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Supporting Women on the Water

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Women on the Water, which was set up by the Thames Skills Academy to support women working on the River Thames, has now launched a Lean in Circle. The first meeting took place on October 15th

The aims of the circle are to support women working on the river (both tidal and non-tidal), across different companies and to attract more women into operational roles.

The group hopes to encourage more diversity, by providing networking opportunities, to support all women in the sector through knowledge sharing and mentoring and to help position the industry as an attractive career choice for women.

The Lean in Circle is a small group of women who meet four times a year to support each other and learn new skills. It was set up by TSA’s Katherine Riggs and Jean Duprez, MBE.

CEO of Thames Skills Academy, Katherine Riggs, said: “Our group will be a place where we can be unapologetically ambitious, expand our networks, and help each other achieve our goals.

Katherine added that the Thames has traditionally been seen as a very male environment but that is beginning to change with more women now working on the water.

At each meeting, we’ll dive into a different topic ranging from identifying our strengths to combating gender bias at work. Lean In has teamed up with leading experts to create videos and activities that will guide our discussions.

Jean Duprez said: “Tailoring a network to a group with shared experiences is the best way to allow members to discuss and gain advice without judgement, this then helps tackle the challenges women face in the particular industry. Acknowledging gender issues within a company can propel awareness, improve the working environment and boost employee confidence.”

The speaker at the first meeting will be Lucy Howard, UK Head of Transport for Turner & Townsend.

Lucy is a Chartered Civil Engineer with broad experience in Central London construction of infrastructure and consultancy. She will be talking about her own experiences and sharing what Turner & Townsend have learnt from focusing on address the gender balance.

For more information please contact TSA’s communications officer, Amber Henshaw, at


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