Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core principles to the Water Environment Federation's mission. We are committed to creating an organization that acknowledges and celebrates our unique differences and that includes bringing you a full slate of DEI programming at WEFTEC.
New at WEFTEC this year, Learning Exchanges bring together water sector professionals to share thier expertise and perspectives about trending themes, technologies, and topics in a small peer group. Three Learning Exchanges will focus on DEI
- Water Workforce – Rainbow Advocates (Monday, 10/18)
- Water Workforce - People of Color (Tuesday, 10/19)
- Water Workforce – Women in Water (Wednesday, 10/20)
On Sunday, October 17, Workshop 13: Transforming into Communities of the Future through Water Equity will focus on understanding existing dynamics, and considering innovative approaches and partnerships to transforming into communities' of the future through a water equity mission, and maximizing community benefits with water infrastructure investment through: possibilities of community and utility partnerships/outreach, expanding collaboration and supplier diversity, affordability programs for vulnerable communities, facilitating community resilience in the face of climate change, and integrating these triple bottom line factors into long-term watershed management and planning.
On Monday, October 18, you can register for Workshop 17: How to Increase Diversity and Foster Inclusion in your Organization. Organizations with more diverse and inclusive workforces are seeing better candidate attraction and more engaged employees – driving performance and increasing their competitive advantage. If organizations desire results, diversity and inclusion is exactly where they should focus their energy. We invite utility managers, utility staff, and workforce development professionals to participate in this interactive workshop on how to increase diversity and foster inclusion in your workforce. Participants will leave the workshop with a ready to implement toolkit as well as a greater understanding of what steps they can take to make actionable change in their organization.
Proactive Leveraging of Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Utility and Private Organizations
Tuesday, October 19 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Take a deep dive into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues to discover how you can create change within your organization. This session will analyze the successes and challenges of organizations that have initiated their own DE&I networks. After connecting with speakers, brainstorming with their neighbors, and sharing personal experiences participants will leave with an idea of DE&I programs that fit the needs of their organization.
Water Justice: How We Improve Water Equity
Wednesday, October 20 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
The three main focuses of this session will be identifying, acknowledging, and finding solutions to inequity. Attendees are encouraged to attend this session where they will hear different experiences and success stories surrounding dealing with water inequity. There will also be an opportunity during short discussion breaks to share personal challenges and knowledge.
SDG 6 Theater and Innovation Pavilion
There are several additional DE&I related presentations throughout the Theaters and Pavilions. Subject matter presentations are listed below.
In the SDG 6 Theater
- UNLEASH USA Hacks 2021, which was about equity in Alabama
- InFLOW Alumni Session
- Session on Global Hygiene - Maria Claudia Reed and Grace Richardson
- Disadvantaged Communities Initiative - Jeff Mosher, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
- Gicumbi Decentralized Fecal Sludge Treatment Plant - Julie Kauffman, Water for People
In the Innovation Pavilion:
- Modular, Decentralized Wastewater Treatment: A Promising Solution in the Fight against Day Zero for the American Southwest and Beyond - Ashutosh Sharma, Aquatech
- Smart Citizen Science: Engaging Communities in Credible Water Quality Monitoring - Max Herzog, Cleveland Water Alliance
WEF's Commitment to DEI
Learn more about WEF's activities and commitments surronfing DEI at www.wef.org/DEI.