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

Inspiring Women in Water

March 8, 2019

To mark International Women’s Day 2019, here are 15 podcast episodes from the past year that feature influential and inspiring women in water.

Eleanor Allen on Water for People
Eleanor explains the organization’s model of water for Everyone Forever, which has to date provided service to 3.3 million people. 

Jenelle Armstrong on Leadership, Women in Water, and Veterans
Jenelle talks about how her time at the U.S. Naval Academy shaped her views on leadership and prepared her to be a woman in the male-dominated water industry. 

Cathy Bailey on Lead in Drinking Water
Cathy discusses her rise from a chemist working nights to the first woman and African-American to lead the utility in its 200-year history.

Ingrid Bella on BAYWORK
Ingrid discusses the origins of BAYWORK, its focus on showcasing water sector jobs to students and educators, and the many resources available to help utilities address workforce challenges.

Haley Falconer on Sustainability in Boise
Haley discusses managing environmental services for one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and how water fits in the portfolio with energy, waste, and air quality.

Manon Fisher on Addressing Climate Change with Biosolids
Manon discusses the role of biosolids in addressing climate change — including through carbon sequestration – and in building environmental literacy in a community.

Abigail Gardner on Public Opinion Poll Results
Abigail talks about the results of a public opinion poll that found 88 percent of voters support increasing federal investment to rebuild America’s water infrastructure and how that support cuts across age, gender, political party, and geography. 

Sidney Innerebner on Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals
Sidney discusses how the new Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals provide a one-stop shop for operators to gain the information needed to do their jobs. 

Marleah LaBelle on Alaska Native Villages
Marleah discusses the challenges with drinking water and sanitation in Alaska Native villages, which includes about 3,000 households with no service.

Karen Pallansch on the Utility of the Future
Karen talks about the Utility of the Future concept and how wastewater treatment plants are transforming into water resource recovery facilities. 

Melissa Pomales on Puerto Rico’s Recovery from Hurricane Maria
Melissa tells her personal and professional stories of the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on her home island. 

Kishia Powell on Atlanta’s Community Investments
Kishia discusses Atlanta’s extensive use of green infrastructure, including using it to create public spaces such as the Historic Fourth Ward Park and to educate citizens on water management.

Angeliki Rigos on Scientists as Advocates and Leaders
Angeliki says more scientists should be active advocates for sustainability and that she encourages women scientists to become leaders in society.

Britt Sheinbaum on Conflict and Resolution
Britt discusses her view that water conflict is an opportunity for cooperation, the role of water scarcity in tensions in places like Syria, and the remarkable cooperation found along transboundary waters.

Kathryn Sorenson on Water in Phoenix
Kathryn discusses how the utility collects, distributes, and treats water in the desert home of the fifth-most populated city in the United States.

Words On Water #67: Jenelle Armstrong on Leadership, Women in Water, and Veterans

December 3, 2018

Jenelle Armstrong is the Utility Division Manager of The Thrasher Group. In this episode, Jenelle talks about how her time at the U.S. Naval Academy shaped her views on leadership and prepared her to be a woman in the male-dominated water industry. She also explains why military veterans make outstanding employees and are a great fit for the water sector, particularly because of their skill set, problem-solving ability, and public service mindset. Jenelle discusses the experience of living through the 2014 drinking water crisis in Charleston, West Virginia and what led her to create the hashtag #WipesClogPipes.

Episode #
Hosted by Travis Loop