International Women’s Day 2024 – ‘Inspiring Inclusion’

Published on 05/15/2024 | by Waterline Admin

As featured in Waterline Spring 2024

International Women’s Day 2024 – ‘Inspiring Inclusion’

By Elise Maynard

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is #InspireInclusion.

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 seeks to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion and when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

With well over a century of history and change, the first International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in March 1911. IWD isn’t country, group or organisation specific, it’s a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality.

• When women aren’t present, we must ask: “If not, why not?”

• When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice.

• When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action.

• And we must do this each time, every time.

• Organisations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part – in the community, at work, at home, and beyond.

To truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify. Worldwide, women must be included in all fields of endeavour. On an individual basis, it’s important to understand, value and seek out the inclusion of women and girls. Additionally, sharing this knowledge, support and encouragement with others is key.

There are many ways to ensure the needs, interests and aspirations of women and girls are valued and included. Organisations such as The Water Management Society can #InspireInclusion through action in areas such as:

• forging women’s economic empowerment

• recruiting, retaining and developing female talent

• supporting women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM

• providing women with access to quality education and training

• designing and building infrastructure meeting the needs of women and girls

• addressing further areas supporting the advancement of women

Jemma Tennant will be formally announced as WMSoc Chair at the AGM on 17th June. Jemma’s appointment is a small but positive step towards greater equality within the water industry and I hope that her appointment will encourage more women to apply for a place on Council.
Please see the enclosed Nomination form for further information on applying to join Council.

Please meet some of the female members of WMSoc and hear their stories:

Jordan Allsop
Regional & Derby Branch Manager SMS Environmental Ltd

Born in 1993, I hail from Ashbourne Derbyshire, home of Shrovetide football. I started my water treatment career with SAS Water as a Water Treatment engineer, joining SMS Environmental in 2013 in the same role.

Over the years I have developed into a skilled UKAS accredited Legionella risk assessor, working in large buildings with very complex water systems. In due course I have progressed to Contract Manager, looking after regional and nationwide clients and contracts.

My strong leadership skills and ability to manage large teams were recognised when I was appointed Regional Manager of the Midlands Office in 2020. I continue in this role today, where I successfully oversee multiple projects, ensuring they are delivered on time and comply fully with all the required standards. My dedication and expertise earned recognition as a leading light at SMS and a crucial asset to the company.

I recognise that there is a significant under-representation of talented women within the water treatment industry. This is a detriment to the industry as it struggles to close a significant systemic skills gap. I am keen to redress the balance by being a positive role model to other young women and encourage them to join the industry where an excellent career awaits them.

I have ambitions to get elected to the Council of the Water Management Society and give back to the industry that I love. Long term, armed with my Certified Water Technologist (CWT), which I hope to get this summer, I would love to open SMS’s first stateside office in New York, where a CWT is a state and city requirement if you want to treat cooling towers.

I have two dogs, a Spoodle called Minnie and a Cockapoo called Barney, both of whom I claim to love more than my partner. When I’m not treating water, I am a keen potter and think my animal sculptures, such as an otter and fox-on-a-rock, are some of my favourite pieces.

Kimberly Arbuckle
I began my career within the world of infection control as a surgical dental nurse in one of the most cutting edge clinics in the world. I was responsible for ensuring cross contamination did not occur within the clinic and this included ensuring where possible there was no contamination of the water within the clinic. Having learned about the importance of eliminating the risk of pathogens when patients are vulnerable, this led me to an opportunistic change of career from the world of dentistry to water.

Having joined Angel Guard as one of the founder members, I have been involved in the research and development of many of our products including the AI clinical washbasins and Clarence remote water monitoring systems. I now hold the position of Key Account Sales Director within Angel Guard Ltd.

I am pioneering remote water monitoring technology and I train others through CPD and hands on training. I am passionate about seeing a real step change in how water can be made safer through the integrations of technology that are now being developed and how that can have such a positive impact on those people who are most vulnerable in the world. This passion has led me to being nominated for full membership within the Water Management society, which I am delighted to have been accepted for. I am looking forward to offering my knowledge and experience to the society whilst gaining further experience from all the learned people within WMSoc.

