Energy giant RWE Npower has set itself stringent targets for improving the diversity of its workforce and raising awareness of the issue among its employees.
The performance targets, revealed in the company's 2007 corporate responsibility report, indicate a renewed focus on diversity in a sector that has traditionally been male-dominated.
This year, Npower aims to have a suitable internal or external female candidate shortlisted for at least 50% of vacant 'high criticality' posts. These are defined as positions that have a high impact on customers, revenues or business processes.
Currently, women account for just 15% of Npower's senior management team, and only 5% come from black or minority ethnic groups.
The company is also making its recruitment suppliers fully aware of its diversity requirements and ensuring they are sourcing female candidates and those from minority ethnic groups for senior level jobs.
The company aims to attract a pool of applicants for its graduate scheme made up of at least 50% women and 10% ethnic groups by the end of next year.
Npower appointed Nick Smith as its first head of diversity and inclusion last year. He told Personnel Today: "There will never be a temptation to hire someone just to meet targets or to practise positive discrimination.