What’s in store for 2022?

Formed in 2018, Women in Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (WiFCERM) is a relatively new networking group, but in a short time we have supported hundreds of people who share our vision. We are focussed on women and those who line-manage them, but this is within a broader context of striving for gender equality for everyone, and as such, we are open to all. 

This year we will be holding networking events, mentoring 160 women across the industry to support their careers, celebrating outstanding individuals and organisations that share our vision through our awards, measuring the progress we’re making towards gender equality and supporting our regional groups. We will be marking International Women’s Day on 8th March #BreaktheBias celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

Having worked in the sector for over 15 years, I want promote gender equality and support women in their careers. It’s not always been easy for me in the sector; I recall walking into a depot for a meeting at the beginning of my career with a calendar of topless women on the wall. I still remember how that made me feel and the email I wrote about it! Unthinkable now, and shows the seismic changes for the support, inclusion and respect across the sector for greater equality.

I recently became the strategic lead for WiFCERM, but what does that mean? It means working with you all to promote the vision of WiFCERM and creating networking events, information and experiences to support you.

What will we achieve in 2022?

Mentoring – following on from our hugely successful programme last year, we will be launching our mentoring programme in Spring, covering nine topics including personal presence and resilience, getting ahead in your career, becoming a good leader and work life balance. Find out more here.

Awards – celebrating incredible people who pro-actively influence and promote gender balance is so important to the sector. At the Flood and Coast Conference 2022, we’ll be giving three awards to recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations making a difference. Read more about the awards here.

Networking – national and regional, virtual or face to face events offer members an opportunity to meet, network and form connections. Our events offer an opportunity to share experiences and advice from speakers from the FCERM community. We will also be hosting a networking event at the Flood and Coast Conference 2022 in June, so please come along. Details of events will be added here.

Baselining – to help us understand how the sector is moving towards gender balance, it’s important we can track policies and issues relating to women and understand what women need support in. To do this we will survey the sector during the year.

I hope you can get involved in at least one of the activities mentioned above. We’d love to grow our network further this year, so please do pass details on to any colleagues who might be interested.

Wendy Brooks

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