Team Spotlight
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The Women of Desolenator

Spotlighting the women who drive our mission: from project management to engineering, businesss development, HR and finance at Desolenator.

On this International Women’s Day, we are thrilled to introduce five of our incredible team members. They have different nationalities, work in different fields, and drive our success every day. Their contributions have been instrumental in our mission to waterproof communities and businesses, and provide sustainable and reliable water to a thirsty world.

While every day is a great day to celebrate women, we are happy to cast an extra bright light today.

Lauren Beck, Head of Projects

With a background in engineering, I have always been passionate about novel technologies that have a positive impact on people’s lives and on the environment. I had an eye-opening experience while working in Nepal and India on small-scale water projects, where I realised that water underpins all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). I knew from then on that I will always want to work in an impactful sector. Through serendipity, I was introduced to William and Jiajun at Desolenator and I was excited to join them in their mission to produce net-zero water.

My journey has been interesting and being female has absolutely influenced my experience in this industry. I think sometimes people can be surprised to see a woman in this industry, especially at times when I have my hard hat and steel toe cap boots on! I would like to think that it has never held me back and I have learned to approach tasks in my own way.

It’s not just a ‘’seat at the table’’ but being empowered to speak up. I have been quite lucky in my career at Desolenator that there are many champions empowering, supporting and advocating for me. The thoughts, actions, and support of executive leaders is paramount to women’s advancement in every sector.

I am lucky to have a very unique experience while managing Desolenator’s first pilot plant in Dubai as I was involved from the initial idea to managing construction, and then finally getting to see the production of water. It was an amazing experience to see the calculations on paper turn into our plant. I can’t describe the unbelievable feeling of finally getting the first few drops of water. It was such a great accomplishment for the team! Looking ahead, I am really excited to keep expanding projects in water-stressed communities and continually innovating in this industry.

My advice to women thinking about starting a similar career is to unapologetically go for it! STEM requires diverse collaborators and contributors. Innovation in engineering and climate tech thrives when there’s a good mix of right brain, left brain, calculated logic and “gut” feelings.

Supriya Mhatre, R&D Lead

Ever since childhood, I was intrigued by renewable energy and so I decided to pursue this passion. While studying, I came across Desolenator’s technology which uses renewable energy to produce water. Coming from a water-stressed region myself, I knew this was the perfect match.

My experience as a woman entering the field of engineering has been mostly positive since then, especially since I’ve had strong women mentors, and you’re often looked upon as a woman in Engineering. Although it can also be quite challenging at times, not having as many women in the industry as you’d expect there to be.

However, I am extremely motivated by the company’s mission and the fact that I’m working towards overcoming one of the biggest global challenges affecting mankind is something I’m proud of.

Looking ahead, I am excited for our scaled-up plant. It has been a huge effort the last year and I’m looking forward to seeing it come to life!

To other young women, I would say: If you’re passionate about it, go for it. Don’t be afraid to stand out. The right network will always support and motivate you.

Katerina Maslava, Financial Controller

As someone who spent most of her career working for large, rigid companies with strict task divisions, I started to feel trapped in a box that limited my abilities and suppressed my growth. It was time for a change. I was seeking a small, agile company that would allow me to express my thoughts on process improvement and enable me to learn new things. That’s when I found Desolenator.

My identity as a woman has definitely influenced my working life, in the sense that I think that women and men have different ways of working, thinking and making decisions. Looking back at my previous experience as an Energetic engineer, I was often given positive feedback by male team members, that I was able to keep focus on the details, and able to finish the work even before the deadline. I have heard and think it is true, that women put more attention to the details and this tenancy is highly appreciated, especially when you have to assemble electrical schemes or create financial statements.

Since joining Desolenator, I feel like I am accomplishing something new every day. One of my proudest accomplishments has been the creation of an organized system of accounts that makes it easy for me to find information and create reports.

Looking forward, I am excited about creating a financial statement that meets all standards, is understandable to stakeholders, and is published in a timely manner.

To other women interested in pursuing a career like mine, my advice is to follow your passion. When you love the work you do, you will always be learning, enhancing your knowledge, and growing professionally.

Louise Bleach, VP Business Development

My background is in social enterprise with a focus on business as a force for human prosperity, especially in developing economies. There are core elements that enable communities to flourish and access to basic requirements such as clean water is critical. Desolenator’s mission to deliver sustainable water in some of the world’s harshest environments is what drew me to the company.

However, working in a male dominated industry also has its challenges, and working in traditionally patriarchal societies such as the Middle East adds another layer of complexity. The truth of the matter is, as a woman operating in this field, you have to work harder, make less mistakes and have real grit in order to be taken seriously. Fortunately, the tide is slowly shifting but it still can feel like an uphill battle.

Despite these challenges, something that I am especially proud of throughout my career is the development of my public speaking. It’s taken years to find my voice, learn how to weave a narrative and engage a wide variety of audiences. Everyone is human at the end of the day and tapping into that shared humanity through storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool.

Looking ahead, I am especially exctied to learn how to balance motherhood and a fulfilling career!

As a final piece of advice, I would encourage all women to find a mentor, find a community and find a purpose you can give your all to.

Judith Kehr, Head of HR

My father’s job with the GTZ took our family to Jordan and Syria during my school years. This meant that I was exposed to water issues from an early age. I started my career in HR in the Middle East working in the hospitality and entertainment industry. So exposure to limited water resources was a continuous theme but also the opportunity to work with a very international workforce. I came across Desolenator in the UAE and was immediately excited by the game-changing technology and the potential for positive impact.

As a mother of girls, I am conscious of the opportunities my daughters have that others lack. Access to clean water ensures their relative health, means they can focus on going to school instead making long treks to wells, and makes all our lives much easier. These are basic needs and rights that should be available to all and that we are passionate about at Desolenator.

I am especially proud of the team we have built at Desolenator over the years. It is a team of extremely intellectually curious and mission-driven individuals, who share, test, and discuss their assumptions because we trust that we can do more together. We come at challenges from many different perspectives and that makes the work exciting and energizing. It allows us to grow together.

I would advise other women to seek out opportunities that allow them to grow. Sometimes you don’t immediately end up in the industry or the dream job you had imagined. Keep looking for ways to learn things that are relevant to making that dream come true. It’s a journey and sometimes you learn most from the detours.