Two Severn Trent leaders named in ‘100 Women to Watch’ list

Wednesday 29th November

Two of Severn Trent’s senior leadership team, Sarah Bentley, Chief Customer Officer, and Jane Simpson, Head of Asset Creation, have been named in Cranfield University’s ‘100 Women to Watch’ list, further showing the company’s commitment to diversity,

Sarah Bentley, Severn Trent’s Chief Customer Officer is a member of the Executive Committee and runs the water and waste network as well as the retail operation and group technology.  She is responsible for the whole customer experience and providing great service to 3.5 million households and over 8 million customers across the Midlands and into Wales. 

Jane Simpson, as Head of Asset Creation, oversees 150 engineers in house and 1000 people in the supply chain, and manages £1.2bn worth of investment, including the company’s biggest ever engineering project to secure water supplies for over a million customers in Birmingham.

In 2009, Cranfield School of Management published The 100 Women to Watch. Now in its 8th year, it aims to highlight the broad and deep female talent pool for UK businesses to draw on, by showcasing different talent and, in so doing, refuting the myth that there is a limited supply of willing and able women to take on board-level accountability in UK listed companies. 

This year is not the first time that Severn Trent has been included in the list, in 2016 Bronagh Kennedy, General Counsel and Company Secretary, was one to watch and also in 2014, Liv Garfield, now Severn Trent’s CEO.

Severn Trent has a proud record of diversity, especially female representation, with women making up 44% of Severn Trent’s Board, 60% of the Executive Committee and 27% of the senior leadership team.  In addition, Severn Trent is ranked joint first in the FTSE 100 for female representation at Board level by the Hampton-Alexander review, and has recently reported a mean gender pay gap of just 2.4%, which is well below the national and industry averages.

Liv Garfield, CEO at Severn Trent, said: “I’m delighted that two of our leading women are recognised in the Cranfield University ‘100 Women to Watch’ list.  It’s a real honour to have our colleagues listed alongside so many talented women, and I think it’s important that we have strong female role models like Sarah and Jane.

“Diversity is really important to everyone at Severn Trent and we believe that successful businesses are those that embrace a diverse and inclusive culture that welcomes people from all walks of life.  But we know there’s always more to do in our ambition to go further and deliver more opportunities for everyone.”

Earlier this year, Severn Trent was named in the first-ever Social Mobility Employer Index as one of Britain’s top employers for the actions the company is taking to make sure everyone has the opportunity to find a job and to be promoted, regardless of their gender or background.