Inspiring inclusion not just for women, but for everyone

Cathy Stephenson, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Water and Waste

 IWD 2024

Marine engineering has predominately been a male dominated place to work, but that is changing and during my time working in the global maritime world I have seen more, and more talented women come into the industry from a variety of backgrounds and doing a variety of roles. They are brave, passionate and knowledgeable women who are committed to making themselves, the industry and the world a better, more inclusive and diverse place. But this does not happen by accident, it comes from hard work and determination to push against the stereotypes and prove that they too can positively contribute in an environment that has been, at times, challenging to enter and difficult to navigate.

Diverse and inclusive teams have a positive impact on us all and being open to different ways of problem solving in a fast-paced world with demanding customer requests and an ever-changing geopolitical situation means that we all need to keep our minds, eyes and ears open to embrace how the unsolvable becomes solvable by actively promoting a diverse workforce that contributes in every function across the organisation. We strive to provide an environment where all our employees can thrive, free from bias.

What we do in Water & Waste matters, our people matter, they really matter. We offer a culture that encourages diversity from all backgrounds and all walks of life, and, we have talented, engaged and knowledgeable women in all departments from sales to project delivery, engineering to finance and purchasing to services. They are the engineers helping to design and deliver complex marine water and waste systems. They are the project managers who ensure that our technical solutions are delivered according to customer requirements, they are the parts coordinators who ensure that our spares quotations for customers are accurate, they are the purchasers who negotiate with our supply chain, they are the finance professionals who ensure we are legal, compliant and profitable, they are the sales people who understand what a customer needs, and they are leaders in our organisation who support their teams with passion and commitment every single day. Behind each of these women is a story. They are wives, girlfriends, partners, mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and aunts, but above all, they are inspirational and are showing our industry and the world that they are valuable, that they belong and that they are empowered in our company.

Is there more we can do in Water & Waste? Of course there is. Our work is far from done, and we are committed to continuing to build a culture free from bias, where everyone feels included.

I am proud to lead Water & Waste, and I am proud to champion this year’s IWD theme of inspiring inclusion, not just for women, but for everyone.



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