Sophia Carter
I have been Managing Director of Aqua Protec since 2016. My time in this role has seen many challenges for me, both professionally and personally. As a woman in a predominantly male industry I have seen a large change in the involvement of women over the last 20 years. My first role was typing up Risk Assessments that had been completed by assessors onsite. However, during my career I have had opportunity to contribute towards shaping the industry, working with some phenomenal and well-respected women along the way, particularly when involved in working on the development of British Standards. I am proud to say that at Aqua Protec we have had women in our employment as site operatives as well as in client facing office-based roles.

My newest challenge is work life balance, I now have two children under two, my stepdaughter, and three dogs! I have good teams around me, and fortunately reliable childcare has been easy to come by. The introduction of free childcare of up to 15 hours for 2 year olds, with a plan for all children from 9 months upwards to have up to 30 hours free childcare from 2025 has made getting back to work more accessible for many.

‘Mum guilt’ is REAL. I know many women who struggle with their children going into childcare, but children are resilient, and they will never love anyone more than ‘Mummy’. In my opinion a new environment where children get opportunity to spend time with peers developing their social and communication skills is invaluable.

Whether I am looking after 3 children or I’m managing my business, I am using the same skills. I have to be reliable, present, adaptable, communicative, plan ahead, develop resources, and have meticulous organisation. Hand in hand, I believe these two responsibilities have helped strengthen how I handle each of them day to day.

Karina Jones
I regard my career journey since leaving my homeland near Krakow in Poland as part of my life changing development. As a young woman I moved to Vienna, the capital city of Austria, where I finished my higher education. This included German as my second language and spending leisure time exploring Vienna’s rich history in art and music.

Since moving to the United Kingdom, I have been a part of several businesses and held a high professional position. I took a further career change by entering the water quality management environment as a Water Quality Technician. This provided me with an essential understanding of the intense and intricate needs in water quality management within the NHS Healthcare environment.

I joined the Water Management Society in 2015 when I embarked on my professional career development plan. I regard the WMSoc as pivotal in my career development as it provided the foundation of support and a source of knowledge from highly experienced water management professional members whom I hold with great appreciation and gratitude.

I have many years of experience in Water Management, working closely with Healthcare NHS Trusts and water management companies, maintaining my current role as an IHEEM registered Authorising Engineer (AE). This means I provide independent and impartial advice to clients who deal with a wide range of challenges in this specialised industry.

I have extensive experience providing advice on water hygiene management, advising clients on the legal drivers for Statutory obligations and ACOP L8 compliance, and providing comprehensive guidance on microbiological waterborne contamination in water systems to major NHS Trusts across the country.

I strongly believe that being an Authorising Engineer should not only highlight areas of non-compliance but should support clients towards effective solutions.

By becoming a member of professional organisations, I represent the organisational ethos to lead with a professional attitude, honesty, and independence. I am a Fellow member of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estates Management (IHEEM), a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Full member of the Water Managements Society (WMSoc), and I am an active member of IHEEM Water Technical Platform and Women’s Engineering Society (MWES).

Wendy Liston
Water Treatment Consultant, Deep Water Blue Ltd

Growing up in a small seaside town in the southwest of England, I developed an enthusiastic interest in chemistry and the environment. A-Levels required work experience placements however options involving scientific disciplines in the area were fairly few and far between. I did, however, manage to obtain a placement at the labs of the local water provider. This was at the time when surfers against sewage were starting to make the news and we could watch from the shoreline as studies were carried out monitoring the dispersion of waste from the sewage outlets as they were dyed bright red to enable tracking. The need for safe and effective water treatment was a very real issue which had a direct impact on the health of people around me.

University, for me, was the obvious next step where I studied Chemistry with Environmental Science, then followed by a master’s degree. While I was writing up my masters thesis, I spotted an advertisement in the local paper for a water treatment engineer covering the surrounding area. This appealed as during my masters I had confirmed that a life in academia was not for me and being able to travel and interact with different industries, processes and people was a definite draw, so I applied. I could always look for something else if it didn’t work out, I told myself…

So now 20+ years on I have been able to have an extremely varied and satisfying career, which is still evolving, and I am not sure this could be easily obtained in any other industry. I have been able to see the impact that correct (and incorrect!) water treatment can have, allowing me to apply that experience to my customers old and new. From starting out as an application engineer, moving through sales and more management roles I am now also involved with training and other project works, so definitely no time to get bored!

When I made that first application, I didn’t even contemplate that I would be entering a very male dominated environment, which it was and to a lesser extent still is today, although that is changing both in the people working within the industry and our customers. Change as is often the case can be slow, but the working environment is far more diverse and inclusive than it was when I started, a trend that can only continue and all for the better. I would advise that anyone who wants to be able to make a real impact on the way that one of our most precious resources, water, is managed would find the water treatment sector a very satisfying place to establish their career.

