Talking Under Water Episode 46: Women in Water 2021

Nov. 19, 2021

This month’s podcast episodes features interviews with four women in water on their career journeys, leadership & diversity

In this episode of Talking Under Water, One Water, One Podcast, hosts Lauren Del Ciello, Katie Johns and Bob Crossen highlight conversations with four women in water on their career journeys, women in leadership, diversity in the workplace, the role of mentorship and more. Plus, the podcast guests share advice for young professionals entering the water industry. 

For this episode, Johns interviewed Mariyana Spyropoulos, a member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago’s Board of Commissioners. Del Ciello spoke with Sivan Zamir, senior director of Xylem’s Innovation Labs. Crossen spoke with ​​Felicia James, associate vice president and asset management lead for Carollo Engineers and Haley Goddard, project engineer and young professionals facilitator for Carollo Engineers.

Show Notes:


  • Cold Open: 0:00
  • Host Introduction: 1:00
  • Episode Summary: 1:12
  • Interview with Mariyana Spropoulos starts: 2:31
    • How Spropoulos got started in water: 3:29
    • Spropoulos’ duties as MWRD of Chicago Commissioner: 5:05
    • Did Spropoulos expect to become a commissioner?: 6:47
    • Challenges faced in the industry: 8:03
    • Experience as a woman in the industry: 9:21
    • Education’s value in attracting more women to the industry: 11:55
    • Importance of investment in water infrastructure: 14:20
    • What is the role of mentorship in careers?: 16:33
    • Advice for women and young professionals: 18:08
    • Resilience in the face of adversity and managing discouragement: 19:18
  • Interview with Sivan Zamir starts: 20:56
    • Zamir’s career path: 21:48
    • The learning curve of starting businesses in the water industry: 25:42
    • Drivers behind the innovation increase in the water sector: 28:16
    • The role of mentorship in the industry: 30:41
    • Mentorship is a two-way street: 34:02
    • Barriers to women leadership in the water industry: 35:10
    • Curating a culture of uplifting team members: 39:15
    • Who Sivan is outside the office: 40:19
  • Interview with Felicia James and Haley Goddard starts: 42:15
    • James’ career path: 42:54
    • Goddar’s career path: 45:33
    • Barriers for women in the water industry: 54:05
    • Confidence in the workplace: 56:33
    • The importance of networking: 57:22
    • Acceptance of different personalities and establishing authority: 60:51
    • The value of a diversity of skill sets: 62:22
    • Catering to a more diverse hiring pool: 63:42
    • Market the industry to find new talent: 65:45
    • Diversity of careers in the industry: 68:55
    • Advice for young professionals: 70:00
  • Housekeeping: 72:13
  • End: 74:11


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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 Water & Wastes Digest (WWD), Water Quality Products (WQP) 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] or engaging with them on Twitter @TUWpodcast. Join the conversation by commenting or using the hashtag #talkingunderwaterpod on social media.