Archived Webinar

Fixing the Leaks: Retaining Female Talent in the Water Sector

Despite the efforts to promote and encourage women’s participation in the water sector, water institutions face challenges with retention of their female workforce. Women in STEM fields tend to leave jobs at higher rates than those occupying other positions, and a study from water sector showed that in the case of water utilities, female engineers were almost twice as likely to exit their jobs, compared to their male counterparts. This hurts not only female employees but also companies as high staff turnover is costly and inefficient. Under COVID, these dynamics have become even more pronounced as women drop out of the labor force to take care of children and family, or are more likely to be let go under economic contraction.


This means that diversity and inclusion efforts should focus not only on hiring and attracting female workforce, but also on providing an adequate work environment. Childcare support, flexible work arrangements, family-friendly HR policies and women-friendly facilities can all help address the barriers faced by employees and improve female retention.


This third webinar of the “Getting to Equal Aqua” webinar series, organized by the Equal Aqua Platform, has showcased findings from the recently published global database on gender diversity in water and sanitation utilities and has demonstrated what data from 96 utilities shows us about this “leakage” of female talent. The discussion has delved deeper into some concrete strategies used to retain female talent drawing from the experience of Lilongwe Water Board in Malawi. This session had participants from US, UK, India, France, Nigeria, Ghana, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Austria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Pakistan, among others. 


To access past webinars and recordings of previous events, please visit the Learning & Events section on our Equal Aqua Website.

About the Presenters

Carmen Nonay, Practice Manager, World Bank, Water Global Practice

Carmen Nonay is an experienced leader in international development with more than 20 years of experience in the World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC and MIGA), ranging from private sector investments to policy reforms or building capacity to help developing countries to achieve the SDGs. In her current capacity, she manages the World Bank’s Water Sector in MENA, overseeing a $3.5 billion portfolio. Prior to that, she was the Manager for the Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization unit in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice where she managed more than $2 billion of trust funds as well as key partnerships with other MDBs such as the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) and the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC).

Racheal Tsiga, HR Manager, Lilongwe Water Board

Kamila Galeza, Social Development Specialist, World Bank, Water Global Practice

Kamila Galeza is a Social Development Specialist with the Water Global Practice (GP), where she supports deepening social inclusion in global programs and lending operations through capacity building, operational support, research and knowledge management. Kamila led the preparation of the Women in Water Utilities: Breaking Barriers report and is currently task team leader for Equal Aqua platform for promoting gender diversity and inclusion in water institutions. Before joining the Water Global Practice, Kamila worked in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice of the World Bank and coordinated activities for the Social Inclusion Global Solutions Group.

Questions Submitted


- Mar 28, 2022


- Oct 16, 2021
Very interesting.

jose luis

- May 17, 2021
tiene que cambiar


- May 14, 2021


- Feb 12, 2021

Mohammad Nadir

- Feb 11, 2021

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Feb 11, 2021
Retaining Female Talent in the Water Sector


- Feb 10, 2021
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