Since 2013, SHUKALB has been collaborating with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), USA, on a number of projects related to the water sector and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education that involve a team of WPI students working in Albania for a period of 8 weeks. This year, the WPI team is focusing on women in the wastewater industry.
The wastewater sector in Albania has historically been viewed as a male-dominated industry, particularly in technical and management roles. There are many potential reasons for this discrepancy, including lack of female interest in the field, gender gaps in hiring, and low representation of female role models in leadership roles. The students hope to identify opportunities for women in Albania’s wastewater sector and to reduce gender bias for women working in the industry.
The students are at the beginning stages of developing a network of women professionals working in the wastewater sector from the USA, Albania, and other countries in the Balkans. The network will increase opportunities for mentoring and collaboration. The students also plan to produce a webinar highlighting the experiences of women in the industry and strategies to increase employment opportunities, retention, and advancement.
The WPI team consists of four third-year students: Gabriella Cerbo, Aaron Krueger, Shawna Winters, and Lindsay Ambrosino. Due to the pandemic situation, the students were not able to travel internationally and therefore they are managing the project remotely from Massachusetts. They are excited to be working with SHUKALB and would very much like to talk with BURIMI newsletter readers. You can contact them via email at: gr-womenandwater_A20@wpi.edu