How can women succeed in sanitation jobs

June 22 2022

Inspired by International Women in Engineering Day, Lanes Group shares five key steps that can help the sanitation industry encourage many more women in the sector.

(Photo: shutterstock)

June 23 marks International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), and the Lanz Group is laying out a roadmap for industry-wide actions to be taken at all levels – from employers and employees to policy makers and educators – on how women can improve employment in the sanitation and utilities sectors.

Currently, only 19% of employees in the energy and utilities sector are female, compared to the UK average of 48% across all occupations. A recent survey by Lanes showed that 58% of the British public believe that men and women do not have the same chance of success in business roles, while 82% would be surprised if their drainage engineer were a woman.
As one of the nation’s leading sanitation and wastewater companies, Lanes Group recognizes that more needs to be done to create a fully inclusive environment for women in facilities. As such, Lanz consulted with industry organizations such as the Women’s Facilities Network (WUN) and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to identify steps that could be taken to make this happen.

Here is Lanz’s five-point plan for achieving gender parity in our industry:

1. Schools and teachers should encourage girls to think about benefits, engineering careers, and other jobs outside of stereotypical “female” roles. Companies can support this by working with schools to highlight the different roles available.

2. Policy makers and government should stress the importance of engineering employment, placing greater emphasis on design and technology in the national curriculum, and encourage girls to explore these roles through the National Jobs Service.

3. Utility employers should take steps to get women into the workforce by: Creating more inclusive job advertisements. eliminate wage differentials; provide more flexible working conditions; highlight the presence of female role models and mentors; and promoting an inclusive work environment for all in general.

4. Support organizations such as WES and WUN should be recognized for the support, guidance and career advice they can provide to women to help them share learning and achieve success for themselves in utility sector jobs.

5. Female professionals considering taking on a companion role should feel confident in their abilities and simply act on it, knowing that they will be able to find an increasing number of opportunities for a rewarding career in which they can truly make a difference.

Debbie Bell, Head of Human Resources Services at Lanes Group, said: “On International Women in Engineering Day, it is essential to celebrate the accomplishments of all the female engineers who play a critical role in keeping our country running – including many of our female colleagues working at every level of the group. Lanes, from the field to the conference room.

“However, INWED also gives us an opportunity to lay the foundations for a better future for professionals, particularly in terms of addressing the long-standing gender disparities that have always existed in business roles. These inequalities cannot be resolved overnight, and not without joint efforts by Everyone involved in this sector.

“We believe our five-point plan can point the way to a future where female engineers will continually have the same opportunities as everyone else to build their skills, advance their careers, and take on leadership roles. At Lanes Group, we are determined to be part of this positive change Which will bring long-term benefits to workers and businesses alike.”

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