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Adriènne Kelbie steps down as Women in Nuclear UK Patron

Our Chief Executive, Adriènne Kelbie, is stepping down as Patron of Women in Nuclear UK (WiN UK), at the end of her extended 3-year term.

Adriènne has served as WiN UK’s first Patron since 2016, when she became ONR’s first female Executive Director and Chief Executive. Her patronage was extended for a further year in 2018. WiN UK’s mission is to address the industry’s gender balance, improving the representation of women in leadership, and engaging with the public on nuclear issues.

Jack Gritt, President of WiN UK, said: “We’re so grateful for the huge commitment and support that Adriènne has shown WiN during her time as Patron. She has made a significant positive impact on gender balance, not only in ONR, but right across the sector.

“Sharing her very personal experiences during numerous events, conferences and workshops, she has inspired many organisations and individuals to make a difference. Time and time again, after her speaking events, people tell us they feel inspired, empowered, enlightened, re-energised, and brave - and very ready to make a change. This is everything that we want for women in nuclear. I would like to extend my personal thanks to Adriènne for being a source of constant support and friendship since becoming part of WiN UK.”

Adriènne said: “It has been an honour to serve WiN UK. Three years have flown by, and we are all benefitting from continued energy and enthusiasm for an all-important inclusion agenda. It’s striking to me, having spoken to over 5,000 people on three continents, how much stronger we are when we work in diverse groups and teams.

“Time and again, common barriers arise: a lack of thought when establishing teams, a lack of confidence to speak up, a lack of awareness of how exclusion negatively affects performance. This is compounded by a shortage in STEM skills across the UK – which the sector must do more to address. I’m genuinely happy to have been helpful in raising awareness.

“I’m grateful to everyone who gives their time voluntarily to WiN and for our industry sponsors who help make tangible change happen. At a strategic level, we’re proud that the Nuclear Sector Deal acknowledges the need to increase women in the nuclear workforce by 2030. And at a local level, our WiN regional teams are stronger than ever, showcasing how inclusion can be made a reality in every organisation. Above all, I believe that cultural inclusion in the nuclear sector is now a mainstream topic, not a marginal tick box.

“Inclusion is not a task to me, it’s a mindset. So I will of course continue to drive progress and lead the necessary change to promote inclusion in our sector as standard, so that the best possible decisions can be made, by diverse teams, in the name of public safety.

“I thank the Board of ONR for supporting me in this role, and offer my thanks and admiration to everyone in WiN UK and especially to our Executive Committee, led by Jack Gritt. My thanks also to Jack for her strong leadership during a critical time for gender equality. I hope that our legacy will continue to inspire people, organisations and the sector, to benefit from a truly inclusive mindset.”

Adriènne continues to be a strong role model for women in the nuclear sector, she has driven positive change in ONR as we’ve become all round more inclusive, and will continue to drive this through our 2025 Strategy. For her work at ONR and beyond, she won a Northern Power Women award as Transformational Leader of the Year 2019.

Mark McAllister, ONR Chair, said: “I’d like to thank Adriènne, personally and on behalf of ONR, for her outstanding contribution and commitment in the role of WiN Patron over the last 3 years. Adriènne is a remarkably visible leader in promoting inclusion, making a difference both on a large scale and on an individual level to so many.

“Leading by example, her influence is already delivering benefits in the industry, and she’s steered ONR to set the standard in some areas, for example: driving an increasingly diverse workforce that has nearly reached the Nuclear Sector Deal target. I know her dedication to inclusion will continue, and that her impact will resonate for years to come.”