PEOPLE OF XYLEM: Amy Ross, Executive Office Manager

PEOPLE OF XYLEM: Amy Ross, Executive Office Manager

“I feel I can make a difference in the work that I’m doing at Xylem. That I’m changing lives and inspiring future leaders and women… That we’re making the planet a better place to live, by helping communities gain access to water… It’s incredibly fulfilling.”

Amy Ross 528 x 330.jpgAmy has always strived to find purpose where she works. She first started in water in 2014 when she joined Sensus, a leading provider of smart meters, network technologies, and advanced data analytics services. There, Amy helped form Women of Sensus to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the company and the sector. When Sensus was acquired by Xylem a few years later, she didn’t have to search far for opportunities to continue enriching her experience at work beyond her day-to-day role as Sensus’ Executive Office Manager. In particular, Amy helped Xylem build from the success of Women of Sensus to create Xylem’s first enterprisewide Women’s Network from the ground up, alongside colleagues she considered to be role models and mentors.

“Being part of the Xylem Women’s Network is powerful, because you get these nuggets [of advice] from a bunch of different women in different parts of the business and it definitely helps shape you in becoming the employee and the person you are.”

Amy enjoys working closely with women in leadership and finds it particularly rewarding to see so many examples of Xylem’s well-respected and confident women in the company rise to leadership roles — such as like Claudia Toussaint, the Company's Chief Sustainability and Human Resources Officer, and Austin Alexander, the VP of Sustainability and Social Impact — take charge and be heard. Through Amy’s work as a Chair of Xylem’s Global Women’s Network Morrisville, NC chapter, she is actively involved in shaping the types of events and networking activities organized, while also encouraging allyship from all areas of the business.

“We are a positively charged group… Over the years we’ve done a good job of expanding our reach within the organization. We have senior allies who are an integral part of the work we do. They’re needed to ensure our ambitions for the scale of the network will be successful.”

She believes diversity of thought and perspective are key to broadening the discussion around workforce equality challenges and finding solutions for them. This is when Amy is at her happiest at work, and her proudest achievement to date is spearheading a reverse mentoring pilot program to enhance Xylem’s culture and approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). There are currently 24 senior leadership members being mentored by more junior staff from across the company’s various employee network groups. To Amy’s surprise, the pilot is much bigger than initially planned given the eagerness from her colleagues to get involved as early on as possible.

She says it all boils down to the joys of finding purpose at work and feeding off the energy and excitement when an initiative or project exceeds the mark. In addition to her work with Xylem Women’s Network, Amy has served as Watermark Ambassador for the Measurement and Controls Solutions business at Xylem.  Watermark is Xylem’s corporate social responsibility program. Her decision to get involved felt like “second nature,” given the increase in water scarcity issues globally. A decision that came full circle when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, where Amy’s family is from and where her father had grown up. Amy immediately felt empowered to help and engage her colleagues in a swift humanitarian response.

“I am experiencing first-hand how important the work we are doing [at Xylem] is.”

Amy was deeply moved to learn that the water tower she helped build in Puerto Rico, through Watermark, had provided 300 families with much-needed access to water. Because this area holds so many family ties naturally the impact was incredibly close to home.

The main goal Amy strives for every day is to make Xylem the best place to work through its commitment to social impact and DE&I. Xylem’s purpose-driven culture gives Amy and so many others the opportunity to do exactly that: to work in different areas and learn from interesting people, while solving water. Amy attributes her sense of belonging at Xylem to the culture matching her own desire to make a difference. To make the world a better place for her own children, women, future water leaders, innovators and more.

“This purpose is also showing up in my personal life… I’m making small but important changes because I’m noticing the issues facing our world more clearly.”


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