Initiatives boost opportunities for women in water

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Initiatives boost opportunities for women in water

British Water’s unique Women on Water campaign continues to build momentum, with the renewal of a successful mentoring programme and the announcement of an in-person networking reception.

The trade association has, for the second year, signed up as a member of the pioneering 30% Club, a cross-company mentoring programme which aims to support the career progression of women in business. This follows the success of the first round of mentoring sessions in 2020, an experience which one mentee described as “transformative”.

Ten more mentors and 10 mentees selected by British Water are in the process of being matched by programme delivery partners Moving Ahead. The 2021 scheme is taking place under the Mission INCLUDE programme, launched by the 30% Club to broaden its focus beyond gender, with targets centred on bringing greater ethnic diversity to top management positions.

British Water led the industry by launching Women on Water in 2018, to support women with their careers and personal development. Mentoring has been a key element of the campaign.

Thompson said: “We joined forces with the 30% Club in 2020, with support from Xylem, and have had fantastic feedback from our first cohort of mentors and mentees.

“Inspiring, transformative, invaluable and empowering - these were just some of the terms used by our mentees to describe what the experience meant to them.  One mentee even told us she had been promoted thanks in part to the interview training her mentor had given her.

“This kind of outcome is exactly why we joined the programme and is why we are proud to have signed up for another year - and by opting to be part of Mission INCLUDE, we have opened up the opportunity to all under-represented groups across all levels.”

The 30% Club is a global campaign led by chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.

Women from both the first and second cohorts of mentors and mentees will be guests at British Water’s Women on Water Christmas reception, which takes place in London on 9 December, hosted by new sponsor, global solutions provider Jacobs.

The event will provide opportunities to network and increase connections, with a keynote to be delivered by leadership coach Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, managing director of Inner Works coaching consultancy, who will present on “finding your voice”.

Jacobs global water director Susan Moisio will also be among speakers. She said: “Jacobs is committed to enabling diversity and equality globally. Through our strategic relationship with British Water, we are delighted to support Women on Water and its vision of ‘empowering empowered women’.

“This important industry initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for women and those from under-represented groups directly aligns with Jacobs’ business imperatives and is something I am very passionate about. The Christmas reception will provide a valuable platform for the Women on Water community to reconnect in person, hear inspiring stories, meet career allies and celebrate achievements.”