Today, on International Women in Engineering Day, is about recognising the women that contribute to the Energy & Utilities sector. Those who help shape their industry and the communities that they serve, day in and day out.
The female workforce at Northern Gas Networks is vital in how NGN #ShapeTheWorld and below are just a few incredible examples of how they are achieving this!
Connecting Homes for Health (CHfH) is a Network Innovation Allowance research project that Jill Walker, our Social Strategy Project Manager has been heavily involved in and describes for us here:
“The Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme (FPNES) is an obligation on all Gas Distribution Networks to connect households living in fuel poverty to the gas network. However, currently, health conditions are not part of eligibility criteria for applicants under the scheme. The CHfH project involved recruiting circa 100 households with cold-related ill health/ respiratory problems and connected them to the network, as well as providing first-time central heating. These pre-existing health conditions sadly, would not have been considered under the existing scheme.
Prior to having the intervention, living in one of these properties was almost comparable to a Dickensian existence. Poor living conditions existed with whole families living in one room because they simply could not afford to heat any more.
By having a gas connection, the lives within these households have been transformed in a hugely positive way, not only around their well-being, but also financially, meaning a real multitude of benefits can be realised.”
Jill believes that the learning and evidence from this pioneering project must be used, to inform future policies surrounding those with health conditions under the FPNES.
So how else do women at NGN #ShapeTheWorld?
Did you know about the pioneering ‘H21’ programme of projects?
NGN in conjunction with all of the UK Gas Distribution Networks, are working to provide the evidence to support the conversion of the UK gas networks from natural gas to hydrogen. This will reduce carbon emissions in line with the UK commitment to achieve net zero by 2050!
Stella Matthews, our Assistant H21 Project Manager, describes her involvement in the project as delivering hydrogen research projects, which investigate various aspects of the use of hydrogen on the gas distribution network. This requires her to manage every aspect of a project from design through to evaluation, commercials, stakeholder engagement and any associated events.
“I regularly meet with individuals working at the heart of Government who are responsible for making decisions on the future of energy and decarbonisation in the UK. Leading on projects that are providing the answers to support a solution to decarbonising the gas industry is extremely interesting and exciting. To be able to say that I am working on a key part of one of the solutions to decarbonising the energy industry and working to tackle climate change is something that I am extremely proud of.”
These are just two examples of their female workforce performing pivotal roles to #ShapeTheWorld.
"We’re aware that the energy industry is male-dominated, and we’re working hard to ensure that women are fairly represented in our workforce. We’ve joined forces with WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering), who were established in 1984 when it became apparent that a greater representation on women were required in the STEM sector. Further, we have been making changes such as using neutral language in our job adverts and providing UK leading family friendly policies such as offering full pay for the first 26 weeks of maternity leave."
NGN encourage their employees to champion women in our industry and they welcome the sharing of all ideas, to ensure they are constantly evolving.
It is so important that we celebrate the women who have a phenomenal influence across the Engineering community and recognise the huge contribution that they make, day in and day out.