For Executive Secretary Araceli Ramirez, being a part of the SFPUC Water Quality Division is more than just an administrator role. It is about using what she has learned on the job throughout her career at the SFPUC while continuing to learn something new every day.
Ramirez’s typical day can range from assisting the Water Quality Division team with duties that require independent judgement on administrative issues to preparing reports, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting minutes, and making travel arrangements and preparing expense reports as needed.
On a daily basis, Ramirez closely coordinates with other SFPUC staff and stakeholders. “Every day can be a little bit different, some days is the usual triaging emails and preparing documentation for our various meetings,” she shared. “Other days can be unique, like organizing and coordinating logistics for our JD Power Subscription webinars. There is always something new to learn on the job.”
Ramirez has also played a key role in coordinating her team on various initiatives, coordinating visits with team members and stakeholders, and sharing information with water quality staff. She was also a part of the SFPUC’s Employee Appreciation Committee for the Peninsula region last year and has been a recipient of an employee recognition award two years ago.
Ramirez said she’s proud to be a part of such a diverse group, where colleagues truly come from all walks of life. “It is important to know that as a Mexican (born and raised) who came to this country after college, I can proudly represent Latina women in the government sector,” she shared. “I am an immigrant working mother of three children, who had to learn the ropes of our system from the bottom up. I had to look for opportunities that will not only provide growth in my newly found career and a secure retirement, but will also provide stability for my family.”
For Ramirez, Women’s History Month is a reminder that even now, not all women are treated equally. “We get the spotlight during this month to remind our society that there is still a big difference in how we treat, recognize and compensate women,” she said. “I believe San Francisco is a unique City that continues to pursue the equal treatment for all. If we can only replicate this mentality and spread it to other cities even other countries, then we will really make an impact!”
Ramirez shared that it is important to celebrate and recognize the contributions of women in the utilities industry because it “breaches that gender gap and we are acknowledging that there is still a lot of work to be done to properly recognize women.” Ramirez shared that in order to be successful as an industry, it is important to acknowledge the contributions from all of the SFPUC’s employees as equal.
When asked what advice she would give young women looking to enter the utilities industry, she advised to be confident and always try to learn something new. “Curiosity leads to knowledge, and knowledge will open a lot of doors,” she said. “Regardless of what path or career they decide to take, they should always maintain their integrity and pride. Celebrate who they are and where they come from, that is what makes all of us unique, being our true and confident selves. There is nothing more powerful than perseverance, confidence and good work ethic.”