The launch forms part of the a commitment made by Sellafield Ltd, a Nuclear Management Partners company, to support the progression of women within the nuclear sector and inspire more young girls to pursue STEM subjects.
During the event, held at the Energus centre, females at various stages of their careers came together to exchange advice, share success stories and build a valuable network of contacts across a variety of professional groups.
Energy Minister, Baroness Verma, addressed the audience, sharing her hopes to encourage more women to enter the ever growing energy sector. She said “”I have no doubt that the Sellafield Ltd Women’s Network will be a huge success. It’s important to encourage greater diversity in our nuclear sector and initiatives like this are exactly what we need to ensure that more women are at the heart, and top, of the industry.”
The company’s ‘Women’s Network’ has been developed by Sellafield Ltd employee Dr Donna Connor, who combines her position as head of technical capability at the site with her role as lead for the company’s ‘women in nuclear’ community. She said: “I am overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of those who attended the launch and the commitment they have since made to join the network. The speakers really captivated the audience and led to lively discussions about how we can work together to grow the female demographic within the industry.”
Among the key speakers were local sisters and Sellafield Ltd engineers, Lynsay and Stephanie Kelly, who have come through the apprentice training scheme to win various prestigious awards for their performance at work.
Rebecca Weston, a decommissioning lead at the nuclear site, and recently appointed as a Trustee on the Nuclear Institute’s Board, said: “This event has been a valuable opportunity to look at the stories and successes of others. It’s been great to get a cross-section of all professions and grades across the industry together.
“I was particularly impressed with Stephanie and Lynsay Kelly who really captured the crowd with their story of achievement and aspiration, including the challenges they have already faced. This network is important for the industry and I think it’s a positive step as we focus on the broader issue of diversity.”
Sellafield Ltd’s Deputy Managing Director, George Beveridge opened the event and introduced key speakers, including Baroness Verma, who has a goal to see females make up 30% of executive energy company boards by 2030. The Chief Executive of global company, Mitie, Ruby McGregor-Smith and Sue Ferns, director of communications and research for Prospect, also addressed the audience.