How did you get into the environmental space? A passion / fell into it?
I’d say that I fell into a passion, ha. I was in college trudging through a journalism degree that I realized I didn’t want. I started getting involved with some environmental groups on campus, and then An Inconvenient Truth came out. That documentary shook me to my core, and honestly spurred me into action. I shortly switched my major to Environmental Management and never looked back!
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 have worked with some amazing women in my career. One person in particular that I always looked up to was a former boss of mine when I was at Nexeo Solutions, Allison King. She was a total hustler and had such a positive attitude. I felt so fortunate to be able to work under her wing. I continue to work with a group of incredibly smart and talented women at Encamp. We lift each other up, and I always like to say “I’m as strong as the woman next to me” here.
If you have one trait that makes you excel in your position, what is it?
Versatility! In my position, I’ve done a lot of different things and worked with many departments. Being able to stay versatile, take on new challenges and responsibilities, and be coachable has helped me excel at Encamp.
Any challenges you’ve faced? How did you overcome them … or are they still a challenge?
Of course! When facing a challenge, I allow myself to be angry or upset for a certain period of time, and then I force myself to find a solution or move on. There have also been times when I’ve had to say “it is what it is” and move on. Recognize when you can make real change and overcome challenges versus when you are just beating yourself against a brick wall. In the latter case, find a work around and just do your thing.
What are your thoughts on the future of EHS? Technology or tools … challenges?
The future of EHS looks pretty bright. I see massive changes coming caused by technology, virtual workplaces, and digital transformation. It’s also going to be interesting to see how the industry adapts to new challenges caused by climate change and upcoming sustainability. I always say there is job security in this industry, because environmental regulations will never go away. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in ten years, and I know that Encamp will be a big part of it.
How can the EHS space improve for women?
We need to stop stereotyping women in our industry and putting them in certain boxes. For example, the note-taker in a meeting doesn’t always have to be the female in the room. Anyone feel me? We can bring anything that our male counterparts can to the table, and my hope is that we continue to break down these barriers.
If you could give another woman advice on how to get where you are today, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and be positive. There are going to be challenges and plenty of things that you could allow yourself to dwell on, but you have to keep it moving. I truly think my positive attitude has contributed to a lot of success in my career.
If you could give your “past self” advice, what would it be?
Be your authentic self. Sometimes I have tried to fit into a different mold, or be too nice or too aggressive, and it usually backfires. Know who you are and stay true to it.