WEM Pride

Water & Environmental Management Pride (WEM Pride) has been established to provide a network for LGBTQIA+ people and their allies working, studying and volunteering within the WEM sector and in particular for members of CIWEM.

WEM Pride was founded after conversations within and beyond CIWEM, with inspiration from similar initiatives in the global water and STEMM sectors. Whilst some organisations have LGBTQIA+ initiatives or networks, many WEM organisations may not have LGBTQIA+ or equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) networks, or signpost those available outside the WEM sector. It is still the case that many WEM LGBTQIA+ individuals feel it is inappropriate, unprofessional, unnecessary or unsafe for them to be out within their organisation and some face daily microaggressions or overt homophobic behaviour at work, which takes time and energy to deal with (as it is illegal under the Equality Act 2010’s Protected Characteristics). Greater progress on EDI requires awareness, acceptance, inclusivity and action for all marginalised identities and communities across all sectors and geographies to prevent discrimination and harassment. WEM Pride starts that conversation from WEM and LGBTQIA+ perspectives.

Currently, WEM Pride aims to:

  • Ensure CIWEM provides support and guidance for WEM organisations worldwide.
  • Make visible and amplify the voices of the WEM LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Increase support available to the WEM LGBTQIA+ community (including newsletter, blog posts, safe spaces to meet, best practice for allies).
  • Provide safe spaces for WEM LGBTQIA+ individuals (and their allies, where appropriate) to meet, network, share experiences & ideas and present work as their full authentic selves.
  • Discuss and debate approaches to LGBTQIA+ and EDI initiatives (successes and failures) to contribute to progress on action and discourse (from local to global, such as the Sustainable Development Goals).
  • Break down the cisgender-normative and hetero-normative facade/appearance of WEM (including the STEMM and HASS areas that WEM encompasses) so that LGBTQIA+ people feel safe, valued and included in the sector.

News and Features

WEM Pride was co-founded by Dr Sarah Ward (Westcountry Rivers Trust) and Francesca Batchelor (CIWEM), following conversations with current CIWEM President Niki Roach, Jack Poole (former CIWEM colleague), and Jacquie Moon and Brendan Moore who co-founded Pride in Water Australia. So far, the WEM Pride Steering Committee has been established through liaison with CIWEM Branches - if you are a member of the WEM LGBTQIA+ community or an ally and would like to be on the steering committee to help shape how this initiative grows (Terms of Reference) please get in touch with Francesca at: governance@ciwem.org

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