Home » Women in business » Net zero needs innovative thinking, and that’s where you come in

Adam Ellis

Talent & HR Director, Rolls-Royce SMR

The climate crisis and its consequences are one of the greatest challenges ever to face mankind. But our vision is simple: to provide clean, affordable energy for all.

At Rolls-Royce SMR, our Small Modular Reactor (SMR) takes well-understood, existing nuclear technology and applies a radically different ‘factory-based’ approach to its fabrication and assembly. Each SMR power station will generate 470MW of clean electricity from a sustainable source — providing reliable, low-carbon energy for generations to come. Deploying a fleet of Rolls-Royce SMRs in the UK will create 40,000 regional UK jobs and accelerate economic growth. But we still need to do more to ensure its success, and that’s where you come in.

Diverse talent and innovative thinking

The research is clear: diverse teams get better results. Diverse teams are more engaged. They have different ways of thinking. And that’s what we need right now — different ways of doing things so that we can address the climate crisis that faces us.

Attracting talent starts with culture.

The nuclear industry — as with many engineering sectors — hasn’t always attracted the most diverse talent, but that’s changing. There are admirable goals within the industry to have a 40% female nuclear workforce by 2030, and we’re playing our part in that. But we must also ensure that everyone knows they are welcome in nuclear, no matter who they are — whether that’s LGBTQ+ people who can be their authentic selves; those with disabilities who can work free from barriers; or people of ethnic minority backgrounds who can progress in their careers without bias.

Our work — our industry — needs the most talented people to drive the innovation that will help us succeed, and the more diverse they are, the better.

Changing times, changing culture

Attracting talent starts with culture. Whether that’s ensuring young people can experience the excitement of working in engineering or supporting experienced people back into the workplace. Hybrid working is our new norm, but behaviours like empathetic leadership, embedding flexible working practices and creating psychologically safe spaces truly help to ensure everyone feels they belong.

The climate crisis is a worrying time; but no matter who you are or how you identify, engineering and the nuclear sector provide exciting opportunities for us all to make a difference. Come forward — the planet needs you.

Start or restart your career in nuclear, visit rolls-royce-smr.com.

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