From an early age, I was influenced by the life and legacy of some amazing, strong women who left an indelible mark on the core of who I am. Perhaps most significant was my mother, Linda Karger Kohler, who instilled in me this important lesson: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
This lesson has led me to seek opportunities to make meaningful contributions towards the greater good. Water and sanitation are the foundation of our Kohler Co. business, but globally, 2.1 billion people lack access to safe water.* Women and girls in low- or middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the lack of safe water. Collectively they spend 200 million hours each day gathering and carrying water,* a tiresome and often dangerous journey that takes away from their education, well-being and future.
My goal is to empower women and girls through safe water and sanitation. To do this, and to build a more equitable world, we must involve women in the solution. And together, if we can solve the problem of access to safe water and sanitation, imagine what these same women and girls can achieve. According to a McKinsey study, as leaders, women stimulate dissent, engage in participatory decision-making and encourage more effective introspection across the board. Efforts around safe water and sanitation help provide women and girls with the time and improved health they need to pursue an education, take advantage of opportunities and help create a more just world.
That’s why at Kohler, we’ve launched Safe Water for All, a program that allows us to apply our expertise, passion and resources to actively develop solutions to improve water conditions in under-served communities around the world.
Creating an equitable and sustainable water future can only be achieved if communities, local governments, NGOs and businesses take action to identify and address the root causes of sanitation and water issues and (don’t miss this part) develop solutions. At Kohler, we’ve launched five Water Impact Projects—two in India and three in China—that study pressing water- and sanitation-related issues, discover and implement solutions and share findings. NGO partners like Water Mission and World Vision, along with local communities and our own Kohler Co. associates are integral in that effort. This work is driving progress toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #6 (clean water and sanitation) and bringing safe water and sanitation to communities that have never experienced it before. Uniting for safe water is work worth doing.
I invite you to join us in making Safe Water For All a reality — one girl, one family, one community at a time.
*Source: World Health Organization and UNICEF