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British Water hosts Women on Water event

British Water has announced its next Women on Water event, which will continue the theme of 'empowering empowered women' and will take place on Monday 27 July.

The event, held in partnership with Women Utilities Network and the Institute of Water, will provide women with the tools to evaluate and reshape their career and build resilient mental health and wellbeing.

Attendees will hear from speakers who will share their personal experience of the impact of Covid-19 and tips for emerging out of lockdown, and Rachel Fletcher, chief executive of Ofwat, will give the keynote address.

The aim of the Women on Water events is to support women in the industry with their career and personal development by presenting them with tools, tips, advice and case studies all underpinned by a message of empowerment and progression.

"As future thinkers we always have the next generation of leaders in mind," a statement from British Water said. "We, therefore, take leading the industry seriously and want to create a place where we can build new skills and harness collaboration to enable innovation."

British Water chief executive Lil Thompson will be speaking and announcing the winner of the ‘Women in Water’ category at WWT's Water Industry Awards on 30 July.

In 2019, British Water pledged to ensure equality between its male and female employees, and those from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds. The organisation set out a series of promises focusing on opportunity, personal development and pay within its own organisation.

Promises included:

  • Ensuring at least 30% of its non-executive board are women by 2025.
  • Including at least one female speaker or panellist at industry events.
  • Encouraging all employees and directors to confront bias.
  • Ensuring its workforce continues to be least 50% female and from diverse backgrounds.

"While I’m proud that we have a diverse workforce, this clearly has not been the case with our non-executive board," said Thompson. "We recognise this and are making positive changes set out in our pledge, which has been signed by every board member."

This month, Tania Flasck will be joining the board as a non-executive director. She has over 20 years’ experience, predominantly in the water sector.

The energy and utilities sector will have an estimated skills gap of 277,000 over the next decade. Overall, 20% of the water industry workforce is female, compared to 47% for all sectors, according to figures from Energy & Utility Skills.

"The gender imbalance is a legacy of women long being underrepresented in STEM sectors – women make up 24% of the core-STEM workforce," said Thompson. "By not embracing the benefits of a diverse workforce, these sectors are missing out on a wealth of talent.

"Striving for genuine diversity is not only ethically correct, it makes good business sense – according to the Chartered Institute of Business, firms with the highest levels of gender and ethnic diversity are between 15% and 35% more likely to outperform their rivals."


Women on Water – Monday 27 July 2020, 10.00am - 12.00pm

To register for the event, click here


Water Industry Awards – Thursday 30 July 2020, 4.00pm

To sign up for the event, click here

Topic: Skills & workforce
Tags: ofwat , skills , leaders , wellbeing , Institute of Water

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