Pam Elardo is Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment at New York City Department of Environmental Protection. She visited the WEFTEC Live studio in October 2021 to discuss the evolving landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the water sector, what actions we can take individually and organizationally, and the effects that these actions can have. At WEFTEC, Pam also helped facilitate a peer-to-peer Learning Exchanges focused on LGBTQ+ issues in the workforce, and she talked about her personal journey in water.
Megan Yoo-Schneider is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County and President of Seven Management and Consulting. Donnell Duncan is an Associate Vice President at Arcadis. In this episode Megan and Donnell discuss the efforts by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within the organization, among its membership, and across the water sector. They talk about the ongoing work and expected impact of the DE&I Subcommittee of the WEF Board of Trustees and the DE&I Work Group of the House of Delegates. Megan and Donnell explain why they volunteer their time and that transformation in the water sector will be a process. Learn more about WEF’s DE&I work on this web page.
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.
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.
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.