In the 2019 Women in Water Utilities, Breaking Barriers study, led by The World Bank’s Water Global Practice, it was reported that less than one in five workers in the water sector are women. In this article, Watertrain look closer at the topic and how apprenticeships can help to tackle underrepresentation.
Diversity and inclusion are important to the success of an organisation in any sector, yet less than one in five workers in the water sector are women, according to the World Bank, and a further report found women make up only 29.1% of the water sector’s workforce, in comparison to 47.3% of women in the UK’s workforce across all sectors.
There is strong evidence to highlight the benefits of building a diverse workforce, as highlighted in a previous Watertrain article, including findings that organisations with an even gender balance are 25% more likely to outperform those who do not. The ability to improve productivity, creativity, and innovation through diversity in the water sector has never been more essential. Through different experiences, backgrounds and educations in technical and managerial teams, the water sector can enable more effective problem-solving.
What can the water sector do to improve gender balance?
Modern apprenticeships offer an opportunity to attract both newcomers to the sector and progress the skills of those already in the workforce.
In the first instalment of Watertrain’s Women in Water series, Lola Campbell of South West Water shared how an apprenticeship helped her career:
“The apprenticeship gave me the strong foundation of operational knowledge needed for me to succeed in this role. I was conscious that as a young female manager at just 24, I had a lot to prove.
If I had gone to University, I would never have ended up doing this job, I would not have found this role – this is what the apprenticeship has given me. I am now an Area Manager and loving my role. The apprenticeship was a crucial ingredient in allowing me to go from an entry level role to having a great career path. I’m doing a job I’m proud of, a role I’ve trained for. Without the apprenticeship I wouldn’t be here.”
Watertrain are proud to be supporting a wide range of learners to build rewarding careers in the water sector through apprenticeship training. Keri Davies, Managing Director of Watertrain, commented:
“Our apprentices are excited to learn and see the benefit of their training and how it helps support career progression. Our apprenticeship programmes support learners from all backgrounds, with a variety of needs, providing effective training that leads to the majority of apprentices gaining additional responsibilities or receiving a promotion.”
If you would be interested in learning more about Watertrain’s range of apprenticeships and training programmes for the water sector, visit www.watertrain.co.uk.