Photo (San Diego Union Tribune) — The new Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College includes an above-ground water distribution system that students can operate and repair, and a water quality laboratory. The center is focused on “learning by doing” to improve students’ job-readiness.

Mount Helix resident Kathleen Coates Hedberg is a registered civil engineer, a grade 4 water treatment operator and cross connection specialist.

On the board of directors of the Helix Water District and San Diego County Water Authority, Hedberg knows what it is like to be in a male-dominated field.

“There’s only six of us on the county water board out of about 36 members,” Hedberg said.

She’d like to see a shift in those numbers, and is an advocate for women seeking — and succeeding — in careers in the water and wastewater industries.

Hedberg said this month’s second annual Cuyamaca College Center for Water Studies “Women in Water – Exploring Career Pathways” symposium will provide a good opportunity to turn the tide.

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