Composition of the organisation
Alliander has a diverse workforce, both in terms of competencies (in addition to our many technicians and IT staff, we have experts in change management and finance) and in terms of age, gender and cultural background. We believe that we need diversity to fulfil our mission – ensuring everyone has access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy – during the challenging energy transition of today. Within our company, we need to reflect the level of diversity within society, among our customers, and in the labour market. Having a policy on diversity and inclusion forms part of our corporate social responsibility.
Employee breakdown by gender and age
An organisation where everyone feels at home
Alliander aims to be a diverse company, where everyone counts, feels at home and can use their talents to the full. Although energy-related jobs are regarded as typical men’s work, we try to build and maintain a varied workforce. We are convinced that diversity makes us an attractive employer for talent, gives everyone the opportunity to show their best side, and contributes to the quality of our decision-making and innovative capacity. That is why we encourage the recruitment of women in leadership positions, employees with an immigration background, and people at a distance from the labour market. On 1 October we celebrated Diversity Day, and we talked about diversity during the team leaders’ day on 10 December. In 2019 we started collaborating with ECHO, the Centre for Diversity Policy. A plan for a multicultural employee network has been drawn up. In the coming years, this network will serve as a meeting place and as a source of inspiration to guide us to better ethnic diversity.
Percentage of women in leadership positions
The percentage of women in leadership roles decreased to 26.9% at year-end 2019 (2018: 28.8%). The general trend is upwards, however, with fluctuations over the years due to changes in the organisation and staffing. This score is attributable to the diversity policy pursued by Alliander in recent years. The main key points of this policy are demonstrating exemplary behaviour and explicit support at the top of the organisation, setting specific targets, and ensuring equal opportunities for women in selection procedures. Our target is to have women in 33% of leadership positions by 2024. At the end of 2019, this percentage was 33% for the Management Board and 50% for the Supervisory Board.
Employees with a migrant background
To introduce ourselves to potential employees with a migrant background, last year we made a job market video about diversity. We also participate in the mentoring program of ECHO, the Centre for Diversity Policy. Though these measures are aimed at attracting and retaining talent, they are also intended to help us re-examine any biases/prejudices we may have, no matter our background.
Offering opportunities to people at a distance from the labour market
Alliander believes that people in work feel more engaged with society. This is why we have been helping people at a distance from the labour market to find work since 2009. Every year we help people increase their chances of finding a job through the work experience programme Step2Work. In 2019 the programme was given a new mission: giving people with a disability that limits their ability to perform work a genuine position at Alliander. Last year, we offered 101 people with a work disability a work experience placement. At year-end 2019, we had 64 people (51 FTEs) in positions coming within the scope of the Dutch Participation Act, as well as 37 employees with a work experience placement.
‘The employee participation process is an integral component of the company´s operations’
Almost halved in size compared to the previous Workers Council, we have been active as the newly elected Workers Council since January 2019. And active we are! We were directly involved in various changes to the composition of the Management Board, Supervisory Board, and in director positions. The participation in the process and the opportunity to get to know each other were pleasant and we are enthusiastic about the new members. We also presented our recommendations on the matters of privatisation, demergers, acquisitions and the sale of companies/BUs such as the Soil Survey Desk, Zown and Entrnce. And, naturally, we provided our formal opinion on reorganisations like the ones at Qirion and in the IT department, as well as the proposed phase-out of the activities of the Architectural and Installation Advice department.
The Workers Council aims to help Alliander achieve good, sustainable changes that will enable the company to focus as much as possible on the performance of its core tasks, not being disrupted by too many changes. We believe in the power of diversity and equality of employees in achieving optimum changes and optimum results. We would like to see that everyone has the opportunity to contribute their best and share in good results based on their professionalism and vision. This requires more than a Workers Council alone: it requires that the employee participation process be an integral component of the company´s operations. This is what we, as ‘drivers of employee participation’, want to stimulate.
We know that we have the support of all our colleagues and, in particular, those in the Workers Council study groups, sounding board groups, and the Knowledge Centre for Employee Participation – colleagues who, driven by their commitment and enthusiasm, often also spend their own time on employee participation activities. Together we strive to provide genuine advice during requests for advice procedures so that we can pass on the knowledge and wisdom of the ‘shop floor’ to the Board.
2020 will be no less challenging than 2019 was. There is an enormous amount of work to complete, and Alliander has to attract – and retain – good people to get this all done. The company needs to do this by ensuring that, despite the pressure, working at Alliander remains safe and enjoyable. By encouraging and appreciating each other, this can be achieved. This requires that Alliander be an excellent employer with excellent employee participation.
On behalf of the Workers Council, the Workers Council study groups, and the sounding board groups,
Aart Smittenberg, chair