Women’s Network

Women’s Network

Founded by IWater members and employees who have built successful careers in the water sector, the Women’s Network aims to:  

  • Attract women in the water sector to become members of the Institute of Water and, through our engagement with them, retain them in the sector 
  • Support women’s careers in the water sector 
  • Promote good practice and inclusivity across the sector 

Diversity of Talent


The Women’s Network understands that the UK water sector still lacks diversity in 2023, and women are still underrepresented. Sector demographics published by Energy & Utility Skills highlight that women only make up 19% of today’s water sector workforce (and many other minorities are even less represented), compared to the 47% of women in all sectors nationally. 


The Women’s Network is passionate about creating change to influence more women to work in the water sector, to stay working in the water sector, and to support their career journey throughout. 


The Network’s guiding principle is to ensure this programme does not act as a barrier and is inclusive to all who wish to participate. That is why there is no need to join formally– all IWater members are able to access the Women’s Network freely and without a subscription needed.


If you have any ideas for the Women’s Network then please email cdunn2@anglianwater.co.uk 

The Women’s Network is led by a steering group comprising:


Clair Dunn – Chair

Anglian Water 

I am a Chartered Scientist and have over 20 years experience in the water industry which is so vital to public health and the environment.  There have been huge steps forward in the representation of women in roles across our industry since I joined but there is still more to be done and so I am really keen to work with the Institute of Water on supporting and encouraging women in their careers in this great industry. 

Kara Sadler

Z Tech 

I am a Chartered Scientist with 11 years’ experience within the Water Industry. Having worked within varying disciplines during my career, I am eager to help build support networks for women and help them succeed at any role and level within this exciting industry. I am a strong advocate and supporter of the Institute of Water and currently sit as Vice Chair on the Eastern Area Committee.

Carmen Snowdon


I am a Chartered Environmentalist and Director of Commercial Services at WRc where I work across the business matching client and industry needs with technical expertise, whilst overseeing all the processes that keep the business running smoothly and efficiently! I am an active member of the South West Area committee of the Institute of Water and delighted to be a member of the women’s network promoting an inclusive programme of activities and events that appeal to all our members. 

Jo Parker

Independent Consultant 

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and have worked in the water industry for over 40 years. When I first considered engineering as a career in the early 1970s I was told by one contractor that ‘they didn’t employ female engineers’ which was perfectly legal then. That lit in me a burning desire not only to succeed as an engineer myself but also to help other women to take up engineering, which I have maintained throughout my career. 

Rachael Picken

Scottish Water 

I am a Chartered water industry professional with 9 years’ experience working for Scottish Water and previous experience working within a professional membership body. My current role is as the Investment Appraisal Transformation Manager, working to ensure we make smarter investment choices to generate value for our customers. Outside of work I am a Non-Exec Director for a local community leisure centre and sit on the Scottish Area Committee. 

Anna Humphrey

Welsh Water 

I have 8 years of experience in the Water Industry and am currently in the role of Customer Insight Manager at Welsh Water. My role helps ensure we listen to the voice of the customer and use their feedback in our decision making as a company. I am a member of the Welsh area Innovations Awards sub-committee and a WaterAid volunteer. I’m delighted to be a part of the women’s network and hoping to support our members in the different stages of their careers. 

Rachel Walters

Anglian Water 

I am a chartered professional of water and environmental management and currently leading our PR24 business planning Customer Engagement programme of activity for Anglian Water. I have joined Anglian Water from the Environment Agency where I was instrumental in establishing a flood risk management women’s network at a national and regional level.  I am keen to build strong networks to support and enable women to be the best version of themselves – no matter their level or grade. 

Women’s Network Events


Find out about our forthcoming Women’s Network events here

Get Involved with the Women’s Network

The Women’s Network is a free feature of IWater membership and is open for anyone working in the UK Water Sector to join, no matter their occupation or experience level.

The Women’s Network creates a community of support and a variety of events for you to engage with annually, you can connect with us at any time!

IWater Inspire

Women’s Network has launched IWater Inspire, aimed at inspiring personal and professional development through exploring the books that have influenced the IWater community.

Open to all, IWater Inspire addresses the community need for a personal development platform that allows for as much or as little engagement as you have time for, making it accessible to the busiest of professionals!

IWater Inspire offers multiple ways of engaging and learning: 

  • Online and in-person events, such as talks from industry leaders on the books that influenced their career, Speed Book Review events and workshops based on some of the most inspiring books out there. 
  • A ‘Book of the Quarter’ where, in every issue of the IWater Magazine, a community member shares a personal development book that inspired their career. 
  • An online community where members can discuss books of interest, make recommendations, keep track of events, share ideas for future events and, most importantly, check out the Book of the Quarter.

Join our online Goodreads community

Be an active member of the IWater Inspire community and join our Goodreads group! Goodreads is a website and app where you can track what you want to read, what you’re reading and what you’ve read, as well as letting you read millions of book reviews and join reading groups. The IWater Inspire reading group is a place for discussing books of interest, sharing book recommendations, keeping track of events, sharing ideas for future events and, most importantly, checking out our Book of the Quarter.

Joining our Goodreads group is very easy: create an account here and search for ‘IWater Inspire’ in Groups to join. We have a how-to video here to guide you.