Media
03/8/17

3 Women Share Their Bold Work in a STEM Industry on International Women’s Day

“Be bold for change” — that’s the theme of 2017 International Women’s Day, a theme that calls on everyone to forge a better working world.

Erika Kovacs









It’s a call that doesn’t go unnoticed by these three Veolia employees. They work every day in a STEM industry to do more than drive business growth. Their important work with our environmental infrastructure is quite literally “forging a better working world.”

ERIKA KOVACS AND THE GRITTIER SIDE OF SUSTAINABILITY

Erika Kovacs is a General Manager at Veolia, where she works to help manage hazardous waste. In her own words:

“The ‘grittier’ side of sustainability – the ways we manage waste – is often left out of the discussion in favor of talking about endangered species and resource preservation. Growing up in an urban environment, however, I’ve learned that the grittier side has a significant impact on communities, families and children. …If we can prevent hazardous materials from getting into our environment, then we don’t have to clean them up later.” > Read more about Erika and the ‘grittier’ side of sustainability.

JANELLE HESLOP AND THE "PEOPLE PART" OF THE JOB

Janelle Heslop helps to optimize water utilities, like the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Greenbiz honored Janelle as a top sustainability professional, naming her one of its “30 under 30.” An engineer by training, Janelle shared why the “people part” of her job is the most fascinating, in an interview about her water-optimization work:

“The biggest part of getting things done is changing mindsets. That means making sure that people understand the reasons why they’re asked to make changes….The people part is really fascinating, because it’s the biggest and hardest problem to solve….Getting things done is more than just knowing the technology. It’s about setting a vision so that everyone on a team knows where to go. > Read more about Janelle and the ‘people side’ of water optimization.

MANSHI LOW ON DISRUPTION AND HUMAN INNOVATION

Manshi Low is an MIT graduate and engineer who recently gave a talk on driving disruption in the water industry through human innovation. In a world filled with stories of technology innovation, she shared why she believes human innovation is just as important as technical innovation:

“There’s a lot of untapped diversity in the water industry. Especially the diversity in ideas, experiences from prior careers, perspectives, and energy levels. The water industry is not homogenous and there is huge potential in unlocking that side of human capital… I would say two of the top problems waiting for the right creative thinker are how we think about capital investment in infrastructure and rethinking the business model of how to bill for water.” > Read more about Manshi and the importance of human innovation.

North America's infrastructure and environmental challenges need smart people to find solutions and drive them forward. These three employees don’t hesitate to take up the challenge, truly proving that when seeking change, it pays to be bold.