Water sector still 'held back' by exclusion of women
A glass ceiling is still "looming over" women working across the water industry and despite some progress, the sector is being held back by exclusion, Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher told a British Water conference.
Fletcher was keynote speaker at Women on Water, which gathered 80 industry professionals together virtually to share experiences and advice to support and empower women working in all areas of the industry.
In a motivating address, she spoke about her personal story, acknowledged the efforts of previous generations in the battle for equality, but said the personal aspirations of many people today could be limited by a lack of visibility of diversity within the sector.
She said: “I feel a debt to all those women who fought for equal opportunities, so today it’s completely normal for women to have a career. As women in 2020, we’ve come a very long way and we have a huge amount to be grateful for. The glass ceiling has been smashed – or has it?
“I’ve been working in utilities for 25 years and it still feels more male dominated than many other sectors. While it is great we will soon have six water company female chief executives, it is only in the last 12 months we have got the first female board chair.
“Female executives are still in the minority and mainly limited to customer-facing roles. It feels like we’ve punched some holes in that glass ceiling but it is still looming over us and this worries me because if we look up the ladder and we don’t see anyone like us, it can really limit our aspirations.”
British Water’s Women on Water campaign aims to help women identify, focus on and harness their strengths and understand their value and worth, while providing them with tools and guidance to support career progression.
Now in its third year, the conference was held in partnership with the Women’s Utilities Network (WUN) and the Institute of Water.
- South East Water partners with Women's Utilities Network South East Water has become the first water company to sponsor the Women's Utilities Network (WUN). Read More >
- British Water backs workforce planning guidance for post Covid-19 Energy and Utility Skills white paper plots "effective route" back to BAU post Covid-19 Read More >
- British Water welcomes supply chain report British Water has welcomed a report from Energy & Utility Skills and Balfour Beatty which calls for the water industry to... Read More >
- Delivering essential learning in a digital landscape As onsite training takes a back seat due to Covid-19, digital sessions are proving to be an effective alternative with... Read More >
- Skills gap fundamentals remain undiminished by Covid-19 Sue Caccavone, technical director of BV Academy - Black & Veatch argues that the need for utility skills development is... Read More >
- Association offers help sourcing PPE for water workers With the global demand for protective clothing likely to continue to impact the water industry, there should be no... Read More >
- Getting on in your health and safety career Health and safety leaders offer professional development tips for those aspiring to a career which put care for colleagues... Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >