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Women in Utilities success programme

Develop Training's first cohort of 'Women in Utilities' met for the first time in early 2020 to begin their journey on this brand-new programme. Eight women from the utilities sector joined Develop Training at the Derby centre to open the programme with a series of behavioural training sessions, some of which were drawn from our delivery of Management Development apprenticeships. The cohort also looked at the setting of personal goals, personal branding, and resilience as part of two initial days of networking.

In addition the cohort were joined by guest speaker Edith Kanyoka of Western Power Distribution for a discussion on the experiences of women within the sector, of barriers to engagement and progression, and Edith's own experiences of being a role model.

Programme Objectives

The programme has three objectives:

  • To provide women with access to training, mentoring and peer support to help advance their careers. The available training will either be directly related to their careers and/or will enhance their wider understanding of the industry and/or build relevant practical skills.
  • To develop more role models within the sector to help break down barriers to the future recruitment and retention of women in the sector.
  • For Develop Training to be a leader in this area; to actively live our Equality & Diversity commitments by taking positive actions to develop diversity in the sector.

Andy Holmes, Business Risk and Assurance Manager at Develop Training who came up with the idea of the programme said, "I'm proud that Develop are committed to a culture of inclusion and diversity and are supporting the Women in Utilities Programme. We have a group of amazing women who are passionate about the sector and the opportunities it can provide; I look forward to sharing their journey over the next year."

Next Steps

During 2020 those taking part will undertake a variety of different training courses dependent upon their own personal goals and interests. These will range from hands on experiential practical training to courses for management of sector related disciplines. We would like to say a huge thank you to the following employers who are supporting a colleague to take part and hopefully help forge a regular programme for future years to come:

  • Northern Gas Networks
  • Ancala Water
  • EU Skills
  • Sodexo
  • WK Engineering Services
  • Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
  • Southern Water
  • Icosa Water

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