 Session 3: Can the energy regulators drive D&I progress within the sector? And why is it important for the future energy market and consumers?

Panel discussion with:

  • Elaine Smith, Inclusion Lead, Oil and Gas Authority
  • Naseem Ahmed, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Ofgem
  • Rachel Fletcher, Director of Regulation and Economics, Octopus Energy
  • Adrienne Kelbie, Adrienne Kelbie Consulting and former CEO of the ONR
  • Moderated by Nick Wayth, CEO, Energy Institute

DAY 2 – Wednesday 1 December, 10.30am – 2.30pm

Strategies for success: the practical initiatives that are doing the heavy lifting to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Day 2 is a practical workshop format designed for those working on or influencing D&I in their organisations, to help them better implement strategies that lead to meaningful initiatives and outcomes. Option to choose two out of four workshops.


10:30 – 10:45 Welcome and reflections (speaker tbc)

10:45 – 11:35 WORKSHOP 1: Inclusive Leadership

Host: TLC Lions

Using story-telling, this workshop asks can you be a trailblazer in building a new style of leadership built on compassion, authenticity and inclusive behaviours whilst delivering the bottom line?

10:45 – 11:35 WORKSHOP 2: Inclusive Leadership in the Hybrid World

Host: Stepsdrama

Exploring the challenges associated with the new hybrid working dynamic, where boundaries between work and life become ever more blurred, and the strategies that can help managers navigate their way forward.

11:40 – 12:30 WORKSHOP 3: Microaggressions – I didn’t mean it like that!

Host: Enact Solutions

A bitesize interactive drama-based session to explore workplace microaggressions using experiential learning and provide practical solutions to what we witness in our fictional team.

11:40 – 12:30 WORKSHOP 4: Conscious Inclusion

Host: The Equal Group

Exploring what is bias and how the brain works, examples of bias in the workplace, stereotypes, and how to move from unconscious bias to conscious Inclusion.

12:40 – 13:30 – re-run of two morning sessions

13:30 – 14:30 – re-run of two morning sessions

More information, including detailed descriptions of our Day 2 Workshops, will be updated on our Annual Conference webpage.


Interested in attending? Please purchase a ticket by clicking here.

Please note: Day 1 is free and open to everyone. Day 2 is £95.00 per ticket and available only to our network.