The UN’s 5th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to achieve gender equality worldwide. Landsvirkjun has outlined a three-year project to show its commitment to supporting gender equality within the Company.
Gender equality in action
We started the year off by setting specific gender equality objectives and indicators based on a gender equality analysis and the results of an employee think tank in 2017.
We introduced a three-year action plan in March of this year to outline the implementation process for various improvement projects, designed to bring the Company closer to the consolidation phase of gender mainstreaming.
We successfully launched 17 projects, covering various fields of activity within Landsvirkjun’s operations, to promote gender streamlining objectives.
Gender mainstreaming strategies included an assessment of the Company’s recruitment process and possible measures to improve the gender-balance in the process. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of gender perspectives in the work environment. We also discussed measures to ensure the gender-ratio balance in summer employee recruitment.
We have completed our evaluation and recently introduced a new response plan on sexual harrassment and violence within the workplace. We have added workplace analysis indicators designed to measure equality and gender communication within the workplace. Gender equality education is now part of the training process for new employees.
Gender equality and company culture
Our gender equality initiative has grown significantly since its launch in 2017 but we have come to realise that the project still needs work.
We have seen the positive effects of the initiative in so many aspects of our operations and are convinced that a comprehensive approach is the key to achieving our objectives. Traditional gender equality indexes are ineffective as they provide all- too- narrow definitions of gender ratio and equal pay and are not sufficient enough to effectively address gender equality issues. Our comprehensive approach goes beyond traditional wage and gender ratio assessments by analysing other factors including culture, role models, work environment, as well as policy and organisation.
Our analysis showed clear indications that company culture is a key area of importance. We subsequently made the decision to conduct a further analysis on the topic and identify key areas for improvement. The autumn consultation meeting therefore focused on what type of workplace Landsvirkjun could be in the future. Gender equality culture was also identified as one of Landsvirkjun‘s main policy priorities for 2019.
Equal pay certification
We have prioritised equal pay issues to support gender mainstreaming within the Company. We received equal pay certification in recognition of our achievements so far at the beginning of the year.
Preparation for equal pay certification began in 2018 when we focused on various factors including a review of the Company‘s Human Resources and Equal Pay Policy. A formal equal pay assessment subsequently took place in December. We have been awarded the PwC Gold Standard for our efforts in this area for four consecutive years now and used this experience as the foundation for this work.
We received confirmation from PwC that the gender pay gap is within 1% for the second consecutive year running.
Employee meetings are an important forum for knowledge dissemination within the Company. Remote conferencing equipment is often used for these purposes as our operations are distributed across Iceland. These monthly meetings offer directors, project managers and various experts the opportunity to share information on important operational matters at any given time and employees are able to share any opinions, thoughts or questions.
The implementation of the Workplace Communication system as the Company’s main intranet and communication tool had a positive effect on knowledge dissemination. News and information can be accessed via the system and employees are also able to share the details of ongoing projects.
Women in Energy
Women in Energy’ was established in 2016 and now has over 300 members.
Landsvirkjun has supported the group since its foundation and signed a contract in 2018 for continued support for two years. The group is open to anyone who works within the energy sector and those with a general interest in energy issues in Iceland. The purpose of the group is to reinforce women in energy, to strengthen the women's network and advocacy in the industry and to promote energy education.
The Nordic Energy Equality Network (NEEN) held a seminar in September 2018 where professionals in the Nordic energy industry met to discuss gender diversity. Landsvirkjun was invited to give a presentation on the Company’s gender mainstreaming initiative. NEEN intends to establish an umbrella network to connect organisations and projects that support equal opportunities within the Nordic energy sector.