When asked what advice she has on being a woman of color in a predominantly white business environment, environmental consultant and CEO of her own water consultation firm, Stacey Isaac Berahzer answered: -
When asked what advice she has on being a woman of color in a predominantly white business environment, environmental consultant and CEO of her own water consultation firm, Stacey Isaac Berahzer answered:
“I like to say that sometimes it's good to not notice that you're a woman, or of color, and pretend that it is not there. The room may be mainly Caucasian, or male, or people older than you, but I think there is an advantage sometimes to pushing all of that to the back of your mind and pretend it’s a level playing field.”
With 14 million households struggling to pay their water bills nationwide, Berahzer focuses on the importance of water equity and affordability. Prioritizing “color of water”, rising water rates are most likely to impact communities of color. Over two million Americans do not have access to clean running water, with black, indigenous and people of color making up the majority of those communities. For example, Native Americans are 19 times more likely to lack indoor plumbing, putting them in the worst spot of any group, and African-American and Latinx households lack indoor plumbing at almost twice the rate of white households.
Should utility companies be more empathic and aware of the needs of their customer base? This would be a helpful step in bridging the gap of water inequity, but it is a fairly complicated matter. With the existence of both small and large utility companies that operate differently, it is not as simple as streamlining a “one size fits all” solution approach.
In this episode, we dive into the realm of an environmental water consultant and learn some of the ins and outs of the water affordability crisis, why might someone want to own their own consulting firm, necessary skills to make it in the professional world, and so much more.
In terms of favorite quotes, Berahzer likes this witty one by the Founder of CNN, and environmental philanthropist, Ted Turner.
If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect.
While funny, it captures the important truth that some ideals are almost unattainable, but are still worth the constant pursuit. One person may not change the world single-handedly, but many people setting aside their differences and working together can bring about real systemic changes Berahzer maintains a hopeful spirit regarding environmentalism.
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