Liv Garfield CBE
A Chair’s perspective


If I could pick one thing that makes me proud about Severn Trent, it would be the culture that oozes from every site, no matter where I go across the business. It doesn’t happen by magic, or willing it to be so, it happens because day in and day out managers and leaders take actions that reinforce those great behaviours. It is a constant work in progress, through a collective sense of purpose that carries more weight, more influence than any one person or policy can ever do.
The same is true in our approach to diversity, we are only ever as good as the last action we agreed, the last decision that we took or the choice that we made. It matters how we hold ourselves to account on every appointment, on every promotion, on pay, on training and opportunity. But it also matters how we show up at work each day, how we think about the world, the way in which we make decisions and the way we organise ourselves. Because, for me, that is the essence of both diversity and inclusion.

When it comes to our gender diversity we’ve much to be proud of, but there is always more to be done. I work with brilliant women role models on the board, the Executive and across the leadership and management teams, yet despite significant steps forward we are still under represented in some operational roles and we need to inspire young women to see the amazing opportunities that exist. And, of course, to continue our work to increase the representation of black, Asian and other ethnically diverse women, particularly in senior management and leadership roles, where across businesses they remain even more underrepresented than white women.

Leadership is a constant, no matter what our past performance, we can all always do more to be representative of the communities that we serve, to be welcoming and inclusive of all, to champion and promote the very best talent. We shouldn’t see that as daunting or dull, but as exactly the kind of exciting challenge on which, as leaders, we all thrive.

February 2021