“Without the contribution of the many women helping to shape our history, the Met Office would not be what it is today.” That is the comment from Tammy Lillie – the Met Office’s Chief People Officer – on the day the organisation learns it is recognised on the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women list.
The foundation of the accreditation stems from a staff survey where employees cited those qualities which for them mean the Met Office is a great place to work. The accreditation is awarded by Great Place to Work UK and ranks ‘super-large’ organisations (>1,000 employees) against others in the pool. The Met Office has earned the 54th place on the list of eligible organisations.
Tammy added: “We are proud to have seen a near 50% increase in the number of women working at the Met Office over the last 14 years. But we are most proud that the majority of those women feel so strongly about working at the Met Office that they have provided feedback for the Met Office in such a positive way. It helps us on our journey to make the Met Office a welcoming environment and one where everyone can thrive. But we know we can take that journey further.”
Some of the ways in which the Met Office has improved the working environment for everyone including women are: flexible working including working from home; work on gender parity; and the development of staff networks to champion women’s issues. Tammy added: “We believe and trust that all of these improvements mean a lot to working women, especially the many who have families or caring responsibilities. But in addition, 98% of our female colleagues told us that they feel the Met Office is a physically-safe place to make a career.”
Dr Freya Garry is an early-career scientist at the Met Office, Head of the Women in Climate network and one of those cohort of people who have joined in the last decade. She said: “It’s wonderful news that the Met Office has been recognised by Great Place to Work UK as one of the ‘UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women’. We hope this will continue to inspire women and non-binary people to come and work here. We strive for an ever more inclusive and diverse workplace and have many active staff networks committed to achieving this. By having mixed teams, with different backgrounds, our diversity of thought helps us better achieve our aim to help us stay safe and thrive.”
Creating a space
Abi Mewse, a chartered accountant, is Head of the Women’s network at the Met Office. She comments: “I am delighted that the Met Office has been recognised by Great Place to Work UK. This is testament to our initiatives to improve equity as well as the underpinning work of our staff networks. The Women’s Network at the Met Office has been instrumental in creating a space for conversation, sharing experiences and advocating for change supported by the Met Office. I very much look forward to us continuing our successes and increasing diversity and equity.”