Every year, people around the world honour International Women’s Day today (Monday 8 March), celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide and calls for action in accelerating gender parity. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. As part of our Diversity & Inclusion agenda, we invite you to take some time to recognise some of our own high achieving women who act as role models.
Louise Parry, our Director of People and Organisational Development, who also leads our sector’s Diversity & Inclusion Network, notes that the day has a special place in her working calendar:
“We have much to be proud of in terms of our gender diversity at Energy & Utility Skills – women make up 61% of our workforce and 57% of our Senior Leadership Team. 50% of our Board Directors are female. In the energy and utilities sector however women make up just 18.3% of the workforce and only 15.8% of Managers, Directors and Senior Officials.
We are using International Women’s Day to highlight some of the great role models in our business, including Jan Ward who was once a teenage Mum with no qualifications. As well as now being our Chair she is CEO of her own international manufacturing business and Chair in a number of other organisations. Becci Thorpe joined us as a Customer Support Adviser and now leads the team she joined as EUSR Operations Manager. We can also look to female CEOs in our sector including the recent appointment of Sarah Bentley at Thames Water and Lila Thompson at British Water, who as well as being CEO, is leading the Women On Water programme.
I encourage others to be inspired by these individuals and the many more like them and encourage colleagues to join us as we raise a hand to celebrate women’s achievements and challenge gender balance by showing that the energy and utilities sector is a great place for women to have a career.”
We are all invited to raise our hand to show our commitment to celebrating women’s achievements in our own organisation and across the sector and challenge gender inequality.