British Water has signed up to a pioneering mentoring programme, as part of its commitment to drive gender equality in water.
Joining the 30% Club cross-company mentoring programme is the trade association’s latest Women on Water campaign initiative, which aims to support the career progression of women working in the sector. The association is now inviting its own members to be part of the programme by encouraging staff to apply to become mentors and mentees.
The structured programme matches female mentees, at all levels of the career pyramid, to a more senior male or female mentor from another organisation. The pairs are supported in a nine-month development programme, from November 2020 to July 2021, which includes digital learning and virtual events.
British Water chief executive Lila Thompson said: “Following my own invaluable experience of the 30% Club cross-company mentoring programme, which ended only this year, my colleagues and I are delighted to be partnering with them. This has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Xylem Water Solutions, who we are delighted to be working with on this exciting new initiative.
“During this period of transition for the water sector, the programme will provide a tangible and powerful route to achieve greater gender balance at senior levels – an important ambition that British Water is determined to help see delivered.
“I invite individual members to step forward and apply to join us in what promises to be a valuable and rewarding collaboration. Whether as a mentor or mentee, this is a fantastic opportunity to make new connections in the industry, move further forward in your own career, as well as support the water industry in its journey to becoming a more diverse and progressive sector.”
The 30% Club is a global campaign led by chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels. Its cross-company mentoring programme, which is delivered by development experts Moving Ahead, is designed to support and develop a broader pipeline of women attaining leadership roles.
Liz Dimmock, founder and CEO of Moving Ahead, said: “The long-term goal of the 30% Club cross-company mentoring programme is to create a step-change in the number of women attaining senior leadership and board roles in their respective organisations. Through its Women on Water campaign, British Water is already leading the charge in helping the water industry to become more inclusive, which is why we are so pleased it has joined the programme.
“Ensuring that organisations keep focus and attention on their gender diversity goals is more important than ever and mentoring is an effective catalyst to create connection, inclusion and growth through diversity. We look forward to working with British Water and the new mentors and mentees it will introduce us to.”
Applications received by British Water will be assessed by an impartial panel and, after the successful mentor-mentee applicants are matched, it will facilitate the relationship with the 30% Club mentoring programme team and become the communication hub for events.