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 contact us

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

South Staffs Water

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.

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. 

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!