We are building the future of water and sanitation, and you can help!
We are in the process of launching a new and inspiring endeavor, an international 501c3 nonprofit called Her2O™ (pronouned her-2-oh), and we are offering you an opportunity to help!
ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
Her2O™ was founded by Brianna Huber, a chemist/assistant department head at a U.S-based municipal drinking water utility. Brianna entered the water industry just 7 years ago, coming from a background in public health. It didn't take long for her to notice how few women were in this industry and how differently men and women can function at work. While she loved her job, she started to feel like an island, and she decided she had to do something about it. And thus the journey to launching Her2O™ began. Over the years Brianna has launched several smaller local women in water and sanitation efforts and assisted others to get efforts going around the U.S. as well. In 2019, Brianna was invited to attend the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women, where she learned more about, and participated in, high-level conversations with other water professionals, UN Delegates, academics and Parliamentarians about the challenges of women in water and sanitation around the world and how to empower them. Also in 2019, despite a nasty bout of altitude sickness, she summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise $3,000 which was donated to a Tanzanian-based organization supporting water and sanitation projects led by women. In early 2020, she flew all the way to India to present at a water and waste management conference to share her knowledge and hope for the future of women's involvement in water and sanitation with young aspiring Indian women. Throughout these endeavors, Brianna has gained more and more understanding of the challenges of women in water and sanitation around the world. Brianna is certain that SEEing women in water and sanitation is her life's purpose and Her2O™ is how she is fulfilling that purpose.
Globally, the water and sanitation industry is male-dominated. But we envision a future where women are equitably involved in water management in every corner of the globe. After all, women are the primary users of water! Our mission is to SEE (stimulate. elevate. embolden.) women’s participation in global water management. Through outreach, education, training, mentoring, advocacy, scholarship, sponsorship, research and support programs, we are building the future of water, one woman at a time. Our overarching goal is to remove barriers, create opportunities for women in water and sanitation, and to support them.
WHAT WE'RE ALREADY DOING:
Partnering with Girl Scouts to recruit future generations of women in water and sanitation, launched our initial research program entitled 'Recruiting, Integrating, Supporting and Retaining U.S. Water Professionals', looking at the experiences, wants and needs of water professionals from a gendered lens, helping industry employers understand how to recruit and retain a gender-inclusive workforce through language, and partnering with colleges and universities to create Her2O™ programming on campus.
We are also working with potential partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, India, and Thailand to design, implement and manage water, sanitation and WASH projects, addressing cultural barriers and getting more and more local women involved in each of these projects along the way.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN WATER MANAGEMENT:
The answer is two-fold. First, from the perspective of gender equality. Around the world, the water and sanitation industry continues to be a male-dominated industry. However, women are the primary users of water, and constitute 50% of the population. It doesn't make sense to only actively include men in managing water. Women should be included in these conversations and solutions. Further, water and sanitation careers are almost exclusively STEM-based. Supporting women in water and sanitation is inpiring and supporting women in STEM.
Second, from the perspective of water and sanitation sustainability. The global water and sanitation industry is facing two crises. First, supply of clean water and proper sanitation facilities, and second, lack of a proper workforce. We do not have the water and sanitation workforce necessary to carry us within this generation or future generations.
Supply of clean water and proper sanitation facilities: Water is a limited resource, however, populations around the world are continuously growing. Currently, an estimated 790 million people, or roughly 11% of the world's population, do not have access to clean water. An estimated 2 million of those people are in the United States! Lack of proper sanitation facilities is the primary cause of disease in many countries. If we are going to avert a global water and sanitation crisis, we must act now.
Lack of proper workforce: Around the world, the water and sanitation industry is facing a massive shortage of workers. This industry is and has always been male-dominated. However, we need all minds on-board to develop the most innovative and sustainable water and sanitation solutions. Research has repeatedly indicated that diverse teams demonstrate better decision making, problem solving, financial performance and increased innovation, creativity, productivity, employee engagement and employee retention. Further, women are the primary users of water and sanitation, and offer unique perspectives when it comes to solution design and implementation. Research indicates that water projects that involve women are 6-7 times more effective than water projects that do not include women. Women are also most likely to care for their family's health needs, and are therefore most knowledgeable and concerned with proper sanitation. Women can fill this industry's employment gap.
WHERE YOUR MONEY WILL GO:
We are asking for your donations because it turns out launching a business can, frankly, run the individual well dry pretty quickly. Our small board of seven has already put in over $10,000 thus far to get started. So we thought, why not offer others the opportunity to SEE Her2O™ by helping us stabilize during this first year.
We are taking donations to support general business startup expenses, including trademarking, website and logo design, website hosting and maintenance, attorney's fees, insurance, etc. It should also be noted, that we are 100% volunteer driven, and we do not have any paid employees at this time, so your donation is going directly to business operations.
By supporting Her2O™ financially, you are:
* helping ensure a sustainable water and sanitation future,
* creating gender equality within the water and sanitation sector,
* supporting girls to pursue STEM careers,
* supporting women in STEM careers, and
* helping fill the water and sanitation workforce gap.
Please help us start SEEing women in water and sanitation!
P.S. donate $75 or more and you will automatically earn a one year Her2O™ membership!
Please follow us on Facebook @her2ointernational to learn more.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful consideration!