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Jersey Water appoints NEDs with anonymous process

Jersey Water appoints NEDs with anonymous process

Thursday 23 March 2023

Jersey Water appoints NEDs with anonymous process

Thursday 23 March 2023

Jersey Water has, for the first time, used an anonymous recruitment process to appoint two new non-executive directors to its Board.

With the aim of bringing greater diversity to its boardroom, Jersey Water shortlisted candidates without knowing their identities or backgrounds in a move the utility company said it hoped would remove unconscious bias from the selection process.

The company also wanted to give opportunities to applicants without prior non-executive experience.

Nearly 200 candidates from Jersey, the UK, and overseas applied for the roles – a record response for a Jersey Water recruitment campaign.

Donna Abel, Chief Executive Officer of Jersey Cheshire Home, and Jo Dow, Chief Executive of Scottish Water Business Stream Limited, were the successful candidates and joined the Board this month. 

Heather MacCallum, Chair of Jersey Water, described the anonymity of the recruitment process as "powerful".

She said: “Our aim was to bring greater diversity of thinking and experience to our Board, not just for good governance but for better decision-making for Jersey Water, our customers and stakeholders. We shortlisted candidates based on their answers to a series of questions, and only then did we receive their CVs. The anonymity was powerful.

"I am delighted that we attracted the level of talent and expertise that Donna and Jo offer, and I very much look forward to the different perspectives they will bring to Jersey Water’s Board.” 

Although 60% of the applicants were male, the final shortlist was 60% female. The two new appointments take the number of non-executive directors on Jersey Water’s Board to five.

On her successful appointment, Ms Abel said: “It is an honour to join the Board at Jersey Water, a company that plays such a vital role in Island life. I am excited to support the organisation as it continues to modernise its operations, to make sure that Jersey Water continues to meet the needs of our community now and for generations to come.” 

Joining the Board as one of three off-Island non-executives, Ms Dow added: “I was immediately struck by the ambitious and progressive team at Jersey Water. They have big plans for the future of the company and for their customers. With my utility experience, I aim to provide them with the support and guidance they need to make Jersey Water the best water supplier it can be with a leading reputation for customer service.” 

Holding a number of other non-executive directorships between them, the two new recruits were elected to the Board of Directors at Jersey Water’s Annual General Meeting on 22 March 2023.

Daragh McDermott, a non-executive director since 2016, stands down this month due to his commitments as CEO of JT Group Limited.  

Pictured top: Donna Abel and Jo Dow. (Chris James)

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