[R]epresentatives from the nuclear industry across the county have gathered at a session hosted by Women in Nuclear (WiN) UK, to help develop a dedicated WiN Cumbria team.
Recognising the unique contribution the county makes to the nuclear sector, WiN UK is establishing a local team to strengthen links within the region.
An introductory session was held at Westlakes Science Park to encourage volunteers and help get a better understanding the specific needs, priorities and ideas of people in Cumbria.
Natalie Deane lives in Whitehaven and is a founding member of the WiN Cumbria team. She said: “I moved to Cumbria two and a half years ago, and it has been a real goal of mine to establish an inclusive women’s network to not only encourage more diversity within nuclear, but to ensure that we are all connected between various networks and organisations.
“It turns out WiN UK had the same goal, so I’m delighted to be part of their local team.
“The overwhelming response to our first event shows that there is a real appetite for collaboration in this area. We had people at various stages of their career, from a broad range of organisations and disciplines, all sharing ideas and experiences.
“There is a unique concentration of nuclear capability in Cumbria and by strengthening links here, WiN UK can help the local industry can reach its full potential by maximising the talents of all.”
Gemma Goulding from Seascale attended the event, she said: “As a project engineer I was keen to learn more about the Women in Nuclear concept.
“I didn’t expect to meet so many people from across the industry so it was a great networking opportunity. My daughter is a civil engineering apprentice and I’m keen for her to have access to female role models within the industry. I think WiN Cumbria will give us both a valuable support network with mentoring opportunities as we progresses through our careers.”
WiN UK was established in 2014 to increase the skills base in the nuclear industry by encouraging gender balance, improve the representation of women in leadership, engage with the public on nuclear issues and support the industry with tools and information.
The WiN Cumbria team will carry out objectives of WIN UK on a local basis and will engage with the local industry, support career progression through mentoring and networking. It also aims to attract younger females into the nuclear industry through engagement with local schools and universities.
Currently only 19% of the UK’s nuclear industry is female, and this number declines significantly at senior levels, statistics that WiN UK is working to change. There is strong evidence to suggest that an inclusive environment, with diverse teams, leads to better performance.
WiN UK has also developed an Industry Charter, which nuclear organisations are encouraged to sign to pledge their commitment to help address the current and future needs of the industry and tackle the UK skills shortage. The WiN Cumbria team will be encouraging local companies to sign the Charter.
For more information about WiN UK / WiN Cumbria