Women in Water Conference Fosters Workforce Diversity
San Diego County Water Authority General Manager Sandra Kerl is the keynote speaker at the 2023 Women in Water Conference at Cuyamaca College Wednesday, March 29. This year’s theme is “Building Resilience In Post-Pandemic Times.” Kerl’s remarks will focus on the conference theme of building career resilience in a new post-pandemic work environment.
The conference starts at 11 a.m. followed by a reception and professional networking at The Water Conservation Garden from 5 to 7 p.m.
Conference topics include interview tips; advocating for needs in the workplace; working with diverse teams of differing personalities; and becoming a leader of influence and change. Participants can have a professional headshot taken at the start of the conference and visit exhibit booths featuring organizations from the industry.
This year’s conference is designed to help attendees realign their focus following several years of unprecedented challenges. The goal is to provide the tools and insights to help them navigate the new normal in the industry through both programming and career networking opportunities.
Conference topics address varied experience levels
The conference opens with a panel discussion about career opportunities for women in the water and wastewater industry.
Each of the afternoon’s breakout sessions offers three specific career level tracks to address needs at each level: entry level for individuals new to water industry careers; people looking for career advancement; and established professionals interested in honing their leadership skills and advocating for workforce diversity.
Lunch, refreshments, and parking are included in the $25 general fee. Registration is free for students. Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon. Register here.
Wide range of career opportunities
The water and wastewater industry offers vast opportunities in engineering, operations, finance, public affairs, human resources, administration, and information technology.
Since 2017, the Water Authority’s “Faces of the Water Industry” campaign has highlighted nearly 200 employees in San Diego County across multiple water agencies and job types.
The informational campaign is designed to introduce the wide variety of career opportunities available at all skill levels with an emphasis on welcoming a wide-ranging talent pool of candidates including women.
Approximately 4,500 professionals serve the San Diego region in water and wastewater careers. More than 1,400 of those workers are expected to reach retirement age within the next five years. Water and wastewater treatment plant operators in California earn an annual mean wage of more than $74,590, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.