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Published on 1st July 2024

A roller-coaster of emotions


What a roller coaster of emotions we have felt over the past few days in the lead up to the first Women in Utilities Awards! Having been planning this event for almost a year, as the day approached it felt exciting but also “is this really happening!”. We had dinner with our fellow board members the evening before the event and it felt a little like the night before our weddings! Nervous excitement!

Waking up the morning of the event, the butterflies were definitely present but this soon turned to awe as we arrived at the Grand Connaught rooms and saw the very long list of names on the seating plan and how stunning the venue looked! As the event kicked off the next emotion was absolute pride as Hayley and Jo took to the stage and in a true demonstration of what this meant to them turned around and took a selfie from the stage! Hearing them speak about WUN being born over lunch and a glass of wine with 3 other women, and now having lunch and a glass of wine with over 400 people was just amazing.  Next was a feeling of being humbled, as Sarah Storey spoke about her achievements, breaking down barriers and leaving doors open for other women to follow, and finally a feeling of absolute inspiration as our winners were announced!

So many brilliant winners that there are too many to mention here but we will be putting a spotlight on them over the coming months. There were women who have trail-blazed in the sector and forged long careers delivering for customers and colleagues, rising stars who definitely have a bright future, companies who are being innovative and really thoughtful about inclusion, and important allies and mentors who are supporting and championing women every day.

One thing that really struck us was the complete lack of ego in the room, all the finalists were very gracious and also so happy to applaud the winners. The excitement was such that nearly everyone we spoke to was already talking about next years event, whether that was nominating in every category, being a headline sponsor, sponsoring a specific category and making sure they brought more colleagues along next time!

The event was a huge success and working alongside Ellen Bennett and Charity Woodruff from Faversham House to bring it alive has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege.

We are still buzzing 😊

Louise and Sarah

Louise Wapshare & Sarah Hopkins, WUN Directors.