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Nicola Shaw CBE, chief executive of Yorkshire Water, is the keynote speaker at British Water’s ‘Better Together – tackling water industry challenges’ reception, taking place in Hull on 12 January 2023.

In her keynote speech, Shaw will focus on the need to attract talent, support existing young professionals and increase diversity of thought and representation across the industry.

The need for diversity of thought and talent has never been more important – and while the sector has made some progress, there is still some way to go. If we are to tackle urgent social and environmental challenges, now is the time to retain skilled workers, attract young professionals and promote gender equality and inclusion.

Reflecting this, British Water has made Better Together open to everyone working in the water and wastewater industry. We hope this will encourage people at every level to network and share ideas.

Lila ThompsonBritish Water Chief Executive

Hosted by British Water chair Dr Mark Fletcher, the Better Together reception kickstarts a year of activity to mark British Water’s 30th anniversary. At the event Fletcher will set out the board’s vision for the future of the water sector and the role British Water wants to play in its transformation.

Diversity and inclusion have never been more important. While the water sector has seen some impactful initiatives in recent years, women and ethnic minorities are still under-represented across utilities and the supply chain.

“The transition towards a more balanced sector where everyone can thrive must urgently accelerate, and British Water is proud to lead the charge through initiatives like our ongoing Women on Water campaign,” added Thompson.

In 2018, British Water launched its ongoing Women on Water campaign and in February 2020, set out a series of promises to ensure equality for employees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and gender balance in recruitment and appointments to the board. In June 2020, British Water signed the Energy & Utilities Skills Inclusion Commitment and in 2021 British Water pledged its support to the Change the Race Ratio campaign to accelerate diversity in business.

Better Together is taking place at an award-winning aquarium called The Deep, and will pay recognition to ten individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the water and wastewater industry, across any discipline. Nominations are currently open to all British Water members.

The event is part of an ongoing effort at British Water to encourage a more dynamic, connected and diverse water sector. It will be an opportunity to network with members and non-members from across the UK and share more about the exciting transformations happening within the sector as it moves towards the next Asset Management Period – 2025-30.

Both members and non-members can register for Better Together, with the guest list including representatives from across the supply community – contractors, consultants, water companies and government agencies.

British Water is a not-for-profit, dynamic, membership organisation that provides leadership, support and best practice and addresses the challenges faced by the UK water sector through its UK, Technical and International forums, and its neutral Water Industry Forum. It was formed in 1993 via the merger of two trade associations, the British Effluent & Water Association and the British Water Industries Group, who joined forces to become the UK’s leading water and wastewater membership organisation.

The Water Industry Forum was established in 2012 as a neutral and independent forum for the UK water sector and merged with British Water on 1 April 2022.

For more information and to book tickets, please click here.