Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) maintains diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as core principles of our organization’s mission. Our members, Board of Trustees (BOT), volunteer leaders, and staff together and individually share responsibility to uphold these principles.

WEF Commits to Valuing Unique Identities

We are committed to creating an organization that acknowledges and celebrates our unique differences including education, career background, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability status, accent, socioeconomic status, cultural heritage and religion, parental status, marital status, veteran, personality type, political perspective, and all other characteristics of DE&I.

DEI Resources  DEI Leaders  How We Began  DEI News

WEF InFlow

This program aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the water workforce.

InFlow logo-backgrnd.png

More about WEF InFlow Program

WEF's DEI Leaders

Board of Trustees DEI Committee

  • Chair: Jackie Jarrell, Charlotte Water
  • Vice Chair: Steve Hamai, Seattle Public Utilities
  • Melissa Baker, South Coast Water District
  • Ralph Exton, Grundfos
  • Anthony Giovannone, Google
  • Melody Gonzalez, Black & Veatch
  • Andrea Hall, Brown and Caldwell
  • Amber Lefers, AE2S
  • ValaRae Partee, Brown and Caldwell
  • Maria Claudia Reed, Multnomah County Drainage District
  • Elaine Samuel, Toronto Water
  • Hugh Sinclair, Arcadis
  • Walt Walker, Greeley and Hansen
  • Stephen Sanders, WEF Board of Trustees
  • Corey Williams, WEF Board of Trustees
  • Laura Herman, WEF staff
  • Jazmin Goines, WEF staff
Contact WEF President Aimeé R. Killeen

House of Delegates DEI Committee

  • ValaRae Partee, Chair/Delegate-at-Large
  • Bill Davis, Speaker-Elect/WEA of South Carolina
  • Ellen Frketic, Chesapeake WEA
  • Peter Garvey, Delegate-at-Large
  • Amy Baker, AZ Water Association
  • Virgil Lloyd, New England WEA
  • Rosaleen Nogle, New York WEA
  • Kelsey Hurst, WEF staff
Contact WEF Interim Executive Director Pat Nichols

DEI Definitions

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not mutually exclusive and the success of one is dependent on the other two. Therefore, these three are intentionally connected. We believe that starting with shared and clear definitions for these topics will enable us to better understand each other and make progress toward our goals.

Diversity

Diversity encompasses the varying experiences, strengths, skills, perspectives, personal characteristics, cultures, and backgrounds represented by and within the WEF community.

Equity

A commitment to equity means an environment where everyone has the opportunity and access to realize their full potential, and no-one is disadvantaged because of their group identity or other socially determined circumstance.

Inclusion

The act of inclusion embraces and celebrates the perspectives, voices, values, and needs of each individual to generate a culture where all feel heard, respected, valued, and included in the broader WEF purpose.

How We Began

In August 2019, WEF initiated its DEI work through the formation of the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. This task force provided over 50 recommendations for improving diversity in the water sector and stressed the importance of internal reflection.

In 2020, WEF took further steps by establishing a DEI Board of Trustees Subcommittee, a House of Delegates DE&I Work Group, and a Staff Working Group on Racial Equity. In 2021, these groups were made permanent committees, solidifying the organization's long-term commitment to DEI.

In 2020, WEF also reviewed and reaffirmed its Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy to ensure an inclusive environment.

DEI News

Awareness and action on diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be present in the activities and communications of every organization. WEF seeks to regularly discuss these topics, share our stories, and make progress toward a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizational culture.

Megan Yoo-Schneider and Donnell Duncan on Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Megan and Donnell discuss the efforts by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within the organization, among ...

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Leadership
WOW: Conversations on Equity With Jackie Jarrell, Nikita Lingenfelter, and Stephen Sanders

In this episode, these guests discuss how WEF has responded to the calls for equity for Black Americans and the work of WEF’s Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Task ...

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Leadership
Conversations on Equity With Cathy Bailey, Randy Hayman, and Tony Parrott

In this episode, these leaders talk candidly about their experiences as Black Americans working in the water sector and reaching the level of utility executive, ...

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Leadership
WEF Members Share Thoughts on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dear WEF member: Earlier this summer, we surveyed WEF members as part of our critical work to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion both at WEF and across the ...

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WEF Waterblog
InFLOW CareerTech Program Helps People Enter Water Jobs

I decided to participate in the InFLOW CareerTech program because I thought it would be a great learning opportunity.

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WEF Waterblog
Taking a Step Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Within WEF

Workforce development remains one of WEF’s top priorities, and as we continue to deliver on our commitment to water professionals, we are also working to make sure ...

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Leadership
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Not a Quick Fix at WEF and in Water

Having diversity, equity, and inclusion in all levels of the workforce is vital to innovation and growth in the water sector. We are excited to update you on the ...

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Leadership
Rigos Discusses Disruption, Diversity, and the Water Sector

During WEFTEC 2018, Angeliki Rigos, executive director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared her ...

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Member Associations
WEF First Examining How To Build Equity Within

Earlier this summer our nation exploded with outrage at the senseless killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans, calling tremendous attention to the ...

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