EDF Energy employees from as far afield as East Kilbride, in Scotland attended the event, which featured a guest speech from broadcaster and journalist Rene Carayol. Attendees were also given talks by members of EDF Energy management on topics such as “our diversity and inclusion journey” by HR, Safety and Sustainability Director Tim Boylin and “careers in EDF Energy – your opportunity to help shape the world’s energy future” by Dr Val Kohler Head of Asset Management, Nuclear Generation. They also took part in a personal development planning workshop.
The event was organised by EDF Energy’s BAME network. The network was launched in 2010, as an evolution of the previous African and Caribbean network, and now has over 110 active members.
Broadcaster and journalist Rene Carayol, who is a visiting professor at Cass Business School and guest speaker at the event, said “EDF Energy must be commended for investing in diversity and inclusion despite the current economic climate. It is great to see EDF Energy bringing together people from various personal and professional backgrounds to share their thoughts and experiences on diversity and culture in the workplace”.
“Encouraging a diverse workforce needn’t be a box-ticking exercise – it can bring real business benefit and I hope EDF Energy will see numerous benefits from work such as this which actively promotes diversity and inclusion.”
EDF Energy has also recently supported the ‘The Story of Lovers’ Rock’, a documentary film about the development of ‘Lovers’ Rock’ – a romantic style of reggae which developed in the UK in the late1970’s and 1980s which has now shown in cinemas at various locations across the UK. EDF Energy hopes to use the film to further develop stronger links with employees and customers from minority backgrounds.
Ezra Anajonu, Chair of the EDF Energy BAME Network said: “We were delighted to be able to bring together members of the EDF Energy BAME Network to get to know one another at this inaugural relationship building event. Our concept for the event was ‘sharing, inspiring, succeeding’ and from the feedback we’ve had so far, it seems that attendees for the event all took something beneficial away to help them progress in their careers. Our plan is now to arrange more regular networking sessions and grow the network to maximise benefits to members and to the business as a whole”.
The BAME Network is just one of the employee networks at EDF Energy through which the company brings to life its vision to ‘capture the value that difference brings’. A Disability & Carers Network, Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Network and a Women’s Network are already established.