Not Just For Boys – Welsh Water

27th October 2020

Chwarae Teg’s Not Just For Boys initiative has moved online, providing free 1 hour webinars for girls who are interested in careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Our webinars are a fun and interactive way of helping to keep girls inspired and motivated, whilst showcasing rewarding careers within STEM industries.

  • Discover what ‘a day in a life’ looks like working in a STEM industry.
  • Hear how they have been working in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Be inspired by their career journeys that will inspire the future generations.
  • Have the opportunity to ask the role models any questions around their careers

Join us this October half-term for discussions with five inspiring women working in a variety of STEM related roles at Dwr Cymru

Leanne Williams - Head of Programme

I work in the BIS (Business Information Services) department which is essentially Dwr Cymru’s internal IT department. As Head of programme, I’m responsible for the delivery of BIS Technology Projects and Programmes.

I graduated from Cardiff Uni in 1997 from a Maths and Computing degree. At the time of applying to University, I remember there being lots of encouragement for girls to get involved in traditional STEM courses, and that was over 20 years ago, it seems crazy that we’re still having to convince girls to get involved.

I’ve always worked in IT, but across 3 different industries, construction, software development and now a water utility. I couldn’t have picked more male dominated industries if I’d tried! It wasn’t a conscious decision but I’ve always been ambitious and so I followed routes that seemed to have the most progression opportunities.

In my first job out of Uni, I was working on a construction site supporting the roll out of technology, there were 100+ people on site, 5 of us were women, 1 secretary, 2 ladies in the site canteen, 1 painter decorator and me! I’m happy to say that would be unusual these days.

I started work in Dwr Cymru in 2012 as a BIS Project Manager, after 4 years an opportunity came up to apply for a Programme Manager role and I was asked why I hadn’t applied. I successfully applied a year later when another Programme Manager role became available, then 2 years later, the Head of Programme role became available. I wasn’t going to let my confidence hold me back this time!

Thayammal Soorianarayanan - Solution Architect

As a Solution Architect, I have been working with BIS team, Business Partners and Business stakeholders on developing solution design. My role is to provide solution options and design for the preferred option that fits with architecture vision and takes account of new requests for change and the demands of service delivery.

Sara Jones – Wastewater Programme Performance Manager

I currently work as a Programme Performance Manager within Capital Delivery Wastewater in Welsh Water. I’ve been working in this role for 18 months, the main aspects of this role are to report on the performance of our Capital Delivery Alliance (time, cost and quality) and look at ways to improve our performance. Previously, I worked as Asset Project Manager in Asset Strategy which involved maintaining and managing ISO 55000 accreditation and supporting improvement projects.

Prior to working in Welsh Water I spent 13 months working in Aerospace Repair and Manufacturing (Nordam Ltd) as an Industrial Engineer. My main responsibilities were to look at KPI’s, how I could save the company time, cost and improve quality as well as reverse engineering. I then moved into Automotive Engineer working as a Research and Development Engineer for Northern Automotive Systems ltd, managing New Product Introduction and research & design. I worked there for a little over 2 years and my main responsibilities were to roll out new products, improve the production process, travel around Europe to work with clients and develop new designs.

Keeley-Ann Kerr - Energy Optimisation Analyst

I am currently the Energy Optimisation Analyst, having recently completed my graduate scheme with Welsh Water. Before joining Welsh Water, I completed my BSc in Geography and MSc in Climate Change. My role involves analysing energy data and attending our wastewater sites to try and identify innovative ways of optimising energy usage. My previous roles on the graduate scheme included working on the Energy Projects Team helping to identify potential sites for renewable energy, the Energy Generation Team which looked at optimising our energy assets and doing carbon accounting for the company and running social media and communication for Welsh Water Organic Energy, a company which recycles food waste through anaerobic digestion.

Elly Hannigan Popp – Organisational Change Lead

As an experienced change manager, I am part of Dŵr Cymru’s digital transformation journey. Most recently my focus has been on delivering new technology to our field-based colleagues all whilst dealing with the challenges we are being faced from the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Our workforce is at the forefront of delivering services to the public and new technology is enabling them to work more mobile, be better connected all while continuously improving services to customers.

My career originally started out by studying at university gaining a BSc and Masters in Geography subjects. I have used the valuable transferable skills gained there to work at various third and public sector organisations for the last ten years, using and implementing digital tools to support them to gather accurate data and improve participation.