Higher performance, loyalty to the employer, but also a more creative approach to problem solving and better work results – that is how recognised international studies describe the long-term impact of greater diversity in work teams. ČEZ Group is therefore bolstering the area of diversity and inclusion by adopting a new policy. It is intended not only to help meet the company’s ambitious goals of increasing the number of women in management, but also to attract new employees from various groups that are often disadvantaged in the labour market (e.g., seniors, LGBT, people with disabilities, informal caregivers, etc.).
The recently adopted policy builds on previous activities aimed at promoting diversity within ČEZ Group, but now it takes a more comprehensive approach, integrating the principles of diversity and inclusion into all the company’s activities: from recruitment to management and remuneration to developing employees’ potential and reconciling work and private life. The conceptual approach is intended to help ČEZ Group meet the ambitious goals it has set for itself in its updated Vision 2030 – Clean Energy for Tomorrow strategy: to increase the share of women in management to 30% by 2030.
“The energy sector has long been seen as a ‘men’s domain’, but that is no longer the case. Smart, intelligent, and skilled people can find employment in this modern, clean, environmentally friendly, and people-friendly energy industry, regardless of gender or age. A lot of research shows that diverse teams perform better. It is therefore in our interest to strengthen diversity at ČEZ,” says Kateřina Bohuslavová, head of the ESG Department.
In addition to existing activities to promote career advancement of women (e.g., flexible working hours, company kindergartens, camps for children, maintaining contact with employees on maternity and parental leave, etc.), ČEZ Group is planning new programmes for its female employees, aimed at developing management skills or platforms for informal meetings and networking.
Diversity promotion is, however, not only about women, by any means. One of the first practical steps of the new policy is, for example, to bring the rights of registered partners in collective agreements up to the level of married couples. This means that registered partners will be able to take paid or unpaid leave in the same circumstances as married people: for example, for a wedding, to accompany their partner to a medical facility, to attend a birth, or to take paternity leave. For employees with disabilities, the collective agreement newly increases their personal benefits account by CZK 3,000, and furthermore it allows them to take up to two days of paid leave to claim their PWD status.
ČEZ Group has been committed to diversity for a long time. In 2014, it was one of the first signatories of the Diversity Charter in the Czech Republic. It is actively committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 5 (to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), which aims, among other things, to ensure equal opportunities for women and full and effective participation in decision-making at all levels in political, economic, and public life. In 2018, CEZ conducted a gender audit. The shortcomings it revealed are gradually being addressed and corrected by the company.