Vicki Morrison
Managing Director of SafeSol Ltd

I have always been fascinated by chemistry – combined with my father’s work and a brilliant chemistry teacher, the stars aligned for a career as a chemist myself.

I graduated from Strathclyde with a Chemistry degree in 1994 and began studying for a PhD at Sheffield. Partway through my doctorate, I realised my passion lay in applied chemistry, which motivated my desire to leave and pursue opportunities outside academia.

Deveron, a leading water treatment company in Scotland, was looking for service chemists at the time. I stepped in and looked after closed systems, cooling towers and steam boilers. It was enjoyable, and I learned so much, particularly from Bill Babtie.

When Deveron closed, I took an adventurous career break, working in Austria and Greece. They were very happy times, but after three years, I knew it was time to return to the real world!

Back home, I met my husband, relocated to South Shields, and worked at Hertel carrying out domestic and cooling tower risk assessments, eventually being promoted to manager. I later worked for Hartlepool Council as a Legionella Risk Assessor and then Team Leader.

After having my son, I went to work with my father at SafeSol. When he retired from full-time duties in 2011, I took the reins as Managing Director and have never looked back! I have learned so many skills – when you own your own business, every day is like a school day, but it is never dull!

Dr Pamela Simpson
Director and Company Owner, Whitewater Technologies Ltd

I had always been interested in Biology and studied Plant Sciences at Leeds University. It was during this time that my interest grew in the use of biocides to control marine antifouling and chose to study a PhD at Birmingham University, looking at the use of biocides in paint technologies. My PhD changed direction slightly and I developed a paint/biocide combination which would allow a biocide to slowly migrate to the paint film surface, offering protection for longer with minimum damage to the environment. My best bits of my PhD were having monthly trips to the Breweries to check out my test panels!

I chose a career path in the Biocide Industry and developed the portfolio for a new biocide. My role involved me supporting the Sales team, globally. This was one of the highlights of my career. I moved on to a Speciality Chemical company and assisted customers with problem solving with biocides in both cooling towers, paper industry, paints and adhesives (to name a few). I enjoyed using my expertise to solve problems and enjoyed the challenge, especially at the time when the Water Treatment Industry workforce was predominantly male. I eventually became European Director and was responsible for the biocide sales across UK and Europe. This was a challenging role but I enjoyed it a lot.

I decided to set up a Technical Consultancy to offer my expertise to the Industrial Water Treatment Industry and established Whitewater Technologies Limited in 1998. I have been established 25 years now. In the latter years, I have focused more on microbial issues within both domestic water systems and closed heating and cooling systems for both healthcare new-builds and commercial premises. My recent work involved expert work for microbially-influenced corrosion (MIC) in a range of commercial and healthcare buildings of hot and cold domestic water systems and MIC in closed heating and cooling systems.

I have seen many changes in the Industrial Water Treatment Industry, including more women choosing this as a career, but the industry still needs more. If you are considering your career choice, then look no further! The Industrial Water Treatment industry is so varied (as you can see) with lots of different opportunities and I can assure you that every day offers new exciting opportunities.

Jemma Tennant
I have had the pleasure of being in the Water Industry for over 25 years, and although I have faced many challenges, I have thoroughly enjoyed my varied career path.

My first exposure to the water treatment industry was during a summer placement where I was tasked with looking after steam boilers, the effluent plant and the papermaking process water. Part of my job was to wade up and down the River Esk looking for signs of pollution – spotting Otters and Kingfishers on the way – what a fun way to spend the summer!

After graduating from University the water industry seemed to be the obvious career path to follow. I soon landed a role as a Technical Sales Consultant for Houseman and since then I have gained wealth of experience in many different areas of the water treatment industry ranging from servicing cooling towers to managing a microbiology section in a lab. I am currently working as a Technical Consultant for SMS Environmental and thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Where my passion lies though, is in raising Legionella awareness and improving industry standards. This is what inspired me to set up the Scottish Legionella Focus Group and join the WMSoc and LCA Committees. My career highlight was being elected as the next Chair of the WMSoc which I am looking forward to immensely.
Being a woman in this industry has had its challenges, mainly around Management because believe it or not, there are still some who don’t see us as equals!

