BOSTON - NOVEMBER 19, 2018 -- As record numbers of organizations report increased difficulty in engaging and retaining female talent, Veolia North America, part of the world’s leading resource management company, hosted the closing event of its 2018 global Women in Leadership (WIL) program in a bid to recognize the importance of diverse senior leadership.
The prestigious initiative was established by Veolia North America in 2011 in response to the need for strong, diverse leadership. The program is now represented in more than 15 countries globally, including the US, Canada and Argentina, as well as across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company plans to continue the program’s expansion to other geographies.
Following a year of web-based training, personal coaching and assessments, the North America and UK WIL class of 2018 gathered in Boston, Massachusetts, for the closing ceremony. The event included a panel of senior women leaders from several distinguished organizations in the Boston area.
Each panelist was invited to share her experience as a successful business leader working in historically male-dominated sectors.
Speaking of the WIL program, Augie Schulke, Chief Human Resources Officer at Veolia North America, states:
“At Veolia, we are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce to attract and retain the best talent. Our Women in Leadership program brings innovation and different perspectives to the table, allowing us to be more competitive and to grow our business.”
Speaking of their panel experiences:
Jackie Bliss, Vice President and Head of Global Customers, Enel X North America and President of the Women’s Energy Network - Boston, adds:
“I feel proud to have been asked to participate in this important event and to celebrate the closing of Veolia’s Women in Leadership program. I cherish opportunities like this to engage with other talented women from across the energy industry; they’re so empowering. While women are changing the world, challenging the status quo, and breaking down old barriers, challenges at work are still very real and it’s important to share experiences and support one another as we lead the world into the future.”
Mahala Burn, PhD Director Corporate Development and Strategic Financing at bioMérieux, add:
"We must encourage people to tell their stories and own what makes them unique. When people don’t have to waste energy blending in they can focus on their work. As women in leadership, we are empowered to drive optimal business growth by sharing our unique perspectives and creating an inclusive environment for others. This Women in Leadership event provided a space to address the opportunities and challenges we face together."
Melissa James, President, Founder and CEO at The Tech Connection, adds:
"I am excited to share some of the bold ways that I see women bringing their unique talents to power change in 2018. I am so fired about the number of women like Ayanna Pressley, Sharice Davids, IIhan Omar, and Michelle Lujan Grisham who are changing the face of our political landscape."
Jane Steinmetz, Boston Office Managing Principal for Ernst & Young LLP, adds:
“I am honored to be able to share my experiences with this dynamic group of women leaders. It is powerful when women come together to help solve the challenges we face in the workplace and I am proud to be a part of those discussions.”
Many published reports, including those from Forbes and EY, have shown that having a more diverse board is good for business. And it’s no coincidence that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on the Fortune list are 15 percent more likely to outperform their competition.
Veolia has installed global and regional diversity and inclusion goals to address the opportunity gap and to ensure progress is being made to advance gender equality within the company. Veolia has a global objective of 30 percent female managers recruited by 2020, as well as 40 percent of the Group’s board of directors to be female by 2020. As of May 2018, the company counts with 46% female board members. Female recruitment in 2017 was up 33% and they account for 33% of all executives recruited, up 7 percent vs. 2016.
These global goals are especially important in the United States, as women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, earn almost 60 percent of undergraduate degrees, 60 percent of all master’s degrees and 38 percent of MBAs. However, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to representation in leadership positions. In fact, less than six percent of CEOs in the S&P 500 (stock market index) are women.
Veolia North America has implemented a number of other workforce development programs to increase diversity and encourage inclusion throughout the company. Among the programs include Leaders of Tomorrow, a program intended to help develop emerging talent within the business; LGBT+ and Allies communities that assist with mentoring and leadership development and training within the business; and partnering with non-profit organization such as Year Up to help close the opportunity gap young adults can face in their professional development.
Veolia North America would like to thank the following business leaders for their participation in the Women in Leadership panel and congratulate them for their individual efforts in building an inclusive work environment within their own leading organizations.
- Jackie Bliss, Vice President and Head of Global Customers, Enel X North America and President of the Women’s Energy Network - Boston
- Mahala Burn, Ph.D., Director Corporate Development and Strategic Financing at bioMérieux
- Melissa James, CEO and Founder of Tech Connect
- Jane Steinmetz, Boston Office Managing Principal at Ernst & Young LLP
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy.
Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of USD 30.1 billion in 2017. www.veolia.com