Message to women: build and manage your own environment | Infrastructure news

The water industry has undergone a significant transformation, with an increase in the proportion of women holding senior and executive positions in local and global organizations.

By Bomkazi Vaza, lead: YWP Eastern Cape

The recent accomplishments of highly motivated women, the amazing results of their work, and the celebration of their successes have been a delight. As their professions progressed, many of these women are assisting younger women through initiatives involving water, offering guidance and a sense of belonging. We express our appreciation for the courage displayed by the women who have taken pride in working in fields where males dominate and have broken down doors to advance. Women have shown that they can produce high-quality work and can act as capable managers. The Women’s March of 1956 formed the groundwork for the presence of today’s strong, resilient women in the industries.

I would like to take this opportunity to promote greater gender equality and empowerment, as well as to reflect on several issues that affect women in the water sector, including access to water, decision-making and rights, as well as equipment and engineering gears that are designed for male users. The huge gender gap in the water sector is a result of the historically low representation of women in STEM fields.

The following factors should be considered, and the shift towards a more balanced sector where everyone can thrive will quicken:

  • Increase the number of female applicants qualified to be put in decision-making positions by introducing more women to education and training
  • Have women representatives in the water sector be role models and assist other women on their career paths.
  • Women should have the self-assurance to speak up in public forums of decision-making and also account for their partial involvement in the water sector.
  • The need for more women to fill the various water profession openings should be extensively covered by the media and those working in the water industry. The workplace should be restructured to account for the duties of women.
The increased involvement of women in the water sector should not be seen as a transfer of power from men to women, but rather as a recognition of the significant contribution that women can make to decision-making for all. If you are a woman working in the water industry or if you are a woman in general and you cannot find what you deserve in the present environment, you should build and manage your own environment.

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