Tetra Tech’s Jennifer Ribotti Discusses Diversity and Opportunity in the Water Infrastructure Sector
Location: Orlando, Florida
As a first-generation American and college graduate, I had unwavering support from my parents, although they could not offer much advice on how to get to college or what career to choose. Fortunately, I was able to access counselors, advisors, and—most importantly—mentors who promoted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers as the future. Since working for Tetra Tech, I have experienced firsthand the emphasis placed on STEM diversity efforts and how some of the company’s most successful programs were founded by employees—the Professional Women’s Network, university recruiting groups, public education volunteer groups, and many more.
Jennifer Ribotti (Roque) is an environmental project engineer based in Tetra Tech’s Orlando, Florida, office. She supports municipal water, reclaimed water, and wastewater infrastructure projects and worked on the first direct potable reuse (DPR) pilot project in Florida to produce drinking water from wastewater. The purified water produced was used to create craft beers that were distributed at the 31st Annual WateReuse Symposium in Tampa, Florida. She also worked on a water treatment plant expansion project in Eagle Pass, Texas, a border community along the Rio Grande river.
STEM jobs are growing more quickly than any other sector in the United States, and Jennifer is an active participant in Tetra Tech’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. She supports establishing diverse recruiting, project, and management teams to better serve clients and the continued professional development of company staff that is integral to successfully adapting to a changing world and industry.
“Tetra Tech highlights the importance of diversity in innovation, which has allowed me the opportunity to work with a diverse, talented workforce on various water and wastewater projects both locally and out of state,” said Jennifer. “I have experienced firsthand a company culture that embraces creativity and cultural intelligence to develop new ideas and solutions.”
For Jennifer, the desire to promote the STEM industry externally is innate. She participates in an annual Engineer for a Day event where she engages high school students in the daily activities of various engineering disciplines. She also volunteers with water environment associations, educates on water reuse and sustainability at local universities, and volunteers at science fairs and resume workshops. She believes Leading with Science® is applicable to both project work and public education at all levels and works to mentor the next generation of engineers and scientists.
Jennifer is a member of the American Water Works Association, The Water Environment Federation, the Southeast Desalting Association, and the WateReuse Association. She has served on the Florida Water Environment Association Central Florida Chapter Committee for three years and is currently the vice-chair. She also is a part of Tetra Tech’s Professional Women’s Network, a monthly open forum founded by alumnae of the company’s annual Leadership Academy program to discuss matters that affect women in the workplace.
Read Jennifer’s interview in Equal Opportunity magazine about how diversity in STEM careers contributes to a talented workforce capable of keeping pace with a technologically evolving society.