International Women's Day 2018

Paula SteerOn International Women's Day, Paula Steer, our Director of Operational Services and Transformation and sponsor of our gender equality network, GENEq, shares her thoughts on gender parity and the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for our employees.

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day #IWD and the progress being made in gender parity. Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and press for progress #PressforProgress motivating and uniting colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

The World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report tells us that although there is strong global momentum, gender parity could be as much as 200 years away. This is a worrying statistic as we can’t accept this sort of timescale. We’ve got to find ways to accelerate this momentum and motivate and encourage others to do the same. Women all around the world deserve to be treated equally and fairly with access to education, training and development opportunities

Most of us will have seen the evidence that diverse businesses are more successful as they foster diverse views, opinions, skills and ideas which enables them to outperform their competition.

At United Utilities we recognise the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for our employees to grow and develop their talents. I’m very proud to sponsor the gender equality network at United Utilities (GENEq), which aims to support, mentor, develop, inspire and promote both men and women to realise the benefits of gender equality. We have a very active group of supporters who strive to raise awareness and encourage others to fulfil their potential. Developing others is one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of my job. At United Utilities some of the development we offer to support career progression are, a cross company mentoring scheme, targeted development activities and talent programmes as well as celebrating success and recognising strong role models to help others to raise their aspirations.
Attracting talent for the future is just as important, we are doing a huge amount to ensure we have the right skills for the future and to unlock potential in our employees. We’re recruiting more female graduates and apprentices to progress a career in STEM and we’ve got development programmes for Managers.

We’ve got lots planned to celebrate IWD and I hope that whatever you are doing you enjoy!