International Women’s Day 2020 - Energising Diversity in Utilities and Construction

Energy Assets is helping to change the face of the utilities and construction industries for good, through a progressive approach that celebrates the contribution women make to our organisation.

We are a leading independent metering services and utility network construction and ownership business, and a main supporter of the Womens Utilities Network, and have embedded equal opportunities within our values to ensure that no role is off limits for women.

Loretta Manuel, Communications Engineer
(Pictured above)
Among recent recruits is Loretta Manuel, the company’s first female field-based engineer, who decided to swap cocktails for communications technology to open up a new career in utilities.

“Before I joined Energy Assets, I spent 15 years in the hospitality sector in London, serving in bars and waiting on tables, but then I saw an advert for communications engineers…and I wanted to find out more,” said Loretta.

Soon she was recruited onto Energy Assets’ communications team, training to install automated meter reading loggers on industrial and commercial gas meters

“At first, it was quite hard to get to grips with all the technical elements, but thanks to the thorough training programme and the support from everyone at the company, I soon realised I’d made the right decision.”

Loretta admits she still receives some ‘double-takes’ from customers when she arrives on site in what remains a male dominated environment, but she’s happy to be helping push the boundaries for women working in the energy sector.

She also gets a lot of interest in her new career from friends and she’s only too happy to tell them about what her job involves.

Said Loretta: “I just think that not enough women even consider a career as a metering engineer…it’s not even on their radar but I’m hoping to play my part in changing that. I find it a very rewarding job – you meet lots of people and the work is very satisfying.

“I also know that the company will help me achieve what I want to in the future - I know I can go on to become a meter installer, or maybe look at a completely different role, should I so choose.”

Caroline Dugdall, Business Development Manager, Energy Assets Utilities
(Pictured below)

In our utility construction division, Caroline Dugdall is applying her extensive knowledge of the building market to drive business development for Energy Assets Utilities (EAU) in Birstall.

“I love my job,” said Caroline. “Every day feels like a school day to me because I’m always learning something new. Before I joined EAU, I worked for another multi-utility provider as a project manager and previous to that in construction recruitment. Now I’m helping the company develop relationships with some of the biggest housebuilders in Britain, using my network of contacts.

“Although I’m relatively new to this role, what’s clear is that this is a progressive organisation prepared to embrace new ideas and offer encouragement, while at the same time acknowledging the importance of a proper work-life balance.”

Caroline is succeeding in raising EAU’s profile among housebuilders in the north east of England and is also opening up new opportunities for local energy network ownership.

“This is a progressive organisation, but we all know that more needs to be done to encourage women into our industry, particularly with today’s skills gap. I think the new GCSE in construction will help engage with young women, but I also think we need to highlight the opportunities in our industry at an even earlier stage in school so that girls understand that utilities and construction are not the sole preserve of men.”

Breaking down barriers
Jennifer Faichney, Head of HR at Energy Assets, said that the success of Loretta reflected our clear clear position that gender cannot be a barrier to recruitment or career progression. The company offers a diverse range of career opportunities, including apprenticeships, across its network of offices in what is one of Britain’s most vibrant industries.

She said: “We strive to be an employer of choice and this means enshrining equal opportunities for all and actively encouraging women across our organisation to fulfil their potential. This is a commitment we make publicly through our values and something we strive to ‘live’ every day through our corporate culture.”

Energy Assets is also an official sponsor of the Womens Utilities Network, which encourages greater industry diversity and opportunity for women in the utilities sector.

Energy Assets will also be supporting International Men’s Day in November.

If you're ambitious and looking for a rewarding career, check out our latest vacancies here. 

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