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Nuclear indusrty: area of equal opportunity


Ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace and overcoming gender inequality are no longer topics for discussion in "hobby groups," but clearly defined global policies for the next decade.

In particular, gender equality is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and equal opportunities in work and employment are set out in the UN Global Compact. Tatiana Terentyeva, Rosatom's Deputy Director General for Human Resources, talks about how the global agenda is implemented in Rosatom and how the State Corporation helps women find themselves in the nuclear industry.

Mrs. Terentieva, is Rosatom up to speed with the latest trends? How does the Corporation support them?

Rosatom is not only actively "working on itself," but also contributes to the formation of new global trends in this area. In 2020 we joined the United Nations Global Compact, the biggest UN international initiative in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Its main idea is that a person is not a cog in the machine, but a valuable asset that should be supported in their personal and professional development. People are Rosatom's main value, and this approach fully corresponds with our goals and principles. Everything related to the SDGs and, in particular, to gender equality, is certainly in the focus of our management attention. Every employee is important to Rosatom. We strive to maximize the personnel's potential and provide equal opportunities for this, regardless of gender, age, or individual characteristics. This principle is reflected in our Vision 2030.

We understand that in the matter of ensuring gender balance we should not stay on our own, because we do not live in a vacuum. Rosatom also works at the international level, helping identify problems common to the entire industry and find solutions. The subject of balance is so important that it is being addressed both in international and regional working groups set up in member states of the nuclear community. We carry out joint research, work out world standards and rules, and translate them all over the global nuclear industry. In this way we set the trends for other sectors of the economy.

One such example is the Nuclear Energy Agency's Working Group on Gender Balance, which Rosatom is a part of. Within this group, we conducted the first international research on gender balance in the nuclear industry, researching women's expectations from work, their career plans, and possible barriers to success. This is a very important step for us towards increasing the transparency of the State Corporation. It is an open dialogue, thanks to which we can make truly effective decisions.

In addition, ROSATOM is a member of the IAEA's international gender balance group. We work out methodological recommendations for the 173 member states of the Organization. Thus, with what seems at first glance to be internal work, we give a powerful impetus to the entire global community.

How are things in the Russian nuclear industry? How many women work there now?

Today, out of more than 288 thousand people who work in 350 organizations of ROSATOM, more than 88 thousand are women. This means that women account for 32.1% of all employees in the nuclear industry in Russia. This is much more than in the global nuclear sector – according to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the share of women in this sector is 24.7%.

Among IT specialists and employees of engineering specialties (STEM) 23% are women. There are 62% of them in the HR block. On the whole, 19.6% of Rosatom executives are women, and 22% of top executives are women. These figures are much higher than in the rest of the world. Our figures are behind the global figures only in one criterion: the Supervisory Board has nine members, of whom only one is a woman. The percentage is 11%, while the global average is 23%.

How does Rosatom support its female employees? What is the main focus of Rosatom's attention?

Rosatom operates in international markets, where, along with financial results, more and more attention is given to the sustainability agenda. This is assessed through special ratings, in which about 20 out of 200 criteria - that is, every tenth one - are aimed at evaluating gender balance activities. They take into account a variety of aspects: from compensation, career opportunities, and training to the organization of support for employees' families. Rosatom is constantly working to ensure women's full and effective participation in corporate and social life. Our efforts bring real results: we are in the "green zone" in the international ESG rating, which is an advanced level.

In July 2020 ROSATOM approved the Uniform Sectoral Policy for Sustainable Development. Among other things, it consolidated the principles of inclusivity and equal opportunities for employees regardless of their gender, age, personal values and other conditions.

In 2021, we adjusted our human resources and social policies by emphasizing equal opportunity at every stage of the job, from the decision to hire a new employee to equal compensation for men and women for equal work.

To enable people to grow and reach new career heights, we have created an entire ecosystem that includes all kinds of projects for employees of all ages and levels. Rosatom, for example, implements mentoring or coaching programs to develop current and future leaders. We provide equal access to such programs for both men and women. This work is already bearing fruit: there were 3,595 people in the talent pool for 2020, of whom 764, i.e. 21.3%, were women.

In addition, Rosatom is a member of the IAEA international group on gender balance.

One of Rosatom's priorities is to unlock each employee's potential and help them achieve "professional happiness”

In recent years there has been a growing demand for STEM professions: scientific, technical, and engineering. But it is traditionally considered a "men's job". Especially in the nuclear industry. How open is this field for women in Rosatom?

Women can be just as fulfilled in technical fields as men. The richness and diversity of talents is not determined by gender. Unfortunately, this is not understood everywhere - in some countries there are still stereotypes related to technical education for women. But in Russia, girls and girls have always bravely gone into engineering professions to receive excellent education. After all, we have a very strong school that trains excellent specialists.

Unfortunately, not everybody knows they can achieve success in the nuclear industry. We are interested in getting the best specialists, irrespective of their gender. That's why we actively work with universities and hold events where female leaders and scientists tell female students how they can realize their potential in technological fields and what opportunities Rosatom opens for them.

Rosatom seeks to provide women with equal career prospects with men in engineering professions on a global level.

There is still a disparity, though: according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, 34.7% of women employed in STEM fields eventually change careers. Among men, only 26.4% do so.

Thus, supporting women in STEM fields is one of our key objectives. By attracting girls to STEM professions and highlighting women's achievements in technical fields, we break stereotypes about the nuclear industry being strictly male territory.

Creating and maintaining gender balance primarily responds to the global demand for human rights. But what is the practical implication of this trend? It is clear what women get in this case - new opportunities. But what’s in it for employers?

Of course, companies win, too. First, they expand their opportunities to hire talent. When hiring preference is given only to people of the same gender, it is a direct personnel loss. Even more so, job seekers are now paying attention to whether a potential employer follows the ESG agenda, not only in terms of sustainability, but also in terms of social: participating in charitable projects, working with communities, and pursuing a policy of diversity. All this increases the company's credibility with potential employees.

Second, increasing the diversity of skills and approaches increases the effectiveness of problem solving. Mixed teams work better than single-gender teams. They offer different perspectives, ideas, and market insights. All of this helps solve problems, increases productivity, and improves financial performance.

For example, McKinsey analysts found that companies where diversity culture is a priority are more successful. Studies conducted in different countries, including Russia, confirm that the presence of women in the management of companies has a positive effect on economic performance. Moreover, Russian experts from the Higher School of Economics came to the conclusion that in crisis situations it is women's management that is most effective.

The leadership model of the future, by the way, is also based on traditionally female qualities: the ability to negotiate, the desire for stability, flexibility, and empathy. I believe that XXI century women should finally see themselves as those who are able to make effective decisions in any sphere, and draw inspiration and strength from their work, achieving incredible heights. Our families, the energy industry, the economy and the world as a whole will only benefit from this.

Do you think the future will be an era of women in global business?

Rather, an era of equal opportunities. We are striving for balance, for harmonious interaction. This is the key to anti-fragility, a major trend in the new world.

Rosatom has ambitious tasks today - we are already implementing projects in many areas, from nuclear power to the development of the Northern Sea Route. There will be more and more of them in the future. We need talented people – both women and men – with the relevant education, who are ready to grow and develop with us. Rosatom opens up new opportunities for everyone.

Life is changing faster and faster,

new challenges are constantly arising. We need specialists to respond to them, without regard to gender, age, or other characteristics.

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