Mary Danielson: Working Towards Change

Mary Danielson on a site visit

Mary on site completing a comprehensive evaluation of water and wastewater treatment facilities for one of her clients

Mary Danielson currently works at Tighe & Bond in the USA, where she consults on a wide variety of water and wastewater engineering projects.

In the United States, working in the wastewater sector can present some challenges to women. For example, women are subject to issues like not having proper facilities (i.e. restrooms) during work, a gender pay gap, and sexual harassment.

Despite these issues, Mary Danielson, who entered the sector in 2017, has felt empowered by her work. To Mary, working with female role models and achieving her goals through project work is a great way to show people that she has what it takes to strive in the sector.

“It feels daunting at the start but there’s a way to get there and a way to achieve your goals while being a female and [having] to face those difficulties upfront.”

Mary is also taking steps to improve the situation for women at her company, where she is part of the Women in STEM subcommittee of her company’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Mary is working on a number of initiatives that will help support equal pay for women, improved hiring ratios between men and women, and increased female retention in the long term.

Mary has seen success through some of these measures, such as having approximately a 50/50 hiring ratio between male and female college graduates. She is optimistic about the future, as the subcommittee plans to introduce more women in technical projects and make sure that women returning from maternity leave are supported appropriately.

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