Diversity and Inclusion 

What Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) means to Cadent

Diversity is about recognising our differences and acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision-making. That's why we are committed to building and maintaining a workforce that reflects the communities we serve across the UK.

Developing an inclusive environment ensures people's differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work. We want all our employees to feel that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances.

Our approach to recruitment and training

It’s our policy that all employees are treated fairly in relation to job applications and opportunities for training, career development and promotion. So, if you have a disability or long-term health condition that might impact your progress through our application process, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to make reasonable adjustments.

We're proactive in our approach to inclusive recruitment. Through our targeted initiatives and strategic partnerships with Energy & Utility Skills and EqualEngineers, we are putting ourselves at the forefront of securing equality in our industry. And, by celebrating the successes of our people, we continue to build a diverse and growing pool of talent.

Embracing diverse views

Diversity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of who we are as a business and, and this means it needs to be driven by our people.

One of the ways we’re doing this is through our Employee Communities. They represent a broad spectrum of what makes up our culture, and help nurture and support where we want to get to. Our Employee Communities play an important role in integrating a diverse workforce, creating an inclusive culture and keep employees engaged and motivated.

As a Cadent employee, you'll have access to a range of Employee Communities including:

Pride at Work: Our ambition is for current and future generations of LGBTQ+ employees to feel comfortable, safe and included at work. Our employee-led community, Pride at Work, is a welcoming and safe space where our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) and allied members can thrive and feel included. The group aims to provide informal support to LGBTQ+ colleagues and is run by employees for all employees.​

Women in Cadent: Women in Cadent is a network of colleagues from across our business, who are all committed to creating equality and supporting women’s professional and personal development. We are committed to building our network to ensure we include both women and men in the conversation, to drive a gender-balanced culture. The community works closely with our Women’s Engineering Society ambassadors to support opportunities for female engineers, and partners with the Women’s Utilities Network which was co-founded by Cadent’s Director of Strategy, Dr Angela Needle.

Embrace: The Embrace Community raises awareness of and drives discussion on issues affecting colleagues from an ethnic minority background, and of all religions. We are committed to developing a workforce that reflects the communities we serve, and Embrace plays a key role in helping to create an inclusive environment for all.

Military Community: We are proud signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant, and it is important that we demonstrate that Cadent is an Armed Forces friendly employer. We actively support service leavers entering the business, our current reservists and those that have previously served. We show our commitment to this is by participating in the Armed Forces Day and Reserve Forces Day events.

Thrive! Our newest community, Thrive! is an employee-led community created to raise awareness of and support people with disabilities within Cadent. Its community members share a common vision of focusing on ability and making our workplace accessible and supportive to all.

Our partnerships

We have a number of partnerships that enable us to collaboratively drive change, challenging ourselves to do things differently. These include Energy & Utilities Jobs, Women's Engineering Society, Womens Utilities Network and the Skills Partnership Group.

We are focused on inclusion in its entirety, and also have targeted action to increase workforce representation and inclusion for a range of backgrounds including those who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, LGBTQ+, service leavers, parents, those with a disability and people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Our partnerships ensure we create the culture we need today and help attract the workforce of tomorrow.


Our diversity programmes

Gender equality

This is a subject we’re passionate about and we’re actively working on initiatives to support gender diversity and the gender pay gap. Attracting women into the utility sector and engineering roles in particular is a historic challenge, and one we’re positively addressing. 

Our Spring Forward course is aimed at women, working at Cadent, who are ambitious but perhaps unsure of the opportunities available to them or the various career directions they could pursue. It provides guidance, advice and networking opportunities. Focusing on female behaviours and attitudes, it helps to build confidence and self-awareness. It also enables women to gain a clearer understanding of what they want from their career, gain the tools necessary to plan their next steps and provides advice around becoming more assertive, courageous and committed to owning their career development.


The ‘EmployAbility - Let’s Work Together’ scheme changes young disabled peoples’ lives for the better. It’s a joint scheme, in partnership with local schools and it offers an employee-led supported internship for young people aged 17 to 22 with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). Job Coaches from the schools work with us to support students, before gradually stepping back and letting them do the job by themselves. The aim is that the interns eventually gain a permanent role with us, or at least the skills and confidence necessary to boost their future job prospects.
The results speak for themselves, as since 2013, an average of 60% of interns have gained paid employment either with us or another local company. This far exceeds the national average of 6.8% And similar schemes, inspired by ours, are now running at Severn Trent in Coventry, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation, John Lewis and Amey in Sheffield, and Yorkshire Water in Leeds.

Recognition and awards

We benchmark the support we provide for employees by participating in national surveys and awards. This allows us to keep improving and delivering a diverse, inclusive environment.

Based on feedback direcly from employees, we're currently ranked 9th in the UK for our apprenticeship programmes, and 11th for our graduate development programme.

Employees fed back that they feel "valued, part of the team", with "flexibility" and "work-life balance".


Engineering Talent Awards
We were shortlisted for two categories at the Engineering Talent Awards 2020, demonstrating our commitment to attracting and developing diverse talent.

Our very own Rachel Green won Engineering Apprentice of the Year 2020.