World Oceans Day 2019. Women and the Ocean: testimonials by Veolia's female employees.

Journée mondiale des océans - oceans day - 2019

This year's World Oceans Day’s theme of gender and the ocean is an opportunity to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities, such as scientific research, fishing and work at sea, migration, and public policy development. The importance of gender equality for sustainable ocean management is proven, but action is still needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 in ocean-related sectors. On the occasion of World Ocean Day 2019, Veolia shares this dual vision of sustainable ocean management and helping more women learn the necessary skills.


Veolia is committed to protecting the seas and oceans

To protect the oceans, Veolia handles pollution flows on the coast and upstream, acting at the land-sea interface and at the source of polluting releases and waste. Veolia reduces the vulnerability of regions and helps production and consumption modes move towards a circular economy approach.
Veolia’s commitment also extends to supporting initiatives developed by multi-stakeholder cooperation (The New Plastic Economy an initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation) to improve production systems. It is developing industrial partnerships (rPET plant project with Danone in Indonesia, plastic waste collection and recycling with Nestlé in eleven countries,  STOP project to industrialise plastic recycling in Indonesia). Finally, alongside local communities, it encourages the population to change their behaviour (Fountains in London, MOOCs, Tara Expeditions).


Veolia guarantees gender equality at work and promotes gender diversity in its teams.

Like Industry, the sea and ocean have traditionally been masculine environments. In order to promote gender equity, Veolia has set a target of 30% of women in managerial roles by 2020. To achieve better gender balance in technological professions, Veolia strives to create attractiveness, career development, and a working environment to help women feel that they belong in the company and have a successful career there. Its coaching programme Women in Leadership creates career opportunities for female managers. Over 240 women in the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East have followed this programme which is also available in Australia and Latin America for the first time this year.


Veolia's female engineers and researchers talk about their work to protect the oceans.

  • Dorothée Lenes, Programme Director, Veolia Research and Innovation
    "As a Research and Innovation waste recovery project manager, I work on, among other things, improving the collection and recycling of plastic waste upstream to prevent them from polluting the oceans and to turn this waste into a raw material that can be recycled into new products. I am very proud of the fact that I am actively participating in protecting the environment. Through Veolia’s partnership with Unilever, which aims to improve plastic waste collection and recycling infrastructures in various countries, starting with India and Indonesia, Veolia plays a pioneering role, from collection up to recycling, in redefining the sustainable management of plastic packaging to preserve the oceans. This project is supplemented by the local STOP initiative (STop Ocean Plastics) of which Veolia is a partner."
  • Marie-Pierre Denieul, Senior Project Manager, Veolia Research and Innovation

    "I manage projects on microplastics, which are omnipresent in the Mediterranean Sea, to identify the possible environmental impacts of Veolia's activities on the marine environment.
    A team of researchers from Veolia and French and European universities recognised for their scientific expertise in the field are carrying out these research projects.

  • Mathilde Nithart, Head of Communications, Veolia Research and Innovation
    "I had the chance to get involved in the Veolia Foundation's biodiversity and oceans projects which was an opportunity that corresponded to my love of the marine environment, my degree in marine biology, and my job at Veolia Research & Innovation. As such, I work on several projects concerning, in particular, the promotion of the interests of the ocean ('Ocean and climate' platform); sustainable food through an innovative urban permaquaculture farm imitative (13Oceans project, in Marseille with the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute); marine environmental awareness and training in sustainable fishing practices in the Philippines (with the Sulubaai Environmental Foundation); and preserving biodiversity in the coastal marine environment through artificial reef projects at Cap Sicié in southern France (Remora project)."


Veolia encourages young girls around the world to choose the professions of technician, engineer, and scientist.

Veolia partners with initiatives, such as Girls on the Move Week, launched for International Women's Rights Day by the association Elles bougent which aims to increase the number of women with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills. Among the 6 100 participants in the Girls on the Move Week 2019, over 1 800 secondary school students in 18 countries attended talks by female sponsors from Veolia.



Find out more
Veolia's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Veolia: our HR promise
Veolia founding member of the new Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW)
Veolia Institute conference: 'We must all play a role in reinventing plastic'

World Oceans Day 8 June
United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5
The 17 SDGs to save the world