Thames’ STEM female representation is twice FTSE average
20 Jul 2018
Thames Water has been singled out in a new report for its role in promoting women in STEM.
Women Count 2018 – the latest in an annual survey of female representation within UK companies – said that while most utilities companies’ performance on the issue was ‘lacklustre’, Thames achieved almost double the average.
“Companies which provide utilities to the British public’s homes may be vying for more market share and the top spot in customer service awards but they are lacklustre in terms of gender diversity,” said the survey organiser The Pipeline.
Overall, utlities achieved:
18% representation of women on their executive committees
6% representation of women in P&L roles on their executive committees
13% representation of women as executive directors on their boards
Thames however now boasts 33% female representation on its executive committee, said The Pipeline.
We focused on succession planning, talent pools with at least 50% women and creating belief in women
Jane Burr, HR director, Thames Water
Thames HR director Jane Burr explained the company’s approach: ”We focused on three key steps: succession planning all the way through the organisation, setting up talent pools with at least 50% women and creating belief in women with potential that they actually could step into a senior role.”
Utility companies told the report authors that they struggled to promote geneder diversity because of the difficulty in retaining and recruiting employees with good STEM skills.
Shortage of available talent means that rivalry among firms for candidates is intense, with a need for competitive salaries to attract the right people and a high ‘churn’ rate among staff.
However, the sector actually compares well with UK companies overall: the ratio of women on the executive committees of FTSE 350 companies has remained at 16% for the last three years – less than half that achieved by Thames. The percentage of women on main company boards has remained at 8% for the last two years.
Pic: The National Engineering Construction and Recruitment forum is one annual industry event founded to promote women in engineering