Thames Water has been recognised as one of the country’s top employers for women, as the company reveals its CEO Sarah Bentley will chair a prestigious gender equality business group.
The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is the UK’s most high profile and well-established listing of employers striving for gender equality in the workplace.
Run by the charity Business in the Community (BITC) – The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network – the register identifies and celebrates companies which put gender equality at the forefront of their business at all levels.
During the application process, Thames Water was assessed on a range of areas, including its approach to recruitment, family-friendly policies and how it has championed gender equality during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, the water company has encouraged more women to apply for manual frontline roles by changing the ‘masculine’ wording of its job adverts and improved its family-friendly policies, including time off for looking after dependents, to enhance the support provided to working families and carers during the pandemic.
In addition to today’s announcement, Sarah Bentley will become the next chair of BITC’s Gender Equality Leadership Team in May. The group is made up of business leaders and aims to ensure women can achieve their full potential at work.
The team focuses on helping BITC members create inclusive workplace cultures and to promote gender balance through policies on equal caring responsibilities and closing the gender pay gap. The group also celebrates best practice through its partnership with The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.
Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “I’m passionate about ensuring we embrace equality and that’s why I’m delighted we’ve been recognised as one of the top 50 employers for women. It’s so important to champion the talent and experience women can bring to every business and I’m beyond proud that our commitment and efforts towards gender equality have been making such a positive impact.
“There’s always still more to do and we will keep pressing forward to ensure we achieve a truly diverse and inclusive workforce that’s fully representative of the amazing community we serve. With that in mind, I’m thrilled to be invited to chair the Business in the Community Gender Equality Leadership Team. I look forward to working together towards helping companies see the benefits of gender-balanced and inclusive workforces.”
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “We couldn’t have a better Chair for our Gender Leadership Team. Sarah is driven, committed and passionate on the agenda; a superb business leader and an all-round great role model.”
Thames Water has a thriving Women’s Network where employees from across the business work together to improve gender inclusivity, share knowledge and learning, and work with the company to recruit and retain female talent.
Thames Water has been recognised as a ‘Carer Confident’ workplace by leading charity, Carers UK. It is also the first water company to provide an ‘Online Safe Spaces’ service to support victims of domestic abuse.