Inspiring the Next Generation of Water Leaders

In a changing world where our environments and societies become more diverse, it’s increasingly important for our workforce to reflect the diversity of the communities that we support, in order to truly understand and meet our clients’ needs. 

WSP believes that inspiring the next generation of water leaders through diversity and inclusion is critical in transforming the water industry. By increasing diversity of thought, culture, background, experiences, and personalities, we create a more competitive and dynamic industry. 




Lee Foster, WSP’s Technical Executive of Water Treatment, has recently interviewed some female leaders including: Terri Benson, Managing Director of South East Water; Lucia Cade, Chair of South East Water and Louise Dudley, Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Urban Utilities, who are challenging the status quo in their careers and in the industry.


“I have always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and am inspired by many professionals around the world who have been striving for better balance through gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I’ve been in the water industry for over 25 years and I love it! It’s rewarding to see that many of us have the same passion and social purpose in providing better health and hygiene for the communities in which we work, live and play. We hope that by sharing these stories and bringing different perspectives to the table, we can help to inspire the water leaders of tomorrow.”


We kick off the series with Terri Benson, Managing Director of South East Water. Prior to this, she has held a range of executive and non-executive director roles in the government utility and private infrastructure sectors. She is a former CEO of SEQWater, a water wholesale utility in south-east Queensland, a former Managing Director of Essential Energy, and a former Chair of the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW.


Terri says, “If we achieved gender balance in our industry, we’d reflect our community and studies show we’d outperform organisations that aren’t as diverse. I really value working with people who don’t think like me, and the more diversity of thought and approaches you have, the better the decisions. 


“The sweet spot is when you’ve sat in a team and the decision you made was so good, that you surprised yourselves. And you know that no one individual could have done it without the collective.”


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