It is the first time that all of the top jobs in the private water sector have been held by women. Water companies in the public sector need to catch up.
Every two years or so, GWI runs a list of the most powerful women in the water sector. Three major appointments since the start of this year have put women in charge of the top five private water companies worldwide. On 12 January, Estelle Brachlianoff was named CEO of Veolia to succeed Antoine Frérot from June 2022. Sabrina Soussan took over at Suez on 1st February, and Susan Hardwick was named CEO of American Water on 2nd February. This, together with the now complete dominance of women in the UK water sector, completely changes the face of the private water industry. It isn’t the fiefdom of the ‘water barons’ any more. It is also a challenge to the public utility sector and to the water technology sector. The public water sector is nearly ten times the size of the private water sector, but there are fewer women in top positions.