WOW: Conversations on Equity… With Cathy Bailey, Randy Hayman, and Tony Parrott

September 21, 2020

Cathy Bailey is the Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Randy Hayman is the Commissioner and CEO of the Philadelphia Water Department, and Tony Parrott is CEO of Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District. In this episode they talk candidly about their experiences as Black Americans working in the water sector and reaching the level of utility executive, including sharing examples of discrimination and racism they encountered along the way. Cathy, Randy, and Tony discuss how it feels to be Black Americans in leadership positions and how utilities should address issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

This episode is part of a series of conversations on the Words On Water podcast about equity and the water sector. It is co-hosted by Travis Loop and Rahkia Nance.

WOW: Conversations On Equity… With Jackie Jarrell, Nikita Lingenfelter, and Stephen Sanders

August 5, 2020

Jackie Jarrell is the President of the Water Environment Federation and Interim Deputy Director at Charlotte Water, Nikita Lingenfelter is Speaker-Elect of the WEF House of Delegates and an Engineer with the State of Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, and Stephen Sanders is Director and Head Trainer at The Environmental Training Center at Morrisville State College. In this episode, they discuss how WEF has responded to the calls for equity for Black Americans and the work of WEF’s Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Nikita and Stephen talk about their experiences as Black Americans working in the water sector and how WEF can improve diversity and equity for its members and volunteers. They also share personal perspectives on racism in America.

This episode is part of a series of conversations on equity and the water sector. It is co-hosted by Travis Loop and Rahkia Nance.  

Words On Water #115: Ifetayor Venner on the Value of a Variety of Experiences

December 9, 2019

Ifetayo Venner is Water Sustainability Leader and Wastewater Service Line Leader at Arcadis and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Ifetayo explains how growing up in the Caribbean led her to work in water and how her varied educational experiences and degrees shaped her career. She talks about the reasons the water sector needs to increase its diversity, not just in gender and race, but also in skill sets, education, perspectives, and life background. Ifetayo discusses how students and young professionals should seek out a variety of experiences to discover the direction that is best for them.

Episode #115
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #114: Valerie Lucas on Connecting With the Public and the Rise of Women in Water

November 13, 2019

Valerie Lucas is the Executive Director of the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee. In this episode Valerie explains why the organization changed its name to better communicate with the public about the water sector’s work. She talks about collaborating with the Louisville water utilities and four breweries to create their version of Pure Water Brew called Next Round. Valerie also discusses how she has seen the role of women in water change during her career and why it is important to increase the number of women in the industry.

Episode #114
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #84: Mel Butcher on the Status of Women in the Water Workforce

April 2, 2019

Mel Butcher is an engineering consultant at Arcadis, facilitates a career support group for women in male-dominated fields called CollabSuite, and is launching a podcast for Empowering Women in Industry. In this episode, Mel discusses what the low number of women in the water workforce means for those individuals and the whole sector. She talks about challenges women continue to face, from overt sexism to unconscious bias, and how both male and female colleagues can be allies in addressing these obstacles. Mel also says that there are many opportunities for women to have an impact on solving water challenges and the sector should have more honest conversations about diversity and inclusion to better reflect the communities they serve.

Episode #84
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #69: InFLOW (Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water)

December 17, 2018

InFLOW is a new program from the Water Environment Federation that stands for Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water. In this episode, WEF staff Morgan Brown and Rahkia Nance explain that InFLOW identifies promising students from underrepresented minority groups who are interested in professional careers in the water industry and provides them scholarships to attend WEFTEC. In its first year, 16 students from Howard University, Tuskegee University, and the University of South Florida participated in the program. Three of those students – Maya Carrasquillo, Sigmund Skinner, and Faith Oviawe – discuss their experiences with InFLOW and perspectives on water careers.

Episode #69
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #58: Tom Kunetz on Priorities as WEF President

October 9, 2018

Tom Kunetz is the new President of the Board of Trustees for the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and Assistant Director of Monitoring and Research for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). In this episode, Tom discusses his priorities for the next year as WEF President, which include increasing the diversity of the water workforce and expanding resource recovery by utilities. He also talks about his work at MWRD, the rebound of the Chicago River, and his involvement in comedy.

Episode #58
Hosted by Travis Loop