I was delighted yesterday to address the Women in Nuclear UK conference. It is imperative that we empower women now and for the future. A great number of British women have inspired us throughout history, succeeding against all the odds, to blaze a trail for future generations to follow.
From Dorothy Hodgkin, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964, to Helen Sharman who was the first British woman in space, there are many women through history who have paved the way, but there is also a great deal more to do.
The World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Report ranks 145 economies according to how well they leverage their female talent pool. The UK is in 18th place, up from 26th place in 2014. Iceland holds the top spot, 5 years in a row, with three Nordic countries following close behind.
According to PwC, more than two thirds of the UK’s biggest 100 energy companies fail to count a single woman on their boards. In the nuclear industry, only 8 women hold board positions out of the 100 positions available. Additionally, the NIA reports that of its members’ - 64,000 employees - only 17 per cent are female. In engineering, IT and technical sectors, women earn on average £10k less than their male colleagues.
The nuclear industry can and must do much better than this.
Read my full speech on how we can chart a new and better path for the women of this country in a sector that welcomes women and one that provides the same opportunities as to their male counterparts.