Throughout the month of March, WQP is sharing Q&A’s with outstanding women in the water quality industry in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Get to know fabulous women in water as they share their background, accomplishments, passions and more, and join us in celebration of their voices. Meet Blanca Salgado, global technical service and development leader for DuPont Water.
Read other 2022 WQP Women in Water Q&As:
- Meet Jennifer Diener of Pentair
- Meet Emily Watkins of Jason’s Water Systems
- Meet Nichole Pennisi of Graver Technologies
How did you become involved in the water industry?
It all started as I was finishing my chemical engineer education in France. Many of my fellow students went to the O&G industry. I decided water instead. I was offered a job in Veolia, the big French water treatment company, and worked for the company in France, China and Spain. I wanted to focus even more on technology. I moved to Dow/DuPont and I will never regret it. I feel really identified with the culture and the company's values and I share the passion of my colleagues. I am driven by the positive impact we make everyday.
What are some of your accomplishments you are most proud of?
I have had the opportunity to drive interesting projects and engagements in my career, but when I reflect, the accomplishments I am most proud to be part of are the ones with visible and direct positive impact in communities in need, especially when the young population is touched.
- Veolia - Removal Fluor. Nguecokh Senegal. Veolia foundation and local NGO.
- Dow – Removal suspended solids + bacteria (powered by DuPont Ultrafiltration), as well as nitrates (thanks to DuPont Ion Exchange Resins). Kabul, Afghanistan. French NGO, Hôpitaux de Paris. Healthy suitable water.
- Today DuPont continues its participation in projects positively impacting communities, help providing drinking water to schools in South Africa
How can mentorship play a role in elevating women in leadership? Has mentorship influenced you?
Have you watched the latest campaign “I am worth it” by L’Oreal?
Listening to Viola Davis or Hellen Mirren is stirring, and Nikolaj Coster Waldau is a great complement.
Both men and women mentors have played a crucial role in my career. Starting with my dad, close colleagues, friends, my boss, and certain leaders in DuPont and the water industry.
I never had a single source of mentorship, but rather went or received pieces of inspiration, stretch, candor or cheering that made a difference in situational approach.
I am a true believer of diversity of thought and its power. And by celebrating it, we can help elevate and empower each other.
In DuPont, I feel I can bring my whole self to work, because my diversity, like many others there, is seen as a fundamental asset.
What's your "why water"? What drives you about your work?
The conviction that there is still so much to do for an integrated and smart management of water cycles, from drinking water to clean city sewage, but also industrial wastewater reuse, separation of secondary elements, etc.
But also many other things we do in parallel to water, such as specialty separations, with direct impact on health and life, supporting people with diabetes, dialysis.
Who are you when you close the laptop? A hidden talent or hobby when not working?
I am a wife, and mother of two dragons who grow faster than I can comprehend. We love biking, going out and biking in the woods, or by the Seine river on the weekends. I find spending time by trees and water so energetic.
I am also a basketball player and fan (NBA but also ACB, the Spanish league), a fair cook, and a Star Wars fan. Also, I am really hard to beat in checkers.
What piece of media (books, TV shows, movies, games, podcasts, etc.) has had the greatest impact on you in the past 12 months?
Not a lot of spare time with the little ones at home to watch movies or read long books, but still the pandemic has been such a good opportunity to catch up on things I wanted to read, listen to or watch. One of the films I remember most vividly is "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. It is a touching story of a small boy growing in Malawi, in a period of great starvation. He has the vision to build a windmill and pump water out of the aquifer and irrigate his father’s agricultural fields. The film talks about survival, but also determination, applied intelligence, prototyping before scaling up, and risk taking, in the search of water as a source of life.