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Joined-up thinking to attract and retain the best female talent

Thursday 23rd July 2020 12:38

Thames Water field operations manager Kim Rodwell

Thames Water has joined forces with the Women’s Utilities Network (WUN) to build on its growing reputation as a water company that attracts and retains the best female talent.  

WUN was set up to encourage women to consider joining the utilities sector, from customer services to operations, and to help them develop their skills and careers.  

Thames Water will benefit from the partnership by being able to advertise its vacancies to WUN’s 1,500 members, participate in WUN’s mentoring programme, share and learn best practice from other companies, and attend events focussed on development.  

The new partnership comes after Thames Water appointed Sarah Bentley as its new CEO, and as the company celebrates a six-fold increase in the number of women applying for frontline jobs after changing the ‘masculine’ wording of its job adverts.  

Thames Water’s own Women’s Network is committed to increasing gender diversity and supporting the company’s target of increasing the female workforce from 33 per cent (water sector average 20 per cent) to 45 per cent by 2025.  

The company has a range of awareness programmes, including menopause support, is investing in female welfare facilities on operational sites and has launched a new range of PPE designed for women.  

Angela Booth, chair of Thames Water’s Women’s Network, said: ‘’We’re very excited to partner with WUN, who have a wealth of experience from within the utilities industry. Our collective expertise will support even greater progress towards our equality, diversity and inclusivity goals.”  

WUN was founded by a group of women who have themselves built successful careers in both energy and water. It seeks to help other women build the right networks, get the right training and take control of their own work lives at whichever stage of their career they’re at.  

Angela Peart, co-founder of WUN, said: “We're really excited to welcome Thames Water as the latest supporter of WUN. It's fantastic they've recognised the importance of supporting and encouraging female talent in their organisation. I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”