As we say on our Women of EHS web page: “Women from all corners or our industry have great stories to tell. Candid, compelling, illuminating – inspirational. This is their forum to tell them.” That’s why we’re constantly introducing our initiative to other women in the EHS sector, and welcome them to join us and even nominate other women.
Are we “trailblazers” on the EHS careers path? Perhaps, although most women in this industry don’t view themselves that way. For other women like me, we simply believe in protecting the environment, and that what we’re doing is important.
That’s why I made environmental science my career and ultimately came to Encamp. It’s also why I appreciate the Women of EHS “voice” we’ve created.
When it comes to EHS careers for women, Encamp has put women in some of our company’s most strategic roles. VP of compliance and customer success. Director of customer success. Senior environmental scientists. In the small yet growing organization that Encamp is, we might not be trailblazers, but we’re certainly cornerstones.
And within the EHS industry, we’re not the only ones. More and more, women are choosing EHS careers and reaching new heights in our industry. And for our Women of EHS effort, several have already shared their stories. Here’s mine.
My own Women of EHS story
How did you get into the environmental space? A passion / fell into it?
Like many people who’ve pursued EHS careers, I’ve always had a passion for the environment and a love of animals. I began my journey in college at Texas A&M (whoop!) wanting to become a veterinarian, but after two years, I realized that career path wasn’t my true calling. I shifted my focus to studying Environmental Science and haven’t looked back since. I knew immediately I had found my niche. I started my career at an environmental consulting company shortly after graduating.
Did you have any mentors along the way? Anyone you looked up to? Other women in your field or at the company you work for?
I’ve had the honor of working with some incredible, smart, inspiring women over the years, and now I get to work with quite a few of them at Encamp!
As for finding the right mentor, I agree with this approach and have followed it myself.
- Know what you want to accomplish professionally
Work SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound — to create effective goals. Increasingly, women are assuming greater roles in their EHS careers. Why not be next?
- Make the ask
Be clear about your goals, why you think this person is the right mentor for you, and what you expect from them. Many high level EHS professionals are extremely willing mentors.
- Be a good mentee
Set an agenda, meet regularly, and be open to constructive as well as positive feedback.
Source: npr.com, The Right Mentor Can Change Your Career
If you have one trait that makes you excel in your position, what is it?
I’ve found that being a good multitasker and being careful with details has helped me the most. In EHS, it’s a battle to stay on top of everything, with the constantly changing daily scope of tasks. So being able to switch gears on a dime and re-focus my attention has been very helpful for me.
Any challenges you’ve faced? How did you overcome them … or are they still a challenge?
I’ve faced many challenges throughout my career; starting in this industry as a young woman proved to be very difficult. My opinions and thoughts were often overlooked and undervalued. But by working hard, learning to speak up and educating myself on the regulations, I found my own sense of value and self-worth, which inspired me to be an advocate not for only women in EHS but for everyone who deserves to be heard.
Remember, women have a voice, too
Organizations led by male-dominated management teams often lack the fresh perspective needed to tackle certain projects. (This definitely applies in EHS circles.) A mix of different genders and backgrounds leads to greater diversity and overall “better decision-making.” Most companies further admit that women offer more “creativity, innovation, and openness.” So, yes, make your voice heard.
Source: Inc. Magazine, The Hidden Advantage of Women in Leadership
What are your thoughts on the future of EHS? Technology or tools … challenges?
The future of EHS is technology and that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of Encamp. I’ve seen so many people in EHS struggle with tracking and organizing information on spreadsheets or using archaic programs that aren’t efficient and prove to be a struggle for team collaboration. Being at Encamp I can see how technology will be an extremely powerful tool to help EHS managers be more efficient and break away from a lot of the struggles they face today.
How can the EHS space improve for women?
We need more women and diversity in the industry and in executive roles. Women need to feel like they can speak up and should be a part of decision making. We have to give women a seat at the table and space to thrive and excel in this industry.
Women boost business outcomes
In a 2019 International Labor Organization survey, nearly 60% of businesses said involving women in decision making “improves business outcomes,” including profit gains of 5% to 20% when more women are in management positions. EHS isn’t necessarily about profits, but making better decisions could sure help avoid a lot of fines for non-compliance violations.
Source: ilo.org, Women in Business and Management: The Business Case for Change
If you could give another woman advice on how to get where you are today, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and your opinions. Set boundaries and learn to say no if you have too much on your plate, your time is valuable. Work hard, learn the regulations and know your value.
If you could give your “past self” advice, what would it be?
Stick up for yourself and speak up. Trust your intuition.
We’d love to share your Women in EHS story.
Transforming the way enterprises stay in compliance
Encamp is on a mission to create a world where good for business can equal good for the environment. We help enterprises transform compliance programs and human processes into a technology-driven system that lays the foundation for accurate and ongoing environmental compliance through a blended method of intelligent high-tech solutions and high-touch expert support.