Editor, UBM

December 11, 2015

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Causing a revolution – Women in Health and Safety Christmas party

Wonderwoman poses

Wonder Woman poses, as prescribed by Anna Keen

Wednesday night saw a celebration of Women in Health and Safety as four fantastic speakers took to the stage in Blackfriars, London to explain why celebrating diversity is such an important part of their lives.

Compered by Heather Beach, director OSH, UBM Plc, she explained how she came to establish the Women in Health and Safety network after a personal journey through working at UBM and being asked to join a focus group to establish why there aren’t more women on the board.

Karl Simons

Karl Simons discusses how diversity fits into Thames Water

Referencing John Green’s speech on how ‘Safety is Broken’, Heather urged the 150 people in the room to start a revolution to change the way that health and safety is delivered. She also encouraged everyone in the room to register for a 1,000 person strong event taking place at Safety & Health Expo in 2016.

Next up to the stage was Karl Simons, head of health, safety and wellbeing at Thames Water who had generously sponsored the event to explain how diversity fits into the programme at the company. He explained how his team had reached a gender split of 40/60 women and men and how he was working hard to make changes as inclusively as possible.

Pamela McInroy

Pamela McInroy discuss diversity and inclusion at Crossrail

Following Karl’s talk, Pamela McInroy, diversity and inclusion specialist at Crossrail took to the stage to explain how, with her background in women’s studies and a passion for diversity, she had spotted that there was room for diversity and inclusion to sit under health and safety at the £14.8 billion project.

She spoke of how it feels to be a minority, especially on a construction site, and recognising that the health and safety issues that surround one person on a site might be completely different for the next.

Anna Keen encouraging the room to take a Wonder Woman stance

Anna Keen encouraging the room to take a Wonder Woman stance

Last to the stage was Anna Keen from Acre, who introduced a new benchmarking tool which allows the assessment of behavioural competencies in aiding professional development. It helps to identify the areas in which people excel and can also highlight those areas that might need development.

Showing a picture of Wonder Woman, Anna urged everyone in the room to take on a power stance to instantly feel more confident, and it worked at treat, with the entire room standing feet squarely apart, hands on hips and heads held high.

After thanking the organisers, there was a real buzz of excitement as Heather introduced the networking game for the evening, where a card had to be filled in by going around and talking to different people and tweeting photos with each of their new connections.

This Christmas celebration was the culmination of a fantastic year for Women in Health and Safety, which debuted its first event in June 2015, and looked forward to a successful continuation in 2016.

For more photos of the evening, take a look at the Safety and Health Practitioner Facebook page.

To be informed of future Women in Health and Safety events, join our group on LinkedIn.

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