The subject of diversity, equality and inclusion is of vital importance to our sector, and at the Institute of Water we are proud to be taking a leading role on these subjects particularly within the science and engineering fields. We have recently completed our annual benchmarking exercise, comparing ourselves to other professional bodies using the Royal Academy of Engineering and Science Council Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework. I’m delighted to report that we compare very favourably, and we have continued to proceed at pace through the framework.

One of the items which we have strengthened following this benchmarking exercise is our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy, and the associated action plan. Both documents have been approved by the Board, the Area Forum and the Membership & Standards Committee, and as well as publishing these on our website, I’m pleased to be present them to you here. Diversity, Equality and Inclusion will be a standing agenda item at Annual General Meetings moving forward, and we will continue to provide regular updates on progress with our action plan.

Our Policy:

The Institute of Water is committed to a policy of inclusion and equality for all its staff, members and stakeholders. We recognise the value that a diverse water industry brings to society, and we are committed to promoting these benefits. We aim to be representative of the industry whom we serve, and to ensure that there are no barriers to membership.

We are signatories of the Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity Concordat and the Science Council Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

We will:

  • Have a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Champion from within our Board of Directors.
  • Have a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Action Plan, which is regularly reviewed.
  • Ensure that our staff, our Board, all Committees and our volunteer communities have an understanding of their role in ensuring that our membership offering is fully inclusive to all individuals and also to all organisations irrespective of their size, and we will provide training on unconscious bias as necessary.
  • Benchmark ourselves at least annually against other professional bodies using the Royal Academy of Engineering and Science Council Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework, and will seek to progress through the Framework.
  • Benchmark our membership against employers in the sector.
  • Report progress with delivery of our action plan at our Annual General Meeting.
  • Deliver initiatives which enable us to promote under-represented groups.
  • Encourage diversity among our volunteer communities, in particular our Committees.
  • Support the principle of equal opportunities for our staff, by seeking feedback and taking action as needed.
  • Keep our policy under regular review.

Our Action Plan:

  • Form a Working Group to review the Science Council & Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework, and to develop a plan for progression through the levels.
  • Gather further data from organisations within our sector on diversity to benchmark the diversity of our membership against the sector we serve, including gaining an understanding of any regional variations.
  • Continue to raise awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion among all Committees and our Board, challenging these groups to ensure that they are diverse in their composition.
  • Identify suitable training on unconscious bias for our volunteer community, and develop a delivery plan.
  • Gather feedback from our staff, and take any action as necessary.

For more information on this policy and what we have done to meet this, contact info@instituteofwater.org.uk