We at FuturENVIRO applaud the initiative of Acciona Agua and the hard work of Elena Reyna in organising the 1st Women in the Water Sector Meeting. The event took place on February 28 at the Acciona Agua stand at the Innovative Water Management Solutions Trade Fair (SIGA 2019). The theme chosen for the event was “The success of a woman is the success of everybody” and it brought together a large group of participants, mainly women from the water sector, who shared their professional experiences. The event enjoyed the support of Acciona Agua CEO, José Díaz-Caneja, who welcomed the participants.
The words of Maribel Fornies (Engineering Manager K-Station at Jebel Ali Power & Desalination, Dubai) and Rosa García (non-executive president at Siemens-Gamesa until April) encouraged us to keep fighting, as Maribel put it, “to help obliterate the dividing lines between men and women in the business world”. Her account of her experience in Qatar was particularly revealing, particularly bearing in mind that it is not an easy country in which to be a woman, not to mention a woman holding a position of relevance in the business world.
Rosa García shared her experience as an executive with those present for the purpose of, as she herself pointed out, “awakening management vocations”. In her presentation, she spoke candidly of the good points and less positive aspects of being a CEO. Her advice on ethics, perseverance, constant updating of knowledge and the importance of coming to agreements on family matters consolidated our belief that managing a company at this point in time is not easy, and less so if you are a woman.
There are many examples of women in management positions in companies who have succeeded on their own merits, fighting against adversity and achieving milestones in the creation and management of companies. These women serve as a reference, as well as a source of ideas and encouragement to continue working hard every day.
It is always edifying to hear successful women themselves tell us of their experiences in managing companies associated with the world of water, so that the rest of us can understand that we are not alone in facing problems. This helps us to withstand the difficulties facing us, in the knowledge that other women have addressed the same problems and have survived, in the business sense.
We would like to express our gratitude to Acciona Agua for this initiative and we reiterate the fact that we welcome these types of events that provide successful women managers with the opportunity to share their experiences.