International Women’s Day highlights importance of diversity and inclusion

Thames Water hosted a series of inspirational workshops and motivational sessions to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Held throughout last week, at both operational and office sites, hundreds of employees joined the company’s Women’s Network at various events to mark the day and recognise the achievements and successes of women across the business.

Topics spanning personal confidence, career development and networking were covered, and attendees made a commitment to support #balanceforbetter, which was this year’s theme for the day.

At Thames Water, 35 per cent of employees are female, 15 per cent above the water industry average.

Lawrence Gosden, chief operating officer, who sponsors the network, said: “Thames Water supports the hugely talented people we have in our organisation to find their place, their voice, and their equal status.

“International Women’s Day is a high-profile platform which demonstrates the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and it’s really important we reflect on where we are as a business and industry in terms of gender equality.”

The week kicked off with various events held at the company’s headquarters and operational hub in Reading, before a special event was held at Mogden sewage works, near Twickenham.

On Tuesday, Europe’s largest sewage works at Beckton in north east London played host to a networking session and meetings, and then on Thursday, Kate Davies, chief operating officer at EU Skills – an organisation which seeks to address the skills challenges and shortages the sector faces – was the guest speaker at Hampton water works in south west London.

Throughout the week, Walnut Court in Swindon – the company’s revenue customer contact centre – hosted several events, and the week culminated with a special conference on Friday in Reading, in which more than 100 people attended.

Staff attending the events also donated clothing to the charity Smart Works, which provides business clothing and training for unemployed women to help them succeed at job interviews.  

Amanda Smith, operations manager at Little Marlow sewage works, mentors several female apprentices and graduates at the company.

She said: “I’m pleased Thames Water recognises the importance of International Women’s Day which is an excellent way to highlight the benefits a balanced and diverse workforce can bring to the company.

“My role is extremely rewarding and I’m happy to share my career journey with anyone who is interested in working in operations.”

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