CLOSING GENDER GAPS IN WATER JOBS

Water is a crucial source of jobs, both directly, as an employer in water services, and indirectly, through the economic opportunities that depend on water. Women remain an untapped resource for the water sector - only 1 in 5 utility employees are female. Greater diversity is linked to higher financial performance, innovation and customer satisfaction.

This dataset illustrates gender gaps in employment drawing on survey results from Women in Water Utilities: Breaking Barriers report, and additional surveys collected as part of Equal Aqua platform. Utilities can use it to compare their performance to other utilities in their region and globally.

Attraction

Water utilities often do not attract woman due to entrenched social norms and practices.
However, attracting more female candidates can bring numerous benefits to a company, including increased financial productivity, greater innovation, and improved customer satisfaction.
Barriers
  • Stereotypes and social norms
  • Occupational segregation
  • Low level of female graduates in technical fields
  • Lack of role models
examples of promising approaches
  • Career talks, role models and other outreach campaigns
  • Bring your daughter to work day
  • Scholarships for women in STEM studies

RECRUITMENT

fewer women are recruited to water utilities (in past year)
24.7% of all utility workers recruited are women

23.5% of engineers recruited are women

14.9% of all managers recruited are women
Women have historically been underrepresented in water utilities, to this day they have lower chances of being hired.
Barriers
  • School-to-work transition bottlenecks
  • Female graduates are not targeted as candidates
  • Gender biases in the hiring process
examples of promising approaches
  • Women engineers recruited directly from universities
  • Inclusive job advertisements
  • Gender-balanced hiring committee

Retention

FEMALE EMPLOYEES LEAVE UTILITIES AT A HIGHER RATE THAN MEN (PAST YEAR)

7.15%

5.15%

Barriers
  • Lack of work-life balance
  • Inadequate family-friendly policies
  • Unsupportive workplace environment
  • Wage gaps
  • Sexual harassment
examples of promising approaches
  • Maternity, paternity, and parental leave policies
  • Separate sanitation facilities for men and women
  • On-site lactation rooms
  • Regular pay gap assessments

Advancement

women in water utilities do not always have the same opportunities as men to advance in their careers
Simple interventions and approaches can enable women to grow professionally, which can bring benefits to the organization, such as by improving employee satisfaction and thereby driving performance results.
Barriers
  • Fewer training, mentorship, and networking opportunities
  • Exclusion from opportunities for advancement and leadership
examples of promising approaches
  • Transparent promotion process and promotion criteria
  • Awards to recognize female leadership in the field
  • Equal access to technical and managerial training for all