21 March 2024

The Rise of Women in the Water Industry:Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Inclusion

In a traditionally male-dominated field, women are making their mark in the water industry, challenging stereotypes and inspiring inclusion. Sharon David, an experienced professional in the water industry, shares her journey and insights about being a woman in this dynamic field…

Sharon's Background 

Sharon enjoys a fulfilling life outside of work. From playing rugby and keeping fit to walking her dogs and spending quality time with her husband, she balances her personal and professional life with ease. As an Account Manager at SMS Environmental, Sharon brings her expertise and passion for the water industry to the table.

A Journey in the Water Industry 

Prior to joining SMS Environmental, Sharon spent over 22 years in the water hygiene sector. Starting as a water hygiene technician, she worked her way up the ranks, becoming a qualified legionella risk assessor and eventually overseeing a team of 35 engineers. Sharon's transition to becoming an account manager allowed her to explore new challenges and responsibilities, solidifying her enjoyment of the job.

Sharon's Experience Compared to Other Industries

Although Sharon briefly worked in manufacturing during her early 20s, it was not her cup of tea. However, her interest in biology and science propelled her towards the water industry. Passionate about learning new skills, Sharon found bugs and bacteria fascinating, which ultimately led her to make a career in the water industry.

Challenges Faced and Progress Made

At the beginning of her career, Sharon faced difficulties as a woman in a male-dominated industry. She believes that she was initially hired to meet diversity requirements rather than being recognised for her abilities. However, over time, she firmly stood her ground and proved her worth, gaining respect and recognition. While the industry still remains male-dominated, it has become more inclusive, and Sharon believes that stereotypes about physical aspects of the job should not define women's abilities to succeed in this field.

Women in the Water Industry and ‘Inspiring Inclusion’

When asked about the women who inspire her the most, Sharon recalls two close friends who have had a significant impact on her life. Both accomplished in their professional and personal spheres, they have demonstrated perseverance, dedication, and support. Sharon emphasises that inspiration can come from everyday people around us, promoting the idea that women in the water industry can inspire and uplift one another.

The Need for Influential Women in the Industry

Sharon acknowledges that there is a lack of influential women in the water industry. While she is unable to name any specific individuals, she believes that their presence would contribute to a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Enhancing Women's Contribution to the Water Industry 

To enhance women's contribution to the water industry, Sharon suggests showcasing female achievements and successes. By highlighting the accomplishments of women in various roles, more girls and women can be encouraged to pursue careers in STEM and engineering.

Advice for Aspiring Women in STEM

To young girls aspiring to join STEM or engineering fields, Sharon shares a powerful message:

Never give up, work hard, and cultivate a willingness to learn. Ultimately, your ability to excel in the job will speak volumes!

Sharon's journey in the water industry reflects the progress being made in terms of gender inclusion. As more women enter and thrive in this field, the water industry is becoming more diverse and representative. By sharing her experiences and insights, Sharon hopes to inspire and empower other women to pursue their passions in the water industry. Together, we can break barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a more inclusive future for all women in this sector.

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