Case study: Backing gender equality

Case study: Backing gender equality

Centrica actively supports gender equality through our commitment to creating a rewarding, fulfilling and inclusive place to work.  

As a leading British employer, we strive for a world where women have the same expectation of good career progression and pay as men. That is why Centrica works hard to create a fulfilling and inclusive place to work which ensures equal opportunities at every stage of employment - from recruitment through to retirement.

Creating a culture and working practices that enables diversity to flourish is not only the right thing to do; it is fundamental to the lasting success of our business. It attracts, develops and helps us retain the best talent necessary for satisfying the changing needs of our customers.

Centrica welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to gender equality and the principles of gender pay gap reporting. We already conduct an annual internal audit to ensure we uphold our pledge on equal pay. In our recent equal pay audit, we found that the salary differential between men and women working in comparable roles was negligible at 1%[1]. We will await confirmation of the gender pay gap reporting requirements and fulfill our obligation ahead of the April 2018 deadline.

While some of the factors contributing to pay gaps are symptomatic of wider societal issues, we are working hard to address gender imbalances both at Centrica, and across our sector.

Recruitment has a key role balancing future talent so we endeavour to ensure women can achieve their full potential and are introducing diverse selection panels for all senior appointments. We are also working closely with the Women’s Business Council on the issue and have committed to maintaining at least the current share of female representation on our Board. Our active membership of the 30% Club, a cross-company, cross-sector programme, is also helping create a step-change in the number of women attaining senior leadership roles.

But we recognise that life situations can sometimes hamper career progression. To tackle this, we are leading the way for people restarting their careers with the launch of the first-ever cross-company returners scheme, HitReturn. In partnership with Vodafone, Mars and Women Returners, the 12-week paid ‘returnship’ will support senior professionals returning to work following a long career break which can be for many reasons, such as becoming a parent or carer.

Our industry-leading working practices further help people juggle work alongside family commitments. For example, we are one of few large companies to offer paid leave for employees with carer responsibilities (a greater number of which tend to be women) and have won awards for our flexible approach to working.

We additionally seek to raise aspirations and spark interest in traditionally male-dominated roles with young women, so that we can breakdown gender stereotypes and broaden career options. In a survey earlier this year, we found that women on average expected to earn 10% less than males[2] while only one girl in ten sees an apprenticeship as a viable career path[3]. To combat this, we are working with local schools to inspire people about future careers and have pledged to increase the number of British Gas female engineers and apprentices, while supporting their development with a new mentoring programme.

Explore how else we are creating a great place to work through diversity and inclusion.


[1] Based on employee data as at 30 September 2015.

[2] The survey was conducted with 2,018 young people aged 15-22 during summer 2015. Young women on average expected to earn £29,880 by the time they are 30 while young men projected earnings of £33,251

[3] The survey was conducted among 1,500 parents and 2,000 people aged 15-22 years.