Inclusion and diversity

Our commitment to inclusion and diversity

Everyone belongs

Wessex Water has a history of doing things differently - it has helped us to become one of the leading water and sewerage companies in the UK.  

 

Everyone Belongs - Culture, inclusion, diversity

Whether it is looking differently at the way we support customers on low incomes to implementing innovative solutions to tackle pollution, we are passionate about embracing new ways of doing things. This approach would not be possible without the diversity of the people who work with us and their talent, experience and skills.

We go out of our way to see things from new viewpoints and we continue to encourage innovation and diversity through gender, diversity of thought, ethnicity, race, age, disability, sexual orientation and social background.  

We are committed to a culture where everyone belongs and thrives.  We celebrate diversity – it’s good for our people, our customers and our business.    

Some of the great things we do…. 

Flexible working

We support and encourage flexible working so work can fit around your lifestyle or demands whether that be as a parent, carer or simply want to explore opportunities to enhance your wellbeing and create a better work-life balance.  Our mantra for flexible working is ‘reason neutral’.  What’s important to you, is important to us.  

Supporting each other

There’s a whole range of interest groups for you to get involved in which are created by our people and run by our people including LGBT+, Women in Wessex, the Wellbeing Choir, Menopause Mentors, Musicians in Wessex, Run Club and Parent’s Support.  Our Wellbeing Champions are committed to helping you look after your physical and mental health and you will also be able to benefit from other initiatives such as Mental Health First Aiders, free eye tests and access to various free advice services. 

Rechargeable administrator Rebecca Lawrence, who organised the session, said:

"As a singer myself, and knowing the many benefits singing brings to your mental health, I wondered whether colleagues at Wessex Water would be interested in creating a staff choir, purely for enjoyment purposes. I was thoroughly surprised by the outcome! 

Debbie set up the menopause mentors group

Debbie Wood, head of resourcing and development, set up the menopause mentors group. She said: 

“Menopause is something that impacts everyone, whether directly or indirectly. I wanted to make sure support was available for people in the workplace so established the ‘menopause mentors’ group. The mentors provide support, advice and signposting for everyone, whenever they need it.” 

Culture Champions

We have an active group of Culture Champions who promote our culture of inclusion and diversity across the business and work with our leadership team on activities such as improving management training, updating our family friendly policies and celebrating national days.  This group of highly engaged people are committed to driving initiatives across our business to ensure we see real results in this area.  

"My role as culture champion is to promote Inclusion and Diversity and look at ways we can improve our working environment.    

"The working group advises the company on how to enable its vison to celebrate diversity and encourage inclusion, empowering everyone to take ownership, listen to our peoples’ views, ideas, concerns and act on them.  We reject any form of discrimination or bias and reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

"The work will ensure Wessex Water continues to have an inclusive and innovative workforce and open up a greater skill base when recruiting."

Charlie Tingay, supply EMI manager

As a cultural champion Charlie promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace 

The future generation

We know we need to focus on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.  Our volunteers visit schools to encourage girls into STEM subjects and the extensive work of our Early Careers team has increased our socio-economic diversity and female representation in areas such as engineering and construction. 

Disability friendly

As a member of the Business Disability Forum we are one of over 300 organisations with access to a wealth of advice and guidance to help us support our disabled staff and customers.  BDF promote best practice and influence policy to both organisations and disabled people. 

By having access to the help and advice provided by the BDF we are able to provide our employees and managers with what they need to ensure everyone is supported and can work to their maximum potential. 

Knowing that we have this support means that we can recruit and retain great people, who come from the widest possible pool of talent.  Our employees can also see that we are committed to treating everyone fairly. 

"When I was at college I started looking at bigger companies to apply to as I thought, on the whole they would be better suited to employ people with a disability. I was nervous though as you get mixed advice from people where some say don’t say anything about your disability and some say be open.  
  
"I applied to Wessex Water and was completely open about the fact I was a wheelchair user.  Apparently I was one of 40 applicants and shortlisted for an interview and we clicked straight away. After I was offered the job, I also spoke to HR to make sure there wasn’t a shock when I turned up.    
  
"My manager has been amazing, anything I needed was provided for me. My disability doesn’t matter and I just get on with my job like everyone else in the team. My advice for people would be open and honest and tell prospective employers about your disability. If you’re not sure about anything, ask questions."

Ryan Ashman, Junior CAD technician 

Ryan advises people with a disability to be open and honest with their employer