Talking Under Water: Diversity, equity & inclusion in the water sector

Feb. 16, 2024
In this episode, the hosts share an interview with Ifetayo Venner on diversity, equity and inclusion in the water sector.

In this episode of Talking Under Water the hosts discuss U.S. EPA’s latest proposal to add nine PFAS to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as hazardous substances, a public draft testing method for detecting 6PPD-quinone in stormwater and updates to the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements including public comments that were submitted. Additionally, this week’s interview features Ifetayo Venner, senior vice president for Arcadis and immediate past president of Water Environment Federation. Co-host Mandy Crispin spoke with Venner about the important of diversity, equity and inclusion in the water sector. 

  Show Notes:   


  • Host introductions and summary | 0:16
  • U.S. EPA's proposal to add 9 PFAS to RCRA | 1:12
  • Draft testing method for 6PPD-quinone | 2:24
  • A summary of LCRI public comments | 3:13
  • Interview with Ifetayo Venner begins | 6:02
  • Defining DEI | 6:19
  • Why DEI is important to the water sector | 8:18
  • How roles and job titles tie into diversity efforts | 11:36
  • How Ifetayo has influenced DEI initiatives in her career | 12:34
  • Advice for water professionals | 18:10
  • What initiatives are still needed in water? | 22:27
  • How to build a DEI culture | 24:02
  • The value of design thinking for perspective | 25:12
  • How Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) relates to diversity efforts | 27:24
  • What do people not realize about DEI? | 30:50
  • Housekeeping | 32:30


WQP Young Pros nominations

SWS Young Pros nominations 

SWS Industry Icon nominations 

About the Podcast   

Talking Under Water is the premier podcast for the water industry, including municipal and industrial water and wastewater, residential water treatment, storm water management and erosion control. It is produced in coordination between Wastewater Digest (WWD), WaterWorld and Storm Water Solutions (SWS). The podcast covers topics under the One Water movement including the municipal and industrial water and wastewater, point of use, point of entry, residential, storm water and erosion control markets. Talking Under Water highlights news, trends, new technologies, industry discussions and on-site interviews with experts for WWD, WQP and SWS. New episodes of the podcast are released on the third Friday of every month. Logo Images: Anatoly Tiplyashin / Romolo Tavani /   

Contact the Talking Under Water podcast editors by emailing [email protected]  engaging with them on Twitter @TUWpodcast. Join the conversation by commenting or using the hashtag #talkingunderwaterpod on social media.  


About the Author

Mandy Crispin

Mandy Crispin is the editor-in-chief of WaterWorld, having joined Endeavor Business Media in 2023. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has internal and external corporate communications experience in disparate industries including online retail, gaming, plastics and is now enjoying exploring the water utility space. Crispin can be reach at [email protected].

About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Storm Water Solutions and Water Quality Products, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Storm Water Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.