Women in Water Series – Daniele Johnson

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I am Daniele Johnson, Brazilian-born and USA Citizen by choice. I`ve been living in Minnesota for seven years and am learning to enjoy winter activities like downhill skiing. Now the summertime is perfect here… I even got a golf membership, something that I would never imagine doing in Brazil.

Were you always interested in working for wastewater companies? What made you decide to pursue an engineering/tech/wastewater career?

I graduated in Agronomy in Brazil, and since I was very young, I have always dreamed of helping feed the World. For many years I worked on Corn and Soybean breeding projects that aimed to create drought-resistant varieties that could win in today’s climate variations. I still think this work is essential, but it will not solve the planet’s problems alone.

Today I find myself still pursuing that old dream, but in a different way. Having food on the table is only part of the equation. We also need safe water to drink!

How does it feel to be a woman working in the wastewater industry?

People keep asking me how I like my new job and new industry. Well, that is a simple answer… I absolutely love it! In my first month working for Transcend, I was introduced to the “Elemental/square partnership project,” where we will be working closely with an Engineering company 100% focused on finding solutions for municipal wastewater projects in underserved/forgotten communities in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil. Even though I had an idea about how precarious the sewage systems are, it was shocking to learn that Brazil treats only 40% of its wastewater. It blows my mind that so many kids still get sick and die from water contamination.

Do you think that women are underrepresented in wastewater? If so, why do you think that’s the case?

Yes, like many other industries, but I mostly see the lack of women in decision-making positions.

What’s your role at Transcend? What do you do on a typical day?

I am a customer success manager and work with both customers and internal teams daily. The fun part about working for Transcend is that each day is unique. There are not too many repetitive tasks, and the days get filled with both internal and customer meetings.

Why did you choose to work at Transcend?

Transcend caught my attention because of its vision. There are so many software startups out there but Transcend stands out so much because of the unmatched value the tool is bringing to the industry. We are the future.

What are the challenges at work that you learn from the most?

Learning a new industry is difficult, but this one is so rewarding, and I am glad I made this career change. Transcend has been very patient with employees coming from different industries and gives us the opportunity to seek the knowledge needed to perform our jobs at our best. 

What learning/growth opportunities have impacted you most?

The fun part about Transcend is that you get to participate in so many meetings where you can watch a few of the best Process Engineers in the World go over industry topics and learn so much from those discussions. We are also encouraged to take wastewater classes.

What advice would you give to other women wanting to join this industry? What do you wish you had known?

Don`t be afraid to speak up.


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