Who are Northumbrian Water Limited?
NWG operates as Northumbrian Water and Essex and Suffolk Water, with some smaller commercial operations UK-wide. We ensure our customers have a constant supply of clean, clear water that tastes good and we effectively remove and treat waste water to meet the needs of current and future generations. We aim to deliver the best value for money and to be best prepared for the future.
Our 3,000 people share a vision to be the national leader in the provision of sustainable water and waste water services. Our five values, customer focused, results driven, creative, ethical and one team, have become well embedded and provide a framework for our actions and decisions, supported by a highly customer focused mind-set called ‘Our Way’. We are transforming from an engineering to a customer oriented business. Affordability is a major consideration for our customers and regulator and we foster innovation to continuously improve. The industry has five regulators and operates in five year cycles with business plans, performance and pricing regulated by Ofwat. April 2015 saw the start of the next cycle bringing significant performance challenges. In 2017 the market for all ‘non domestic’ customers opens to retail competition, bringing ‘once in a generation’ change and restructuring.
We’ve received many awards, all achieved through our teams of people, including North of England Excellence Leadership and Company of the Year, BITC Engagement and Wellbeing, BITC and Utility Week for our volunteering scheme, EEF (SE) People Management, RosPA Gold and Best Companies 1*.
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Northumbrian Water Limited involved in?
Our key Diversity & Inclusion drivers are innovation, customer service, employee engagement and health and wellbeing. Our CEO, Heidi Mottram, regularly undertakes activities to foster more inclusive cultures both within the Company and beyond. She is a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity Leadership Group and actively supports Women in Business including the Two Percent Club. Heidi takes opportunities to share her experience and learning and supports other women in many different forums. She leads by example and encourages Senior Leaders to play an active part in championing Diversity & Inclusion in our sector and regions.
We are actively seeking to attract candidates from non traditional backgrounds. We’ve involved community groups in our recruitment process review and have changed job titles and how we write adverts, focusing more on the people skills required, rather than just the technical skills, as a result. We will be implementing a licence to recruit and have started to introduce gender balanced selection panels, where we can. We provide unconscious bias training for all of our people managers and work closely with local community centres and organisations to assist us in advertising roles more widely.
Our Working Families network has just been launched. This will shortly be followed by a Women’s network to further enhance the support provided.
We are actively involved in influencing school and college students and support a number of STEM Ambassadors to regularly share their experiences. Joining WISE will allow us to enhance this important role.
Why did Northumbrian Water Limited join WISE?
“NWG recognises that attracting and retaining a diverse workforce is essential to our continued success. 68% of our employees are male; WISE will give us support and access to a network of other organisations to help us achieve a better balance in our STEM and other roles across the business.”
– Alison Corner, Engagement and Diversity Advisor