WaterAid recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women in 2018

Posted by
Laura Crowley
9 July 2018
Girls and women, How we're run
Thumbnail WaterAid/Sibtain Haider Members of a school water and sanitation group stand in front of their new toilet in Pakistan.

WaterAid has become the first international charity to be recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women in the ranking just published by Great Place to Work®.

This week, WaterAid was placed ninth out of only 15 medium-sized organisations (50-499 employees) to meet the strict criteria set by the largest survey of workplace cultures and people practices.

Margaret Batty, Director of Global Policy and Campaigns:

“Women are at the heart of everything we do. The burden of water collection typically falls to women and girls, while the impacts of dirty water and poor sanitation affects them disproportionately. Gaining access to clean water and decent toilets frees women’s time and improves health, enabling them to get an education, pursue a career, and take the first vital steps out of poverty. Meanwhile, ensuring women are central to the decision-making and management around the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene can also help empower women.

“At WaterAid, we believe women are crucial to driving change and we are proud to champion equality and invest in women’s leadership and empowerment – from community-based groups where we work, to our offices around the world.”

The charity has also been improving its policies around maternity leave and flexible working, and is also working hard to promote women’s career development.

At the most senior level of the organisation, WaterAid has strong female representation; across the seven members that make up our global federation, five of the Chief Executives are women. In the UK, women make up 67% of the Directors team and the UK Board is gender-balanced, with six women and five men.

Rachel Westcott, Director of People and Organisational Development, said:

“We are delighted that WaterAid has been recognised in the first ever ranking on the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women.

“We seek to create an environment that is supportive to everyone, so it is great to hear that 95% of women at WaterAid say they are treated fairly, regardless of their gender. We trust our staff to do their jobs and we aim to create an environment that enables people to work around their other responsibilities outside of work, demonstrated by 87% of women agreeing they are encouraged to balance their work and personal life, and 93% stating that they are able to take time off from work when necessary.”

Great Place to Work® states that to qualify for the list, and organisation must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 25% of the workforce are women
  • A minimum of 25% of senior roles are held by women
  • A minimum Trust Index score of 75% and less than 10% difference in the Trust Index between men and women
  • Favourable/equal or maximum 1% difference between men and women in response to the statement ‘people in my workplace are treated fairly regardless of their sex’

WaterAid’s new ranking in the list comes after the charity was placed 37 out of 66 medium-sized organisations to appear on the coveted list of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ following a rigorous staff survey and audit.


For more information, please contact:

Laura Crowley, PR Manager, at [email protected] or +44 (0)207 793 4965. Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors:


WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 34 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org/uk, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.

  • 844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.[1]

  • 2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]

  • Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]

  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]

  • Just £24 can provide one person with clean water.[5]

  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database www.WASHwatch.org

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[3] washwatch.org

[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage

[5] www.wateraid.org/uk


About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® UK is a consultancy specialising in workplace culture, helping organisations to create exceptional, high performing workplaces where employees feel trusted and valued. We help employers improve recruitment, retention and productivity by putting employees at the heart of the organisation, analysing what they think and feel and identifying the real issues that need to be addressed. Part of a global organisation, we apply data and insights from approximately 10,000 organisations across the world to benchmark individual performance and advise employers on how to continuously improve employee engagement and wellbeing and so help build and sustain business performance. We run the Best Workplaces™ awards to enable the organisations we work with celebrate their achievements, build their employer brand and inspire others to take action.