Home » Events » Will intentional allies & advocates change the landscape for women in utilities.

Will intentional allies & advocates change the landscape for women in utilities.

21st May 2024


15:45- 16:45



Key Note Stage, Utility Week Live, 24- NEC, Birmingham.


Utilities must encourage women into the industry to overcome the aging workforce, growing skills gap and pressure to transform to sustainable, decarbonised industry. People need to demonstrate their support and understanding towards women in the utilities to create long lasting change. Allyship is critical to ensuring the progression and success of women and representation at board level.

Join this session at Utility Week Live 2024 to uncover how to become an intentional advocate and what operating culture organisational changes to structure and recruitment strategies need to be adopted and embedded to establish an inclusive workplace.

Utility Week Live 2024, will host its biggest FREE content programme, gathering 3,000+ pan-utility professionals at the NEC, Birmingham, 21-22 May. Access the latest innovation, insight, and solutions designed to unite stakeholders in the transition to a digitally enabled, net zero future. Find out more and register for free here: 

Hayley Monks, Co- Founder & Director, Womens Utilities Network.

Hayley is an experienced utilities business leader, with over 20 years spent in roles in operations, credit management, and customer service leadership. She is also Co-founder of the successful Womens Utilities Network. Having previously set up and ran a successful training and consulting business, she has recently joined WNS Global as SVP Utilities.


Justine Leadbetter, Head of Demand Management, Water Research Centre

Fiona Jackson, Managing Director, Fiona Jackson Consulting,

Mike Keil, Chief executive, CCW

Gary Ford, Co-founder, Men for Inclusion.

Panelist bio 
Justine Leadbetter, Head of Demand Management, Water Research Centre
Justine is Head of Demand Management at WRc. Her experience has focussed on potable water asset management. Her background in data, GIS and project management combined with experience in stakeholder engagement allows her to successfully contribute to and manage technical projects. Justine has experience delivering projects for a range of UK and international water clients, with diverse drivers such as innovation, technical evaluation and process design, which combined with international exposure has provided a strong understanding of water industry challenges regarding leakage and asset management. Justine is a member of the Southwest Area of Institute of Water Committee and won the 2023 Utility Week Rising Star Award.
Fiona Jackson, Managing Director, Fiona Jackson Consulting,
Commercial HR professional, specialising in Diversity and Inclusion. Fiona’s varied career has spanned both 20 years in commercial roles in energy pricing, customer hedging strategies and front office trading analysis along with experience in HR roles in Leadership, Learning & Development, Recruitment and Workforce planning. In 2009 she founded a Women’s Network at a UK energy company, which she built and successfully ran for 5 years. This led to a role as Head of Diversity and Inclusion which she held for 6 years supporting the renewables team, nuclear operations and new build teams to focus on inclusion and diversity. During this time she held strategic advisory roles as a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity Leadership Group and the EY National Equality Standard Development Board. Since 2019 she has worked as a Diversity and Inclusion specialist consultant, working with companies across many sectors, including energy, construction, engineering, insurance, finance and many more. She advises on value adding Diversity and Inclusion strategies, trains leaders on Inclusive Leadership and works with employee networks to enable them to be impactful.
Dr Mike Keil Chief Executive CCW
After being part of CCW’s Executive Team as Senior Director of Policy, Research and Campaigns for six years, Mike Keil is now Chief Executive.A physicist by training, Mike spent the first decade of his career at the Met Office working with weather and climate models. He led its middle atmosphere research group. In 2007, he joined Ofwat as their Head of Climate Change and wrote their first policy statement on the topic. Mike oversaw the introduction of annual carbon accounting in the water sector and the inclusion of the cost of carbon into business cases as part of the regulatory framework.Mike moved to Severn Trent Water in 2011, leading their work on climate change and resilience. During this time he wrote the business case for the £350m Birmingham Resilience Project.Mike has been at CCW since 2017, leading their policy work, water company challenge and their extensive research programme. He oversaw CCW’s campaign work, including their Review of Water Affordability; the End Sewer Flooding Misery campaign and the Five Year Review of the Business Retail Market. Mike is also one of the hosts of CCW’s Waterfall podcast, which was launched during the 2022 drought to help people understand the value of water and how they can use it more wisely.
Gary Ford, Co-founder, Men for Inclusion.
Gary Ford is a transformational IT and Diversity & Inclusion leader. As a former Managing Director within Global Technology at JPMorgan, he co-founded their male allies programme for women in technology. His Amazon best-selling book “The Accidental Sexist: A handbook for men on workplace diversity and inclusion” tells the story of how to change the culture in a traditional male-centric sector and how we can all build inclusive work practices.Alongside Mark Freed, he is the co-founder of Men for Inclusion, an organisation focused on helping companies engage their male population in diversity and inclusion initiatives.He has presented at multiple diversity conferences, as well as appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour to talk about allyship. He recently presented at the UN Women’s conference on Gender Equality in Seoul.

Event Video

Highlights from UWL Live 2024 WUN Stand – catching up with WUN advocates & directors plus Key note stage – Panelist Justine Leadbetter, Water Research Centre Fiona Jackson, Fiona Jackson Consulting, Mike Keil, CCW and Gary Ford, Men for Inclusion. WUN Co- Founder & director Hayley Monks chaired a fascinating discussion regarding intentional advocate and what operating culture organisational changes to structure and recruitment strategies need to be adopted and embedded to establish an inclusive workplace.




Event Gallery