Welcome to the Pipeline!
Welcome to the latest edition of American Water's the Pipeline, a quarterly resource for all things water. We see this as one more way to stay connected.
A Note from Val Armstrong
Inclusion, Diversity, and now Equity (ID&E)
Diversity creates stronger teams, better ideas, innovative ways of doing our work and ultimately, an organization that provides the best service to our customers. At American Water, we've remained steadfast in our commitment to ID&E along with creating a strategic framework for short- and long-term success. An exciting step in our journey is the launch of our new ID&E interactive webpage and release of our 2021 ID&E Report and metrics. In addition, more exciting news from the American Water Charitable Foundation can be found in this edition of the Pipeline.
Tremendous strides have been made over the past few years in creating a more inclusive, diverse and equitable future for all communities across the country. Measurable change is happening in many forms. In the water and wastewater industry, the National Association of Water Companies’ regulated water utility members have advanced a commitment to “water equity,” which is the belief that everyone should have access to water that is safe, reliable, and affordable
Virginia American Water Wastewater Collections System Specialists Kurt Allen and Ryan McKoy (background).
Leadership and Gender Diversity at American Water
At year-end 2021, women represented 24.1% of our overall workforce with 25.8% of our management roles held by women. Read more about American Water’s women leaders. To learn more about the vital role that women play at American Water, read our blog, Celebrate Women’s History Month with American Water.
Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
Good for Employees and Good for Business
According to a 2020 report released by McKinsey & Company, the business case for ID&E initiatives remains robust. The report also explores the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance over time.
The report highlights:
- Companies in the highest quartile for executive team gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to less diverse companies – up from 21% in 2017 and 15% in 2014.
- Companies with executive teams comprised of more than 30% of women were likely to outperform companies that only had 10 to 30% of women executives.
- Top-quartile companies with regards to ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed companies in the fourth quartile by 36% as measured by profitability – up from 33% in 2017.
Lynn Burks, Field Service
Representative, in Charleston, WV.
Spotlight: A Conversation with Nicole Boyd Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Business Partner
How is American Water reshaping the workplace to be more inclusive? Reinforcing inclusion, diversity and equity helps every employee show up each day without fear of being their true authentic selves. Since 2017, we have intentionally worked to combine ID&E industry best practices with employee input to create meaningful and measurable change at all levels. As our journey continues, our goal is to achieve an inclusive culture with sustainable practices that positively impact our people, customers and the communities we serve.
Why are Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) important to the culture of American Water? Currently we have four EBRGs: Together We Stand (Black/African American), WE CAN (Women’s), AW Proud (LGBTQ+) and Abled (Employees with Disabilities). I’m excited that we have over 500 employees participating. EBRGs provide employees with a forum to network and build relationships outside of their daily teams, as well as offer opportunities for professional development. The “B” in EBRG is for business impact. Each group focuses on three key areas that provide a business impact: culture, career and community. EBRGs are about INCLUDING YOURSELF while creating an enterprise-wide impact.
I&D is now ID&E. Why is it important to add Equity to Inclusion and Diversity? At American Water, our employees are beautifully different, and our values have guided us in building an inclusive and diverse workforce reflecting the communities we serve.
Adding equity to our strategy is about meeting people where they are. It helps the business better acknowledge the unique needs of our diverse workforce and provide resources that allow our employees to reach their highest potential. While we’ve achieved many successes on our ID&E journey, we continue to push ourselves to being an employer of choice and a company that has a positive presence in our communities.
Reinforcing ID&E efforts is a commitment to help ensure that all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other demographic characteristic, have the opportunity to succeed and are welcomed for the diversity they bring to the workplace.
Team members should feel safe and included in their workplace, confident that they can bring their whole self to work.
Jacqueline Andrade, Pump Operator at Virginia American Water, monitors pump stations, tanks and reservoirs to help ensure that we have appropriate supply for our distribution system.
American Water Charitable Foundation Launches New Grant Opportunities
The American Water Charitable Foundation launched its 2022 Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program, which supports impactful initiatives throughout American Water’s national footprint.
The program focuses on three pillars of giving: Water, People, and Communities. Within these pillars, three new grant opportunities will be available to eligible non-profit organizations throughout the year. The Water and Environment grant program, which launched in April, will support clean water, conservation, environmental education, climate variability, and water-based recreation projects. Examples include programs that improve, restore or protect watersheds/water quality; promote water conservation; and/or improve equitable access to water-based recreation in underserved communities. This grant program will remain open through June 30, 2022. A Workforce Readiness grant opportunity will launch in July 2022 followed by STEM Education in October 2022.
Keep Communities Flowing furthers our commitment to support American Water’s focus on ESG, as well as ID&E. Since 2012, the American Water Charitable Foundation has invested more than $9 million in funding through grants and matching gifts that are important to our employees and positively impacting our communities. Learn more...
American Water wants to be a resource of information for you. Through active outreach and engagement with a variety of stakeholders, American Water has taken part in a great exchange of ideas, issues and insights about challenges and opportunities impacting the water and wastewater industry. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us on any water or wastewater topic. Here are just a few examples of resources that provide background on the topics we covered:
- American Water 2021 ID&E Report: This report highlights American Water’s ID&E successes and provides an honest assessment of where the Company stands in relation to its ID&E goals
- Pennsylvania American Water’s New “Career Stream” Program: Pennsylvania American Water revamps workforce readiness and outreach by taking a three-pronged approach to its comprehensive talent development program, focused on attracting and developing a diverse pool of future candidates with the skills and experience needed to succeed in the water industry
- Women in the Workplace 2021 Report: This report, which is part of the largest study of women in corporate America, analyzes the representation of women in the workplace, provides an overview of HR policies and explores intersectional experiences of different groups of women in the workplace.
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