#BalanceForBetter - Women of the Waste World
The waste sector is generally seen as a male-dominated industry which rightly or wrongly is often the way it presents itself to the world.
However, the waste management sector is one of only three sectors across the UK that statistically pay women more than men. (LetsRecycle) It is reported that women earn approximately 7% more than the average man across every waste-related company that was part of the new Government initiative requiring businesses of over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap. (Gov.uk)
Even though women earn more on average in this sector, the reality is that there are still far fewer women working in the waste and recycling sector than men. The main issue with this is that a lack of gender diversity in the way the sector presents itself means it continues to be seen as male-dominated, and as a consequence, it struggles to attract young, skilled women into the workforce. This results in companies around the sector missing out on the innovation and fresh perspectives that diversity brings to any industry.
Beverley Simonson is a Local Authority Support Manager at the London Waste & Recycling Board (LWARB). She is part of the Resource London programme team, who are responsible for working with waste authorities across the capital with the aim of reinvigorating London’s household recycling rate.
Beverley has been working closely with RWM to create the Women in Waste panel debate and commented; “I’m really happy to support RWM in shaping the Women in Waste panel debate. Having worked in the industry for over 17 years, I’ve seen a large increase in women working in the sector but they’re so often under-represented at events like this. This panel will help showcase women in the industry, encourage companies to support diversity internally and hopefully encourage all attendees to look at diversity as a genuine opportunity, not just a tick-box exercise imposed on them by others.”
Announcing The Women in Waste Panel Debate
The Women in Waste panel debate will run over both days at RWM and will consist of six speakers and one chairperson - Beverley. The panel will consist of both men and women, so the panellists will discuss a wide range of topics including the accomplishments of women in waste, the challenges they have faced, and how they overcame them.
The panel is designed to engage not only women but men too. It is important that women see their work recognised and rewarded in the waste sector, making it a more attractive industry to work in. However, it is equally important that the sector as a whole recognises the importance of greater gender representation and the positive results it can bring for both individual businesses and the wider industry.
RWM fully supports International Women’s Day and its #BalanceForBetter theme. Building on feedback from last year’s show, we established the need for better gender representation in our speaker lineup. As a direct result, RWM will host a range of workshops, keynotes and panels in 2019 with better gender representation, including the Women in Waste panel debate.