North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN)’s 2014 Career Report reveals that the nuclear energy industry achieved pay equity for new hires in technical positions last year. “Our survey in 2013 was the first one that collected salary data by gender. We were definitely pleased with the findings regarding salaries of new hires,” said Felix Meissner, Vice President of NAYGN.
The 2014 Career Report surveyed 928 young professionals employed by utilities, vendors, government organizations and laboratories, industry groups and academic institutions. These young professionals work in maintenance, operations, project management, administrative, science, engineering and other roles.
When asked whether pay equity extended beyond new hires within the nuclear energy industry Meissner answered, “Our survey focused on data from young professionals and is not comprehensive enough to provide conclusions on the entire industry.”
Meissner then added, “I have witnessed first-hand women taking steps to solve the industry challenges. Collectively & gender-independent, the young generation is taking technical assignments, going to license classes and developing soft-skills needed to become the next wave of industry leaders. My female peers are just as valuable to the industry as my male peers and they should continue to be paid equally to their male counterparts.”
The 2014 Career Survey focused on more than just salary issues. The report also looked into career satisfaction of the young generation in nuclear. “The majority of young professionals working in nuclear energy careers are happy about their career choice,” said Meissner. “The survey found that 83 percent were either very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs.”
The survey provides a number of recommendations for keeping the young generation satisfied with their career choice. Meissner added, “Nuclear industry leadership should communicate to young professionals the current challenges the industry is facing. Young professionals are eager to back this industry when they feel that they understand the issues and can support their resolution.”
Work life balance continues to be a very important factor into a member of the young generation’s job satisfaction. Additionally, young professionals continue to advocate for developmental opportunities like challenging work, special assignments and job rotations.
Meissner said, “The industry must continue to be diligent in developing the next generation of leaders.” He argued that providing developmental opportunities is a win-win. “The best and brightest young professionals will stay satisfied and in this field, while the industry reaps the reward of having a highly capable workforce.”
NAYGN is a professional society with over 10,000 members and 112 local chapters with a vision to Develop Leaders to Energize the Future of Nuclear. They provide opportunities for a young generation of nuclear enthusiasts to develop leadership and professional skills, create life-long connections, engage and inform the public, and inspire today’s nuclear technology professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.