OCU Celebrate International Women’s Day 2024

Posted on: Mar 08, 2024

Posted by: OCU Group

Today is International Women’s Day and we would like to introduce some of our “People” initiatives, and the names behind them, and yes they are women!

People Initiatives – building the future with gender diversity

Women can be underrepresented in the utilities sector, and this is why OCU HR Function is thrilled to introduce some of our new “People” initiatives which all have women spearheading them. This means the implementation of effective policies, programs, and practices aimed at attracting, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce. Let’s take a look and #inspireinclusion.

People Wellbeing

This initiative has been launched to focus on promoting the physical, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing of OCU employees. Part of this is the Employee Assistance Program, offering at a click access to wellbeing counsellors, podcasts, healthy recipes, mindfulness, yoga videos, how to improve your quality of sleep and much more.  This programme also provides ongoing training for Mental Health First Aiders and knowledge sharing sessions helping prepare each other to guide the workforce with the right support.

Key people:

  • Bethany Crook, Project Sponsor (OCU Junior Bid Manager)
  • Amy Hayward, HR Lead (OCU Regional HR Business Partner)
  • Gail Gordon, Project Sponsor (OCU Occupational Health and Wellbeing Project Lead)

Gail Gordon, OCU Occupational Health and Wellbeing Lead advises:

“We’re here to look holistically at all aspects of wellbeing, how to recognise signs and symptoms in ourselves and others. Providing advice on coping strategies and resilience.

People Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDI & B)

Our EDI &B initiatives are aimed at promoting equity of thought and opportunity throughout the Group by creating an inclusive work environment for all. This will include diversity training, inclusion of minority groups and ensuring throughout an employee lifecycle, equality is championed and equity is provided. In the coming months we will start to roll out some initiatives starting with an inclusive calendar of events. We look forward to your support and if you want to get involved in this exciting project, please reach out to Emma.

Key people:

  • Emma Morgan, Project Sponsor (Head of Group Finance)
  • Amy Foat Smith, Project Sponsor (Regional HR Business Partner)
  • Rebecca Morgan, HR Business Partner

People Engagement

This programme focuses on building initiatives aimed at acknowledging and rewarding employees for their contributions and achievements, including Employee Value Champions, Employee Performance Recognition and Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Key People:

  • Lucy Millar, Project Sponsor (Group HR Director)
  • Sam Hodge, Project Sponsor (MD OCU Opals)
  • Sarah Burns, HR Business Partner, NW and North Wales
  • Caitlan Court, Group HR Advisor

Operational Success

Alongside our “People” initiatives, leading our contracting achievements and growth is our operation teams and we’d like to celebrate these also.

Lisa Thewsey, Head of Street Works North/North West, said:

I consider myself to be approachable and the revolving door at my desk would suggest that to be true, as working mum’s we can relate to most of the staff in our office and encourage all to have a healthy work balance. We will be celebrating International Women’s day for the 2nd Year running in Seacroft, ensuring all our team know how grateful we are for there hard work and support and just to let them know how fabulous they are, all the staff will have the opportunity to vote or leave a kind note for the most inspirational colleague. Sally Robson is my Inspirational colleague who keeps me sane most days and always has my back and her passion to deliver the best service to contracts is amazing.


  • Lisa Thewsey, Head of Street Works North/North West
  • Sally Robson, Contract Support Manager


  • Claire Whales, Office Manager


  • Olivia Woodham, Support Services Administrator
  • Vanessa Luffrum, Payroll & Office Manager
  • Simona Slevas, Quantity Surveyor
  • Alina Mone, Environmental Advisor

The more diverse the team, the more amazing things we can achieve together! So, get ready to see some positive changes happening at OCU, thanks to our fabulous women-powered initiatives and also thank you to our entire OCU family, we hope that everyone is actively helping to break down barriers women face within this industry – #inspireinclusivity!