British Water will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the WaterRising Institute of the USA at the trade association’s upcoming International Reception on Monday 19 February in London.

About the International Reception:
Date: 19 February 2024
Time: 19.00 – 22.30
Location: One Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA

The MoU is an agreement to partner on the WaterWoman Project, which aims to accelerate gender parity in water management, addressing the urgent need for a gender-inclusive, water-positive approach to solving the water crisis.

Gender diversity in the water sector is crucial for improved business performance, representation of the customer base, and a greater combination of skills across the workforce. However, according to a recent report from global consultancy McKinsey, in the UK just 17% of the energy and utilities workforce are women – around two- thirds less than in the overall UK workforce.

The WaterWoman Project is a call to action for the adoption of Women’s Empowerment Principles, along with a transparency and accountability framework for monitoring progress on gender equality indicators, to advance gender equality in global water utilities.

“We are thrilled that British Water is engaging its members in this initiative and contributing to the urgent acceleration of gendered water workforce development,” said Alicia Douglas, founder & chief executive officer of WaterRising Institute, who will be signing the MoU in person, on behalf of the WaterWomen Project.

In the lead-up to this partnership, British Water was actively involved in the WaterWoman Project’s Youth & Gender Hub at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.

“At British Water, we firmly believe in the power of collaboration and advocacy to drive positive change. Our Women on Water campaign stands as a testament to our commitment to advancing gender parity in the UK’s water industry,” said Lila Thompson, chief executive of British Water.

Robbie Moore MP is keynote speaker at the International Reception. Moore was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs on 13 November 2023.

“Since 2013, the International Reception has been held with three objectives – to help grow UK exports; to raise the international profile of the UK Water Industry and its ecosystem, which British Water represents; and to encourage the sharing of best practices,” added Thompson.

The reception will provide a platform for those involved in the global water market to meet international operators, consultants, contractors, technology suppliers, research institutions, government departments and funding agencies.

The event is supported by World Water Tech Innovation Summit.

About Alicia Douglas:
Alicia Douglas, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of WaterRising Institute. She is the founder of three start-ups and has 30+ years of experience in philanthropy, sustainability, public policy along with community engagement.
Douglas’s ability to collaborate with global stakeholders has provided insight to developing the WaterWoman Project to addressing the global water workforce development crisis. In addition to WaterRising, Alicia is involved with many initiatives including: She Changes Climate, UN Women Empowerment Principles, Global Compact Leaders. Her most important role is the mother of 4 daughters and ensuring her daughters children have access to healthy and safe water.
About British Water
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.