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  • by Karma Loveday

MOSL and IWater create toolkit to help the water sector boost diversity and inclusion

MOSL and the Institute of Water (IWater) have partnered to produce a toolkit for use by water sector organisations and others to support equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The partners noted while there has been some improvement in increasing the diversity of the water workforce, the sector has “a long way to go” – for instance, only 33% of the workforce is female, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds make up just 7% compared to a UK average of 13%. They said there also needs to be attention on people with disabilities and neurodiversity, and those from different age, sexual orientation and socio-economic groups.

They said: “As an industry, we need to get better at strengthening our processes, including recruitment and retention, and building better policies that foster inclusive work environments and more open conversations about what EDI really means in practice.”

The EDI toolkit is an interactive resource to allow individuals and companies to understand more about diversity, including:

  • The different types of protected characteristics

  • The importance of allyship

  • The dangers of unconscious bias

  • The power of privilege and structural inequality

  • The impact of language and communication.

It contains resource links, questions and exercises that can be used by companies as a framework for developing more diverse and inclusive cultures. It also points to toolkits developed in other sectors that delve into specific areas, such as anti-racism and social mobility.

EDI lead and chair of MOSL’s Diversity Society Abu Rashid commented: “MOSL and IWater are both organisations passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion, but we recognise that it can often be really difficult to have conversations about race, gender, disability and other sensitive topics. A lot of people worry about getting things wrong. We hope this toolkit acts as a useful resource and tool for companies to have more proactive conversations in a safe environment and arm people with facts and context.

“We encourage companies to dip in and out of the toolkit, use sections of it in discussions with their boards and senior leadership teams, put it under the noses of people not really interested in EDI – that’s how we can really start to make changes.”


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