Tetra Tech’s Gender Equality Group interviewed Division President Craig Hatch, where he discussed female leadership, mentoring, and why female innovation is integral to the future of STEM.

1. What does it mean to you to be on the Northern Power Women Advocacy List? 

It means a lot to be recognised in this way by an organisation I have so much respect for. It’s humbling to be included alongside a group of people doing so much in their own areas to make a positive change to gender equality.

To be nominated by two senior colleagues/peers in the first instance was great, but to be selected onto the list of 20 from 1400 applicants is a great honour. My Mum would be very proud!

2. There’s been a significant shift in senior female representation under your leadership. What actions did you take to diversify your senior teams?

Inequity at a leadership level is an issue across the engineering consulting profession. We recognised the problem, and alongside other colleagues, set about doing what we could to take actions to correct it in our business.

We set DEI representation targets which we measure and hold ourselves accountable to. We’ve also established a mentoring programme and created a fully flexible and agile working environment to consider personal commitments. Alongside this, we recruited some fantastic female leaders, and continually look to open the door for women to represent us at all levels.

3. What is your view on gender pay gap reporting? 

It’s important to consider key indicators, specifically the trends around these, so gender pay gap reporting certainly serves an important purpose. And while it’s not the only consideration, it is one that helps to hold all businesses accountable.

4. What support does Tetra Tech offer to women experiencing the menopause?

We recognise that the menopause can have a significant impact on our team members and look to support them during this period of their lives. As stated above, we have flexible and agile working, and colleagues who are prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) during the menopause can claim the cost back through expenses.

We provide two separate guides on workplace menopause support – one for employees, and another for line managers. Maintaining an open dialogue and ensuring people feel supported is extremely important to us.

5. Organisations like Women in Nuclear, who you have regular involvement with and help to champion, work to improve representation in leadership roles. How important are organisations like these and how can they be supported?

I’m the son of an amazingly talented woman who did great things in her career but could’ve done so much more, and the brother of two incredibly strong sisters who achieved great things in their teaching careers. I’m also the husband of a wife who commits her whole being to being a carer for our disabled son and the father of a daughter who is a STEM professional. It’s therefore something that I just couldn’t ignore. I wanted to play my part in creating change.

Women in Nuclear was my first entry into advocacy and allyship. I learned so much through mentorship in how to be an ally from one of the WiN leaders, and committed my time and efforts in different ways, from providing mentorship, support for events and being a vocal advocate. I’ll always be grateful to WiN for this and for opening the door for others.

6. You’re an active part of our mentoring programme. What difference can mentoring/being a mentor make to underrepresented groups? 

I have a saying that there are only two things in life – time and people! Giving my time and experience to benefit others is a way of committing to impacting change. We all have experiences that can be shared with colleagues (as well as external contacts), and I take pride in openly sharing mine with other members of my business.

I’m also in my second year of reverse mentorship, which keeps me knowledgeable about things that impact colleagues throughout our business.

7. Do you have any female role models?

My Mum will always be my real hero and role model in how to conduct yourself in life. Also, my amazing wife pushes her close through her commitment to her work as a caregiver.

I’ve had some inspirational female line manager’s including J C Townend, who is now CEO of LHH. I really admire Deborah Meaden and her honest approach to business. The Lioness, Jill Scott, is also someone who’s spirited ‘no nonsense’ approach achieved the ultimate success it deserved.

 8. Why is International Women’s Day marked at Tetra Tech?

A day that celebrates a vital part of your business should be marked. Especially when there’s still ground to cover to ensure you’re cultivating that change I mentioned earlier.

We want the very best, and most driven women in the business to view us as I do – a place where female innovation is integral to our future. This allows us to not only recognise our deep pool of talented women already working here but lets future industry-changers know that we are waiting for them!

9. What advice would you give to females in the industry in regard to “leaving their mark” on what is currently a male dominated environment?

You have the opportunity to create something that’ll open the door for others. Yes, it’s still a long way from being a level playing field, but the more we see prominent female leaders, the more likely those role models will inspire others to fill their shoes.

Grab every opportunity there is, commit to your business, give time to colleagues and just be yourself, you are great, go and get it!

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