Thames Water sees female applicants increase for technician role

Thames Water sees female applicants for sewage technician role increase from 8% to 46% after cutting ‘masculine’ words like ‘champion’ and ‘competition’ from the job advert

  • Company used an online tool to detect ‘masculine-coded’ words in job postings 
  • After changing wording, women applying to technician role rose to 46 per cent
  • It used phrases like ‘we welcome people who want to learn and be team players’
  • The initiative comes as today marks International Women In Engineering Day

Thames Water has seen females applicants for a sewage technician role increase from eight per cent to 46 per cent after cutting ‘masculine’ words like ‘champion’, ‘confident’ and ‘competitive’ from the job advert.  

The company used an online tool to detect hidden meanings in language and highlight the ‘masculine-coded’ phrases.

After changing the wording to include descriptions such as ‘we welcome people who want to learn and be team players’ instead, the number of applications from women for its £13-an-hour process technician post rose.

Mother-of-one Rachel Trigg, 24, who recently started working at Thames Water. The company used an online tool to detect ‘masculine-coded’ words in its job postings

Rachael Trigg, 24, recently started working at Thames Water on maintenance and repairs at Chieveley Sewage Works in Newbury, Berkshire.

The mother-of-one said she ‘really liked the sound’ of the role after being made redundant and spotting it on her CV library. 

She said: ‘There might be certain things I can’t do, like heavy lifting, but we’re a team so we help each other out. 

‘I don’t see anything here that makes it a male-specific role. Women are really missing out if they think a job like this isn’t for them.’

The initiative to recruit more women into manual frontline roles came from Thames Water’s Women’s Network, as today marks International Women In Engineering Day.

Pablo Stevens, Chieveley site manager, said: ‘The sex of someone is irrelevant. If they can get the job done, that’s all that matters. 

The initiative to recruit more women into manual frontline roles came from Thames Water’s Women’s Network, as today marks International Women In Engineering Day (file photo)

‘I would say to other women that we’re a fantastically diverse company and the opportunity to progress is amazing.’ 

Thames Water’s Lucia Farrance, who led the project, said: ‘In order to bring about real change, women need more seats at the table and I am really proud that this initiative is starting to achieve just that. 

‘There is a huge pool of untapped female talent out there and it’ is great to see some of that showing through in the recruits coming into the frontline teams at Thames Water.

‘We are extremely passionate about championing the importance and benefits of a diverse and equal workforce. Gender should never be a barrier.’

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