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Published on 17th November 2021

Careers in the Utilities – Event highlights.

Blog, Events

Careers in utilities – event summary

WUN was started to give women the skills and confidence they need to build lasting, fulfilling careers in the utility sector; and as one of the founders it was great to be involved in our careers event on the 10th November.

The online virtual event offered a series of sessions focussed on the broad range of careers in utilities as well as hearing some amazing career stories and practical advice on how to develop your career.

We started the day talking about recruitment. Hearing from the fabulous Alice Heffernan from Harrison Bridge. Alice is an experienced recruiter and shared advice on How to stand out in a crowd, what to do & not do, how to overcome confidence issues and the stand-out comment for me we ‘be visible – make sure you can be found by a recruiter.

Session 2 – A  Fireside discussion on Thriving in Water with Carl Cameron , Gemma Frisby & Jenny Rhodes. It was a powerful conversation between 2 successful women in water industry Gemma Frisby & Jenny Rhodes  – why they chose industry & SE Water & career path they followed

Session 3 – We heard from Claire Gwyer and Sophie Dooley. Claire is Consulting and Sophie, a graduate at Engage Consulting. They share their view from Graduate to Consulting Partner. Sophie shared how she was getting to shape her own carer by being involved in different project.

After a much-needed lunch break we kicked off the afternoon. We had 3 session planned and started with ‘Its not all about Flanges’ from the team at Clancy. Amanda Rance and Philippa Buston gave some insight into the very broad roles at Clancy and shared some wonderful case study videos from women who have had varied careers in the organisation. One of the pieces of practical advice was – Don’t be modest- push yourselves forward to find out more about the skills needed & share ambitions with HR – “don’t be overwhelmed by skills required not need 100% skills matched”

Clancy were followed by 3 ladies from Gentrack, talking Careers in Tech. We heard from Lacey Montague  Joanne Smalley Jess Murphy.  Lacey gave some background to Gentrack as technology partner to Utilities and challenges that we are facing currently. She also shared her own career story advocating – don’t be afraid of trying, learning can involve failing. Jess add that has a passion for tech – “there not enough women in tech & we bring our own style”

Our final session of the day was from FYLD.  We heard from Shelley Copsey & Alex Niedziolko sharing some insight in the journey of a start-up, the challenges and the roles involved.  Advice Shelley shared when asked her view on what makes someone successful in business?  – Throwing away the to do list! Everyday is different in a start-up.  You need creative problem solvers who are proactive and flexible.

There we many common themes which are also worth noting.  Confidence is key and was mentioned so many times I lost count.  Women seem less likely to be confident and push themselves further, but when they do, they are achieving the success they desire.  Imposter syndrome also featured too – and even successful women still believe they are ‘faking it’ a little.  The clear and overriding message was the power of your network and how you get support and are supported. Whether you want to find a new role in a new organisation or develop your career where you are getting the help, support, guidance and sometime getting the ‘push’ from a mentor, boss or colleague is essential.

All sessions were recorded and are available via the WUN Website. They will also available as audio shortly too.

Women’s Utilities Network, WUN – Founded by a group of women who have themselves built successful careers in both energy and water, WUN seeks to help other women to build the right networks, get the right training and take control of their own work lives at whichever stage of their career they are at.

Hayley Monks, WUN Co Founder and Managing Director of the Utilities Sector at Gobeyond Partners