An interview with Ashley Nettleford

At E.ON, we pride ourselves on our diverse and inclusive work environment. After all, diversity brings fresh ideas and perspectives and helps us better serve our communities. We’re committed to creating an inclusive culture in which people from all backgrounds and abilities can reach their full potential.

To demonstrate this, we interviewed Ashley Nettleford, who started with us as a graduate back in 2014 and, upon completing UK wide and international placements on her graduate scheme, progressed to become a Marketing Retention Manager within the Commercial Residential department. This is her story.

So Ashley, what roles have you had while working for us at E.ON?

I joined E.ON on their Sales and Marketing Graduate programme in 2014. Over the two years on the scheme, I completed four placements in the UK and Germany working in Digital, Sales and Marketing Communications. On completion of the programme I was successful in attaining a permanent role as a Marketing Retention Manager.

How have we provided an inclusive and supportive environment on the graduate programme and also while working full time?

From the beginning, E.ON  provided a supportive work environment beginning with providing a graduate ‘buddy’.

The buddy system helps by introducing you to someone who’s been through the motions of the graduate programme before and offers support with basic new starter information and ongoing advice on how best to get the most out of the programme. It’s a key relationship to learn how the business works and who your key stakeholders are.

Secondly, you’re assigned a mentor from the Senior Leadership Team who provides development support and guidance about how to get the most value out of the graduate programme and how to prepare yourself for your career afterwards. It’s of course up to Graduates to vocalize what they want from their mentor, so being clear about your career aspirations helps them to offer constructive advice.

A network of graduates from across all programmes forms naturally giving you access to a group of people who are in the same boat as you. It’s really helpful in many ways, from finding house mates in a new city, socializing outside of work and having contacts in different business areas. This network doesn’t stop in the UK either - E.ON’s graduate programme extends into Europe. So, if your programme includes an international placement there is a pool of graduates outside the UK that you can connect with to help with the transition.

As someone with a BAME background, how do you feel about E.ON’s company culture?

My personal experience of E.ON’s culture has been one of inclusiveness and support. I feel fortunate to have started my career with a business that invests in a diverse group of graduates and appreciates that each person has a unique skill set and aspirations.

As I come from an Afro Caribbean background, it’s great to know that E.ON are working towards greater engagement in securing ambitious graduates from BAME backgrounds as partners/members of the Black Heritage Hub. I see this as a good opportunity to invest in talented people from diverse backgrounds who have the potential to become future leaders.


Discover more about E.ON and their career opportunities here.