100+ Women Strong Innovator Sponsor talks recruiting

Published: Jun 29, 2021 4:00 PM

By Lauren Winton

Nalco Water, a division of Ecolab, has a corporate diversity mission statement that sounds fairly familiar. According to Beth Parola, assistant vice president of Nalco Water, the company seeks to “recruit, retain and grow” the number women in engineering.

“Our company goals align perfectly with 100+ Women Strong,” said Parola, ’91 chemical engineering.

Since the program was established in 2012, the goal of 100+ Women Strong has been to “recruit, retain and reward women in engineering.” The name itself comes from the participation of more than 100 alumni who have annually supported the program and its mission.

100+ Women Strong also has a number of philanthropic corporate sponsors. Nalco Water happens to be an Innovator Sponsor, providing generous annual support to the program. In return, the company is represented at all 100+ Women Strong events.

“Joining 100+ Women Strong as a corporate sponsor was a natural step,” said Parola, who is a member of 100+ Women Strong. “Our membership absolutely adds value to the company. It allows us to recruit from Auburn.”

Nalco Water hired 11 interns in 2020, seven of whom were women. Parola said these internships provide the critical pipeline they need to hiring new engineers.

“We place students in internships to meet their needs. Through 100+ Women Strong, I’ve been able to get to know students and assess whether the position would be a good fit for them,” Parola said.

Before Parola started her role as assistant vice president, she served as the district manager for Nalco Water, where she also helped with recruiting. As the company’s recruiter, Parola would spend time visiting different university campuses across the Southeast. Her favorite – and she admits she’s biased – was recruiting from Auburn.

“It has been a pleasure to recruit from Auburn, and I am glad Auburn is one of the schools Nalco Water heavily recruits from,” Parola said. “It was great that 100+ Women Strong even provided virtual opportunities to connect with students during the pandemic.”

Although the virtual events allowed Nalco Water to connect with Auburn and 100+ Women Strong throughout the height of the pandemic, Parola said she’s excited for the opportunity to meet in person once again.

“There are so many benefits to being a member of 100+ Women Strong, and I cannot wait to meet with students again in the fall. The program is a primary pipeline for us to recruit young women. The in-person events are really the opportunity for me to meet new people and make those important connections,” Parola said. “There’s just something about being in person.”

100+ Women Strong plans to host the fall welcome back event in August on the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering campus. Like Nalco Water, many other corporate sponsors are looking forward to the opportunity to gather together once again.

“I really appreciate the events 100+ Women Strong hosts. I am thankful for the role I’ve had at Nalco Water to help establish our 100+ Women Strong sponsorship,” Parola said. “We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and 100+ Women Strong is the perfect way to recruit talented young women in engineering.”

Media Contact: Lauren Winton, lmw0090@auburn.edu, 334.844.5519
Beth Parola

Beth Parola

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