What do sabre tooth tigers, hunter gatherers and psychometric preferences have in common? The answer we found out at the latest Women’s Utilities Network event is that to survive and thrive you need diversity of types in a group. It is no co-incidence, that on a show of hands in the room, the majority of people freely admitted that their partners were almost direct opposites in ‘type’ to themselves. There is no right or wrong, just difference, which when working together brings strength and survival.
It was another fantastic evening where the WUN got together and shared learning, opinions, and as always, many laughs. Coming armed with results of ‘our test’, we were lead through what the different psychometric types mean for self awareness and more importantly for working with other people. We had an insightful break out session where the ‘types’ were grouped together. Playing to type, my group was loud, talking over each other and immediately bouncing ideas around enthusiastically- completely exhausting for one poor person walking past who was trying to find her group. Her eyes said it all! Importantly for our group, we all recognised that our challenge was leaving space for others to talk, think and reflect…not easy if you’re one of us- but vitally important and a behaviour we have to learn. This ability to learn and adapt our own style was reinforced through the next session, where we were led through a process to help recognise what you’re not good at, seek out others who can fill your gaps, and create a better outcome as a result.
The final formal session of the evening was, as usual, an open Q&A panel. Real examples of teams in action were used to highlight how to manage different preferences and types, particularly where there is a cultural ‘dominant’ type. Strategies for getting heard, making things happen and allowing time for reflectors were openly shared. Myths were also put to bed – there are no ‘best’ types- anyone can be a leader- working only with others like you is not good for anyone.
The great thing about WUN events though, is not just the formal part. The informal networking is fantastic. Personally I came away with at least two follow up discussions on potential working partnerships, positive updates from existing mentees and more knowledge about what’s going on in different businesses across the Utilities space. The energy in the room is infectious and the mood totally supportive. What the founders are so proud of is that WUN is genuinely helping grow talent and support for women across the industry, whether early in careers or established in leadership positions. All of us get a lot from the network. It is about women taking ownership of the diversity gap and doing what they can to close it. We’re now really seeing the value that WUN is bringing to the sector through fantastic feedback, great career moves and new friends.
WUN’s impact is growing, and so is support. All WUN activities happen as a result of the generosity of our sponsors and event hosts. As we grow, so does our ability to offer more. At this event we were delighted to announce new sponsors Energy Assets and South East Water, to add to the growing list. The event itself was sponsored by DDC and hosted by Gowling WLG in their fantastic South Bank offices. WUN’s activities supplement inhouse initiatives with the value of a broader network and range of different perspectives. We welcome engagement with new potential sponsors and supporters as we continue to grow.