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And the WiNner is…. Team Cumbria

WiN Cumbria team members with Trudy Harrison MP at the statue of Millicent Fawcett, the suffragist leader and social campaigner, which was unveiled in Parliament Square in 2018

A team of volunteers from Cumbria has won a national award for their work to address gender balance in the nuclear industry.

WiN Cumbria was named ‘best regional team’ at the annual Women in Nuclear (WiN) UK conference in London.

The team was praised by WiN UK President, Jack Gritt, for establishing a powerful community of local organisations and individuals working together to achieve gender diversity within the Cumbrian workforce.

MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison said: “I am absolutely delighted that the WiN Cumbria team is being recognised for their vital work to improve gender balance in industry.

“I met with members of the team before the conference and the energy and passion they have for their mission is phenomenal.

“In just a year they are already provided a national platform for our region as a vital contributor to the UK economy, and I look forward to continuing my work with them to build on this momentum.”

Chair of the WiN Cumbria, Claire Gallery-Strong said: “We are completely overwhelmed by this award after what has been a whirlwind year since our launch in March 2018.

“We have a fantastic group of dedicated volunteers giving up their own time to ensure we progress in creating an inclusive and fair environment that helps attract, retain and build a diverse workforce of the future, for Cumbria and the UK.

“I’d like to thank our employers and advocates, who have shown an incredible amount of support.

“From building an influential community of businesses, individuals and advocates, providing training and mentoring, leading campaigns across the county to enhance visibility of role models, helping host the iconic suffrage flag and supporting the community when in need – we feel WiN Cumbria has become an integral part of Cumbrian industry.

“We look forward to continuing our mission to create an inclusive and fair environment that helps attract, retain and build a diverse workforce of the future, for Cumbria and the UK.”

WiN UK’s mission is to address the industry’s gender balance, to improve the representation of women in leadership, and to engage with the public on nuclear issues.

Recognising the unique contribution that the county makes to the nuclear sector, ‘WiN UK’ launched a dedicated Cumbria branch on International Women’s Day (8 March 2018).

The group is set to mark one year since its launch with a ‘first birthday bash’ , again on International Women’s Day (8 March 2019) at the Energus centre, Lillyhall.

It will gather businesses and individuals from across Cumbria to celebrate the achievements of the branch, and discuss what still needs to be done to progress gender balance in the nuclear sector.

To book a place or apply for a free ‘Golden ticket’ please contact WiN Cumbria at [email protected]

Cumbria is home to a skilled nuclear workforce of 27,000 people, and was one of the first places to establish a WiN regional team because of its strong nuclear links, with decommissioning at Sellafield, the building of submarines by BAE Systems, the National Nuclear Laboratory, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Low Level Waste Repository.

The WiN Cumbria team (made up of volunteers) is carrying out the objectives of WIN UK on a local basis, engaging with Cumbria businesses and supporting career progression through mentoring and networking. It also aims to attract younger women into the nuclear industry through engagement with local schools and universities.

Currently only 22% 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.

The awards will be announced at the annual WiN UK conference in London on 30 January 2019.

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