Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at NHA

As the leader in an industry with global impact, the National Hydropower Association has a responsibility to shape a sector that reflects the diversity of our communities and cultivate an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives thrive.

NHA recognizes that the waterpower industry has historically lacked representation of marginalized communities. That gap impacts lives and communities, including our industry’s sustainability.

Diversity makes us stronger. All of us. We are committed to investing in inclusive policies and actions that advance equity at every level of our industry.

To that end we are: 

  • Building a platform and inviting emerging voices from historically excluded communities, including people who are Black, indigenous, people of color, women, veterans, LGBTQIA+, young professionals, and/or have disabilities.
  • Hosting panels and workshops that encourage and train organizations to create environments that are safe, welcoming, and supportive of diverse perspectives. 
  • Recruiting leaders from different backgrounds whose expertise will guide our industry towards a more diverse and sustainable future.
  • Partnering with communities most affected by waterpower initiatives for their benefit and the success of the work.

Future Leaders of Waterpower

We’re investing in the next generation of waterpower. Future Leaders of Waterpower (FLOW) supports the development of talented professionals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Through FLOW, emerging leaders can access resources, connections, and opportunities that advance their career and our industry.

Work in Waterpower

Navigating the waterpower industry can be daunting and confusing. We provide resources and support to help people from under-represented communities find opportunities in hydropower and advance their careers. 

If you need help finding the right opportunity for you, please feel free to contact us.



The Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition

On Global Hydropower Day 2022, NHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET). With Global Hydropower Day’s message of unity as the backdrop, the MOU established a framework for the advancement of gender equality and empowers women in the energy sector.

By working together, both NHA and the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition will develop initiatives, projects, and programs with the explicit aim of empowering women, fostering equal opportunities between women and men, and contributing to gender mainstreaming in the energy sector. Watch the interview with Barbara Fischer-Aupperle, Founding Partner of GWNET, and Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of NHA, where they discuss the MOU and the importance of advancing gender equality and women empowerment in the energy sector.

Renewables Forward

NHA joined Renewables Forward in 2023. Renewables Forward was founded in 2020 to intentionally address historic economic and social inequities. It provides member organizations with resources, training and strategies to implement successful diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.



Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program

NHA is a continual supporter of the Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program, which provides an opportunity for women to connect, generate new friendships and networks, and share experiences in a supportive environment that highlights the powerful contributions women from around the world make in the hydropower industry.


What Happens When We Invest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Intentionally practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion makes a difference. When we center equity and justice in our work, we find innovative solutions that make the world better. 

A Historic Agreement

The Federal Power Act of 1920 was intended to more effectively coordinate hydropower projects across the nation. But its creation largely excluded tribal communities. 

We recognized the injustice of these policies and resolved to right them. As a start, we invited tribal leaders and the environmental community to partner with the waterpower industry. Through the Uncommon Dialogue—a historic collaboration between our three groups— the industry has reached an agreement with the environmental community and many tribal communities to amend the Federal Power Act to restore tribal authority over their lands, waters, and other resources. 

This sort of work shouldn’t be uncommon. NHA is working to regularly staff panels and committees with tribal representatives to ensure their voices and perspectives have power in future decisions.

Panels for Progress

How do you create a work environment where talented people from diverse backgrounds feel welcome and supported? 

Emily Schwartz of Black & Veatch led a workshop on sustainable leadership, together with Louise Duncan (DE&I Manager at Southern Company), Jim Thrasher (former American Electric Power executive), and Renee Fernandez-Lipp (a Public Safety Specialist at PG&E who’s new to the hydropower industry) at the first ever Clean Currents event.

The discussion surfaced actionable ways to help employees feel comfortable and flourish in waterpower. 

Take Action

Inclusive policies and actions are the right thing to do—and it’s something everyone can learn to do and join. Below are three easy things you can do at NHA.

Be part of an NHA Committee or Council



Advocate for the future of the industry. When you join an NHA council or committee, you can lead decisions that create an impact. Participation is reserved for employees of NHA member organizations.


Shape our conferences



NHA events are for the industry, by the industry, and surface waterpower priorities. You can influence what sessions and panels appear in future conferences.


Attend NHA events



Our events are great ways to meet the movers-and-shakers in the industry, learn from expert speakers, and network with colleagues. We host several events across the United States each year. We hope to see you at one soon!