Vestas pledged measures to improve its performance in diversity and safety, including targets for female leadership and a review of pay equity between men and women amid concern over gender bias in the wider wind industry.
The Danish OEM, the world’s largest supplier of onshore wind turbines, said the pay audit, to be carried out this year by an external agency, forms part of a wider focus on gender issues designed to lift the proportion of women in leadership positions to 25% by 2025, and 30% by 2030. The current figure at the group is 19%.
Vestas cited recent findings from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) suggesting 65% of women in the wind sector perceive gender-related barriers at work, compared with 34% of men.
The pay audit will be accompanied by further work to highlight opportunities for women in the company, and action to eliminate bias in the recruitment process, covering cultures and nationalities as well as gender.
Vestas finance chief Marika Fredriksson said: “At Vestas, we believe a lack of diversity is a loss of talent. Younger generations gravitate towards companies that align with their own purpose-driven values. To remain attractive, we must prove that we share these values.”
The diversity announcement came alongside a pledge to set long-term safety targets, claiming to be the first OEM in the sector to do so, starting with a review of manufacturing processes.
The company – which employs more than 25,000 globally – aims to cut the rate of total recordable injuries to 1.5 per million working hours by 2025, and to 0.6 by 2030. The 2018 equivalent was four per million, meaning Vestas will need to see an average reduction of 15% year-on-year by 2030, said the company.
Bo Kokholm Pedersen, vice president, quality, safety & environment, said: “Safety has always been our number one priority at Vestas. However, if we are to continue to be a spearhead of the energy transition, we must be more ambitious in our approach to safety than any other supplier in the renewable energy sector.”