Great British Nuclear Supports Leadership Role Gender Balance Initiative
26th January 2024
Great British Nuclear (GBN) has signed up to support a ground-breaking scheme to give senior board level opportunities within the nuclear industry to women.
GBN is partnering Women in Nuclear UK's (WiN) scheme to create and match senior leadership roles for women at boardroom level, providing the experience needed to equip them for future director and Board roles.
The new initiative aims to provide boardroom experience for women in key nuclear companies and organisations as part of a novel ‘matching’ scheme, whereby candidates are selected and offered bespoke training to match them to the needs of a leading nuclear business.
Along with other forward thinking organisations, GBN was quick to offer support for the scheme by creating a boardroom attendee space, which will see Eleri Joyce of Nuclear Restoration Services (NRS) participate in GBN Board meetings from January 2024.
Eleri is one of 10 women in the nuclear industry taking part in the initiative. She was selected to take part last year, and brings a wealth of experience having worked across nuclear generation, defueling and decommissioning. With over 18 years’ experience, Eleri currently leads on Business Improvement for the NRS fleet of decommissioning reactors.
Gwen Parry-Jones, Chief Executive of GBN, said the organisation was proud to support the aim of the WiN initiative to increase the number of women in senior positions across the UK nuclear industry:
I am delighted to announce Eleri Joyce has been appointed to Great British Nuclear as part of the Women in Nuclear Non-Executive Director (WiN-NED) Programme.
As a relatively new organisation looking to recruit industry experts to join us in delivering a new nuclear future for the UK, the aims of the WiN initiative particularly resonate with us.
GBN Chair, Simon Bowen, added, "Eleri brings a wealth of experience, most recently from her time in Magnox / Nuclear Restoration Services, and we aim to provide her with significant opportunities to learn and contribute to the development of GBN at this very exciting time for our industry.
We are in a position to lead the UK nuclear industry in many ways - and especially in its aspirations to improve the gender balance and improve the representation of women in leadership positions.
Ivan Baldwin, WiN UK President said:
We know that women are sorely under-represented at Board level in the nuclear industry.
This scheme will be a mutually beneficial development opportunity for both the participating companies and the successful candidates we place, increasing valuable diversity of thought.
Participating companies are WiN UK Charter signatories who have pledged their commitment to diversity across the nuclear sector and range in terms of size and complexity; from micro companies, SMEs to multi-nationals, and government arm’s length bodies like GBN.
The initiative supports WiN UK’s key target – to increase the proportion of women in senior management to 30% by 2030 (currently the industry average is 13%).
The pilot project will run for a year and demonstrate a successful recruitment, training and mentoring leadership programme and develop future NED mentors.
Great British Nuclear (GBN) is a government arm’s length body created to drive forward delivery of new nuclear generating capacity in the UK.
GBN launched a competitive process in April 2023 to select the appropriate Small Modular Reactor technologies with the intention of final selection by autumn 2023 to take 2 SMR projects to a Final Investment Decision by 2029.
The government’s recent Nuclear Roadmap clarified GBN’s wider roles as completion of the SMR competition. The Roadmap also made it clear GBN would have a broader role in delivering other parts of government’s civil nuclear programme. A third role would be as specialist nuclear advisor to government on a broad range of industry and sectoral barriers to investment and deployment of nuclear strategy beyond the SMR programme.
To this end, GBN has begun a recruitment drive and will transition from its founding secondee workforce to a full-time employee GBN workforce during 2024/2025.