Enhancing equality, diversity & inclusion in the water sector

Enhancing equality, diversity & inclusion in the water sector

Published On 16/02/2024

While some progress has already been made, there is a need for greater diversity within the UK and Irish water industries to ensure the workforce across the sector is representative of the communities they serve. UKWIR wants to help accelerate progress in creating a more diverse and inclusive water industry.

Increasing diversity and inclusion across the water sector has the potential to improve innovation, customer service and contribute to the diversity of thought needed to overcome key challenges.

This project seeks to help companies understand critical barriers to diversity and inclusion and identify key interventions to improve the landscape across the UK and Irish water industries.

It builds on efforts made by the EU Skills Inclusion Commitment and will provide guidance to support companies already involved (and those not currently involved) to improve their own efforts on equity, diversity and inclusion.

Our comprehensive research - encompassing quantitative analysis, desk-based research, focus groups, and interviews - revealed substantial diversity gaps. Existing data primarily highlights gender disparities, while visible representation and role models, particularly at leadership levels, are lacking.

Furthermore, the research shows recruitment, progression, and development processes disproportionately negatively impacts women and ethnic minorities.

To foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace, organisations should implement comprehensive strategies across four key areas: leadership and visible representation, EDI data, attraction and recruitment, and retention and progression. These recommendations can be implemented over a period of six to 24 months.

The full report:

Enhancing Equality Diversity and Inclusion in The UK & Irish Industries (23/PM/03/06)