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Enthusiasm abounds at 1st Women in Nuclear (WiN UK) Regional Teams Conference


Members from the 10 WiN UK regional teams left their first conference enthused, after learning about each other’s recent successes and working together on initiatives to improve gender balance in the nuclear industry.

From the Scottish Highlands to North Wales, and from the East to the South of England, members of the different WiN regional teams travelled to EDF Energy’s conference facilities near Bridgwater in Somerset.

An initial tour of the construction site for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station left everyone feeling inspired. Delegates heard that, of the 4,000 workers currently on-site, approximately 20 per cent are female. Even more encouraging is that EDF are taking action to achieve their target for a truly gender-balanced workforce in the longer term.

With this positive view of the future in mind, the conference began with Jack Gritt, WiN UK’s President, giving an overview of the new strategic plan. This document proposes a structured framework for WiN UK to help achieve the Nuclear Sector deal’s vision of increasing the number of women working in UK’s nuclear industry to 40% by 2030.

Jack acknowledged that each WiN regional team faces its own distinct challenges. Whilst each team is driving towards achieving the same thing, it’s very much down to each region to decide what works best for their members and to tailor their activities to regional priorities. Each team should feel empowered, with their increasing number of volunteer ambassadors, to forge a way forward with activities that are right for their geographical area. The strategic plan sets the objectives and offers various ways or toolkits to help WiN volunteers achieve the mission.

Jack Gritt said: “You are all dedicated, busy, high volume individuals. That’s why you have all volunteered to take lead roles in WiN UK.  Your work for WiN further demonstrates your dedication to our industry, gender balance and wanting to make a difference. It also makes you doubly busy! You’re building teams and extending the reach of our messages and activities within your areas, creating a “fabulous critical mass.

“Today is about making connections and sharing ideas. It’s your networks, energy and conversations that will contribute to transforming our fascinating industry so that it has a thriving, diverse workforce.”

Attendees split into 3 workshop sessions to focus on challenges the industry faces in attracting and retaining women in various roles, and promoting dialogue within the industry, government and with the general public. Each group identified quick wins that they will take away to develop beyond the event.

Loretta Browne, who organised the event, said: “I am really excited by the achievements over the two days and really looking forward seeing the impact this will have on our mission.”

The WiN UK Executive and all attendees, from over 16 different companies across the UK, were particularly grateful to EDF Energy for hosting this productive meeting at their Cannington Court conference facilities in near Bridgwater and providing an inspiring tour of construction on the Hinkley Point C.