I did take a break to raise my two children early on in my career but I don’t feel it held me back and I enjoyed the time off so I could focus on the most important job of all – being a Mum.

Lizzie Ward
Managing Director of SAS Water Ltd.

I’m Lizzie Ward Managing Director of SAS Water Ltd.
When I came into the business over 15 years ago it represented a major career change. I had trained as a teacher and worked in primary schools. SAS Water was my family business and I wanted to support my dad, Keith Froggatt.

There was a lot to learn but there’s also synergies, educating people about Legionella and water hygiene has been a fundamental part of our business success.

International Women’s Day is a time for reflection on how the industry has changed. 15 years ago I sometimes felt like I was the only female in a male dominated sector – that brought many challenges. Times have certainly changed for the better and I’m pleased to have been able to create a mixed team, where a willingness to learn and adapt is a major driver to our business success.

I’m a business owner, wife, mum and nana – life is hectic at times, I believe in achieving a work life balance along with health & fitness and giving back to my favourite charities. I enjoy travel and making time for family holidays is a great reward.

Diary Dates & Events

Grime Scene

ANNOUNCING OUR NEW GRIME SCENE COMPETITION:

Following on from the successful Grime Scene competition, we have decided to continue the theme for another year, but with a twist. This year, we are asking for photographs of the grimiest pictures you can find accompanied with another photograph of how the ‘scene’ has been improved by your maintenance or cleaning.


We will display the photographs in each of the Waterline editions throughout 2024. The ‘most improved’ picture will be chosen by WMSoc members via an online vote. The winner will receive a £25 Amazon Gift Voucher after the Winter 2024/25 edition has been published.


Please send your photographs to:
[email protected].


Product & Service Spotlight

Introducing B & V Chemicals' Multitreat SHD showerhead descalers.

Multitreat SHD showerhead descalers from B & V Chemicals are easy to use and effectively eliminate Legionella spp and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Independent tests confirm its efficacy, achieving a 5 log reduction within 5 minutes. Proven to prevent Legionella growth, Multitreat SHD ensures peace of mind by addressing scale buildup quickly.

Customer feedback and laboratory tests validate its reliability.

For more information, contact [email protected]

How the NEW SolidTek® Biocide Feeder Package will BENEFIT YOU

SolidTek® has launched its NEW Biocide Feeder which is functional, compact, and environmentally-friendly.

Designed for use with SolidTek’s® enhanced bromine biocide, BromTek, it offers multiple benefits:

SAFER
Reduced exposure to fumes and bromine dust (non-pressurised system).

EFFECTIVE
Use with field proven mixed hydantoin biocide - better performance than standard bromine tablets.

COMPACT
Wall mounted reducing footprint of installation.

QUICK & EASY
Charge with product in under 5 minutes without isolation from the system.
SUPPORT

Product calculators and tech support available.

Lovibond MD640 Photometer (PTSA & Fluorescein capable)

Product Spotlight Drop Test Kits

How many times have you heard … ‘we’re not sure what the system volume is’. A common problem which can be expensive - wasting chemical over dosing, or underdosing so the treatment is ineffective (i.e. shock dosing a biocide). The MD640 photometer has PTSA & Fluorescein capability built in. Simply use our System Checkers to add to an unknown system and read a PTSA or Fluorescein levels to accurately identify the system volume.

The Hydrosense PRO range

Hydrosense

The Hydrosense PRO range pioneers Legionella pneumophila detection, the cause of over 97% of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, by identifying all the serogroups 1-15 of this dangerous Legionella species. This easy-to-use, highly sensitive test uses unique filtration, offering a three-line test result that distinguishes between serogroup 1 and serogroups 2-15 within 25 minutes. The water test has a level of detection of 100 CFU/L and swab tests detect 200 CFU per swabbed area, providing crucial, rapid insights for water safety management.

TME Thermometers

Save time and money on your ACoPL8 testing with TME’s innovative legionella solutions.
• Perform faster temperature tests with our MM2008 Thermometer with integral timer for running of hot and cold water taps.
• Simplify concealed TMV testing with our TC Wall Port, a remote access point for temperature sensors you can install yourself. Once in place, take instant readings from a more convenient location – no more climbing ladders or removing panelling.
• Update to paperless recording with our MM7000-2D Barcode Scanning Bluetooth Thermometer.
• Get FREE UKAS traceable calibration certificates.
• Visit our NEW website for 25% OFF all online orders placed by 30th June 2024.

[email protected]

01903 700651