The Institute of Water has joined over 40 other employers in making a commitment to ensure the Energy & Utilities sector workforce is inclusive and diverse.

A key priority of the Energy & Utilities Workforce Renewal Skills Strategy 2020 is attracting and recruiting more diverse talent into our sector which reflects our local communities. Currently, our sector is not yet representative of the UK workforce for gender, BAME, disability, and under 24s. Only 5% of the sector’s employees are from black, Asian or minority ethnic groups compared to 15% nationally; most of our workforce is male and white.

Facing this challenge, CEOs from the sector’s leading businesses have committed to proactively changing these statistics and promote their businesses to under-represented talent. The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership is committed to recruiting and attracting a workforce that mirrors and speaks to the communities it serves.

The Inclusion Commitment was launched in 2019 and is now gathering pace, with a series of webinars to learn and share best practice running from July to September.

Five principles underpin the Inclusion Commitment:

  • Work collaboratively as a sector to drive change, challenging ourselves to do things differently, by sharing best practice and delivering sector priorities
  • Focus on inclusion in its entirety, however our sector history requires targeted sector action to start by increasing gender, BAME and disability workforce representation.
  • Measure and be transparent about progress in our individual organisations and as a sector.
  • Ensure we create the culture we need to attract the workforce of tomorrow.
  • Be inclusive in the way we attract, recruit and develop our people.

The Institute of Water is already committed to a policy of inclusion and equality for all its staff, members and stakeholders. We recognise the value that a diverse water industry brings to society and we are committed to promoting these benefits. We aim to be representative of the industry we serve and to ensure that there are no barriers to membership.

Sarah Murray is Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Champion on our Board of Directors and is working through an action plan which is reviewed regularly. Sarah will be reporting to members at the AGM in September but if you are interested in our policy and action plan please visit the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion page on our website.



Throughout July we’re going to be spending some time focussing on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion within the Institute of Water and how we are driving the vision to ensure equality for all of our members.
Firstly, a few words from Institute of Water Chief Executive, Lynn Cooper:
“The Institute of Water is renowned for being inclusive and non-hierarchical: now I believe we can add diverse to that claim, as demonstrated at our Annual Conference in Glasgow last month.
Earlier this year we launched our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy. This was one milestone in our progress through a framework provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council.
This month we take the opportunity to tell you more about the framework, our plans and how we compare with other professional bodies and with the industry we serve; who better to introduce you to this latest themed month than Robin Price, our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Champion?”
Robin Price, Vice President Science and Board Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Champion for the Institute of Water:
“I’m delighted to welcome you to our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Month.  As Lynn says, we are proud to be known as a hugely inclusive Institute, striving to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all of our members.  I sincerely agree with Lynn that our National Conference in Glasgow showcased an incredibly diverse array of speakers and formats – congratulations again to everyone involved!
Over the last 12 months, we’ve really moved forward with our work on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI), and throughout July we’ll be showing you what this has involved and the progress that we have made.  We’ll promote our DEI policy, and let you know about the actions we are taking as a result of this policy.  We have benchmarked ourselves against other professional bodies, and whilst we compare really well, there is always more to do; again we’ll share with you some of the work we’re carrying out to continue to move ourselves forward, and we’ll hear from experts in DEI issues.  One of the areas we’ve been focussing on right across our Committees is the subject of ‘unconscious bias’; we’ll tell you much more about what unconscious bias is, and what we can all do to avoid it a bit later in the month.
One of the aims of our DEI Policy is to ensure that as an Institute, our membership is representative of the industry which we serve in terms of its diversity.  We’ve done some work to understand this; the results make interesting reading, and again we’ll share these with you during this month.
Promoting diversity of approach and thinking, ensuring that we are viewed as an inclusive organisation, with equal opportunities for all members and staff are cornerstones of our Institute.  I hope that you enjoy hearing more about the work we’ve been doing over the next couple of weeks.”