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International Women’s Day 2024

Inspiring Inclusion

Created as a day of collective global activism and to help pave the way for a world that embraces and celebrates gender equality, International Women’s Day (IWD) provides the platform to recognise achievements, highlight discrimination, and develop the necessary actions to drive change.     

By striving to create an inclusive and diverse world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, IWD offers the resources, understanding, and tools to help us get there. This year, the IWD campaign focuses on how to ‘Inspire Inclusion’, aiming to “forge a more inclusive world for women”.     

At 3t, inclusion and championing women is crucial, both internally as a team and externally in the difference we want to make within safety-critical industries. We are incredibly proud of the actions taken to ensure that women play a vital role throughout our divisions. We are on our journey to achieve equality, with 44% of colleagues across 3t being women.  

These opportunities have helped raise voices that were previously too often ignored, helping to establish new ideas and make a positive contribution to how we operate and how we can help maximise safety and competency in the workforce, futureproofing our industries. By embracing gender parity at the top levels of our organisation, we have witnessed the positive change trickle down in every facet of what we do, creating a positive and inclusive working environment.     

Our commitment to gender equality is reaffirmed in our work with the energy industry. In an industry that has historically had issues with gender equality and inclusion, a welcoming and transparent shift is needed to tackle bias and help deliver a successful energy transition and prosperous future.     

Launched in collaboration with Orsted, our recent ‘Women into Wind’ initiative is a live example, which was developed to address gender imbalance in the wind sector. Currently, only 5% of people working offshore in wind are female whilst the figure is just 21% for the wider wind sector.    

With a pipeline of projects on the horizon and targets in sight, it’s imperative that the industry doesn’t miss out on the contribution and skills that female workers can bring. The ‘Women into Wind’ initiative will offer twelve women the opportunity to train and work in one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors, resulting in guaranteed interviews, potential work placements, and employment opportunities.   

Despite this, we know there is still a lot of work ahead to achieve a true gender balance. 

The Journey Ahead  

We have asked some of our team to share their thoughts on the challenges women face within the industry and how we can better support raising voices and creating an inclusive environment. Here is what they had to say. 

Emma Howorth, General Manager – 3t Training Services, England 

“If we want a successful transition and a prosperous future for the energy industry, then women will play a critical role at every level. Studies have proven that having an equal gender split can make all the difference for a company’s fortunes. Because of the inherent qualities in women, female leaders can help to increase productivity, enhance collaboration, inspire organisational dedication and improve fairness.  

Right now, we are facing the challenge of breaking the belief that the energy industry is male-dominated, that’s why initiatives such as Women into Wind are vital. The industry is a growth sector and there is a wide range of opportunities available, we need to ensure that women have access to these careers. By positioning and supporting women in management and leadership roles, we can create the framework and role models that will empower more women to follow suit.” 

Sarah Dunne, GWO Instructor 

“The energy sector and renewables industry are often perceived as a male environment. But over recent years and across many other countries, we have seen more and more women coming through our doors for GWO training, which is great! Hopefully, the perception of ‘traditional roles’ is very much a thing of the past. Over 20 years ago, starting my career in a very male-dominated sector, I loved the challenge of changing perceptions, and I feel we are now moving in the right direction, and stereotypes are a thing of the past. The industry is so vast, with so many amazing roles and opportunities to see the world; it’s great to see so many women now exploring this career path.  

Gender equality and inclusion are vital in all areas of life, including the workplace. Everyone brings different skill sets and a different approach to work. Therefore, it’s valuable to any employer to have a wide and diverse workforce. In my role and throughout my career, the opportunity to influence and be a role model to women exploring future career paths in sectors perceived as male-dominated environments has been rewarding. I enjoy my role at 3t Training and feel valued and respected in the team I work with for my skills and knowledge as an equal. For any woman looking at a career in the industry, my advice would be to just go for it – believing in yourself and your ability can help break down barriers.” 

Annabel Leckenby, Group Marketing Director 

“Across all job roles and throughout industries, women are too often faced with the decision of being a mum or having a career. The financial needs of proper childcare are just not feasible for so many families and stop women from getting back into work, which means many have to step out of work for a period of time, slowing progression to the most senior roles. Support is needed not just from companies but on a political scale to ensure that women feel capable of pursuing career opportunities alongside having a stable family. How can we encourage women to get into traditionally male-dominated industries and more senior-level roles when the cost of childcare makes it not viable for so many?   

We need women in the industry to ensure that representation exists across the board to create a fair balance, raising historically marginalised voices and proving we can make a positive impact and display our skillset.” 

Saskia Koske, General Manager – 3t Managed Services 

“To this day, the energy industry has a significantly higher gender pay gap and a lower female-to-male ratio than the average labour market. Where other industries have made attempts to progress these issues, the energy industry has seemingly stagnated. Alongside this, there is a definite barrier to entry due to the perceived lack of female role models – especially in senior roles. Thankfully, this has improved in recent years with female representation and visibility in key roles and events.  

We are hearing a lot about the need to attract and retain top talent – and this has to include women. Targeting diverse backgrounds, avoiding confirmation bias, and addressing a wider market will lead to new skills, experience and innovative outcomes. I’d urge all women curious about a role in energy to trust themselves and go after the opportunities they want. Speak to your friends, ex-colleagues, and recruiters – you might be surprised by how companies are targeting progression and inclusion.” 

Lindsey Eastwood, Business Support Manager 

“Too regularly, women in the industry are forced sideways and not upwards. We aren’t often given the same opportunities to progress or are overlooked for senior roles in favour of male counterparts – despite skills or experience. So many women would love a chance to be part of this industry and could bring so much passion to it, but until attitudes change, there will never be equal opportunities. We see companies preach values, but they don’t always back this up with actions – we need commitment from senior leaders across the industry. 

Everyone deserves to feel empowered in their roles and be given equal opportunities to progress and succeed. I’d say to women considering an energy career not to be put off by the ‘old boys club’ mentality that still exists. Women have a place in this industry and are as valuable as the next person. Just stay focused, determined, and ready to fight for what you want… because you will have to!” 

Hiam Saad, Head of 3t Digital – MENA 

“The energy industry often requires tough physical work in remote places, whether deserts or offshore. This lifestyle, with long periods away from family, can discourage women from choosing careers in this field. Coupled with a lack of support from management and appropriate facilities for women across work sites reinforces a feeling of exclusion. Having worked in remote areas and experienced that exclusion, as a female engineer, I’ve been too familiar with not getting the same level of support as others.  

But with the increasing utilization of technology, new avenues are opening up for women to excel. We need to communicate that embarking on a career in the energy sector offers an exciting and dynamic journey filled with opportunities for growth and learning. You don’t have to conform to a masculine archetype; your input as a woman is essential for driving innovation and progress. Embrace your differences and recognize the positive impact you can make. You have the power to shape the future of the energy sector and make a lasting difference.”