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🗣️ "Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"

Words on Water

Photo by Amy Elting / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Travis Loop
Guests: Megan Yoo-Schneider | Vice President of the Board of Directors | Municipal Water District of Orange County & President | Seven Management and Consulting & Donnell Duncan | Associate Vice President | Arcadis
Category: 🗣️ Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:23] MY-S: “The [Water Environment Federation (WEF)] board did formally create this subcommittee [for DEI] in September of 2020. But before that, there was over a year and a half of work as a task force and many other iterations and task forces and work groups that were centered around the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion […] as it applies to the water community and the water workforce.”

[4:07] MY-S: “There's a lot […] of different avenues and different aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion. […] Something that we explored even as a taskforce was really finding that creating a uniform definition on what diversity, equity and inclusion means. […] The World Economic Forum, calculated that at the current rate of change, we are 208 years away from equity between men and women in the United States. […] WEF being an international organization [with] tens of thousands of members from all different backgrounds, whether you work in the office or in the field, or in the lab, or, […] public outreach, or whether it may be being an engineer and operator, there's so many different facets of diversity that we could explore and then create that intentional inclusion.”

[8:17] DD: “The overall intention was to align the work of the subcommittee with WEF’s mission and critical objectives. So there are two strategic goals that […] became the foundation. […] That's one, […] to increase diversity and inclusiveness in the water sector through engagement and membership growth and then [the second goal], which promotes sector wide action toward development of a water workforce that is diverse and prepared to meet the future needs of the water sector.”

[8:54] DD: “What we expect at the end of this process is number one, an increased awareness of diversity as a whole, and an understanding of the need for the organization to demonstrate a culture of diversity. […] Our intention is to impact the culture of WEF and then use that to then impact the culture of the rest of the water industry, to be the ones that are having the right conversations, be the ones that are on the forefront, having the programming, having the content that demonstrates that we're serious about it, and […] go beyond just the surface level.”

[12:46] MY-S: “If we truly want to provide the best, most innovative and comprehensive solutions to our communities, if we truly want to be the best that we can be in making a positive impact for water, we have to be diverse, we have to be inclusive, and we have to have equity for all. […] Typically, when you have peacemaking discussions that involve two parties after a conflict, traditionally, it used to involve just men. But what they found as they involve more diverse groups and women and other perspectives, they were able to make peace negotiations that lasted two, three times longer.”

[22:10] MY-S: “One of the outcomes [of the committee is] putting together a policy, but it's also putting together that framework where we can enact it. […] 85% of the water workforce is currently male, 65% is currently white, and our median age of our workforce is much older than the median working age within the United States. And so we have some of those data points to work off of. […] When we talk about equity […] it's really important to recognize that when we're talking about equity, we're talking about gains for all, we're talking about benefits for all. […] And so especially for those of you who may fall into that category of being the 85% male and being the 65% white, there is a role for you to play in helping achieve equity for all and there are benefits for all of us […] collectively and […] for the industry as a whole.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 28 min | 🗓️ 05/12/2021
✅ Time saved: 26 min

Additional Links:
WEF: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion