For Eneco, One Planet represents not only the right choice for sustainability, but it also speaks to our commitment to become a better reflection of society. We sat down for an interview with Ignatia Mannoe, the Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, to find out more. ‘One Planet and the energy transition are theright things to do, Diversity & Inclusion is a smart thing to do.’
‘As part of our One Planet strategy and Eneco’s mission ‘Renewable Energy for All’, Eneco is focusing more on creating a culture change,’ says Ignatia. ‘The objective is to become even more customer-centric and to further improve internal cooperation. That’s why Eneco has redefined its core values. We have three new core values: Drive the change, Deliver the planand Make each other successful. At D&I, we have helped make these Eneco values more concrete: ‘Drive the Change’ requires diversity and ‘Make each other successful’ has an important correlation with inclusion. Both are needed to achieve the core value proposition ‘Deliver the plan’, i.e. our One Planet strategy. The only way we can achieve energy transition is by changing the culture and behaviour within Eneco.’
Renewable energy for and with everyone
Ignatia: ‘If we want to achieve the objectives of One Planet, we need to become an even better reflection of society. We also want to be more of a role model in the market than we currently are. That is why we want to engage all our employees in this strategy. Everyone matters and is part of the team. Diversity and inclusion are about accepting and welcoming everyone no matter our differences. Man, woman, all colours and ages, LGBTQ+ or religion. Those differences are what make us unique. They allow for different perspectives. And enrich and strengthen us. This creates advantages – which is not bad and very human – but this begs the question of whether employees are able and willing to view things from different perspectives. If we want to be diverse and inclusive, we have to embed this into our DNA.’
It has been scientifically proven that D&I leads to better company performance.
Change starts at the top
‘Obviously our D&I journey will not happen organically. That’s why I’m genuinely gratified that Eneco’s Management Board has embraced diversity and inclusion. Each Board member is responsible for a sub-theme based on their interest or competence. The aim is to create a connection between managers and employees through diversity and inclusion. We do this through different approaches, such as fostering dialogue among them, so they can engage in real conversations, regardless of visible or invisible differences. We have also created a D&I community where colleagues actively engage in D&I activities, each in their own way. This has produced surprising results. Although everyone is different, you can learn a lot from one another. In June, we hosted over 300 managers for a Leadership Event dedicated to Social Safety and the role of managers in creating a socially safe and inclusive workplace. We made great strides in 2021. But in 2022, D&I will be an even more integral part of Eneco’s practices and by 2023-2024 it will be at the core of our DNA,’ Ignatia says.
Ignatia Mannoe: ‘Eneco has over 2,800 employees. Looking at the gender balance in leadership positions, we see that about 25% female leaders held such positions at the beginning of 2021. But we want to improve that balance and are working towards achieving 37% by 2023. This is a firm gender diversity target. The good thing is that we have already made great progress in this respect this year. Without resorting to positive female discrimination, we are actively working on recruiting and promoting more women to into senior roles in order to achieve this target. We want to increase internal mobility by purposely looking at how we can remove any obstacles for female talents and gain better insight into their ambitions. Where female and male candidates are equally qualified for a post, we will choose a woman.
By 2023-2024, D&I will be at the core of our DNA.
‘We’ve also made great progress in terms of inclusion’, says Ignatia. ‘For example, we’ve organised workshops that have now reached over twenty percent of the employees. We are therefore pro-actively engaging in dialogue. We have also put the topic of unconscious bias on the table in the conversations we’ve had with over 300 colleagues, This has increased our understanding of whether we are dealing with unconscious biases or social stereotypes. All these efforts have been designed to help us become more inclusive, and we measure this through a series of employee questionnaires. The results are translated into a score that reflects employees’ perception of how inclusive Eneco is. We received a 7.1 score in 2019. The target score we set for 2021 was 8.1, but we’re already at 8.9. The questionnaires cover topics such as biases and inappropriate behaviour. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups. By holding up a mirror to them, we achieve results. We focus on the question: what can I do to promote inclusion? Both as a leader and as a team member as well as together.’
Personification of D&I
‘I come from a different culture and spent part of my childhood in an underprivileged community,’ says Ignatia candidly. ‘Through hard work I managed to graduate from school and get a job as Operational Auditor. I’ve been working for Eneco for thirteen years now. In recent years, I’ve mainly been working on soft & behaviour controls. This stemmed from what I saw around me. You can set up as many rules and guidelines as you like, but, at the end of the day, people are going to decide whether they’re going to follow them or not. Culture audits are still relatively new in our field. But I’ve pursued the program vigorously, and will soon earn my Master’s degree in Culture & Change. Based on this interest, I applied internally and landed my current position as D&I Program Manager with Eneco, which is amazing because it’s where my passion lies. In fact, I’m the personification of D&I!’
The only way we can achieve energy transition is by changing the culture and behaviour.
D&I leads to better performance
‘It has been scientifically proven that D&I leads to better company performance. You leverage the unique talents of your team and allow everyone to fulfil their potential. When people find their fit in an organisation, they flourish. This has an impact on Eneco. We make better decisions, become more creative, have more perspectives at our disposal, are better able to assess customer needs, become more curious, and take better care of each other. We really become one team, one Eneco. This enables us to achieve our ambitious One Planet objectives better and faster and therefore accelerate the energy transition,’ concludes Ignatia Mannoe passionately. ‘Knowing that I play an important role in helping achieve this is incredibly gratifying!
Click here for the Eneco Annual Report 2021 website.