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28 November 23

Affinity Water announces partnership with the Women's Utilities Network

Affinity Water are delighted to announce their partnership with the Women’s Utilities Network to support women in building lasting and fulfilling careers in the utility sector.

Partnering with WUN will help Affinity Water learn lessons and work collaboratively across the sector on efforts to improve gender equity and, importantly, it gives their own women’s network the chance to broaden their connections, build relationships and gain support for their activities and development.

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

WUN has now grown with over 5,500 members and continues to have a powerful voice in the sector and Affinity Water are proud to have them on board.

The number of women working in the energy and utilities sector declined between 2021 and 2022, new industry figures have revealed.

Energy & Utility Skills’ (EUS) third Inclusion Measurement Framework reports on progress in equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across the sector in 2022.

It found that women made up 26% of the industry’s workforce, a decline of 2% and well below the 48% representation of women across the whole UK workforce.

WUN is a not-for-profit organisation and offers the opportunity for women to network, both in person and virtually at a series of events focusing on both Industry and self-development topics. WUN also runs a successful free mentoring programme with over 140 mentees having already benefited from support from experienced mentors from right across the sector. 

Sally Brett, Head of Culture and EDI at Affinity Water, said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Women Utilities Network. EDI is core to what we do – enabling us to provide better customer service, be more innovative and resilient as an organisation, and ensuring we can attract, retain, and develop diverse talent from across our community. One of our priority themes in our new EDI strategy is to address the gender pay gap. Our newly re-launched internal women’s network and working in partnership with WUN, will help us be more inclusive and ensure good career support for women, which will be key to that.”

Statistics released earlier this year*1 showed that the gender pay gap has seen a year-on-year increase across the utilities sector, with only electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) reporting a collective decline.

According to the latest statistics*2, which show a snapshot of the sector as of 5 April 2022, the average gender pay gaps within water companies,

DNOs and gas networks are all above the median gender pay gap national average of 9.4%. DNOs were the only sector which saw a year-on-year decrease in the gender pay gap overall, decreasing 1.12pps to 16.53%. This however is still well above the national average.

Sharon Sage, Director & Advocate of Women’s Utility Network, said:

“I am immensely proud to announce that we have partnered with Affinity Water. Affinity Water’s core values align very well with ours here at the Women’s Utility Network, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how WUN can support their re-launched woman’s network.”

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