Women in industries such as waste services often find it difficult to gain visibility. Elizabeth Csipkay agrees this was a major challenge for her. With expertise in business development, sales and marketing, Elizabeth has proven to be a valuable Account Manager for Veolia Environmental Services over the past five years – so much so that her employer selected her to complete an elite Women in Leadership program. The Women in Leadership program is the first of its kind to be offered at the environmental waste company.
Veolia Environmental Services is a global leader in developing waste, water and energy management solutions for clients. Their motto “turning waste into a resource” displays an ongoing commitment to minimizing the impact waste has on the environment. Veolia is known for helping clients maintain excellent records of compliance with environmental regulations. The company maintains a continuous eye on maximizing their clients’ return on investment. One way they do this is through reviewing waste for cost and efficiency.
Building competencies and increasing visibility are two goals of the Women in Leadership program. Methods to accomplish these objectives include one-on-one coaching, a self-reflection and goal setting assessment tool, and a team project. The coaching Elizabeth received from Barbara Adler, a Board Certified Coach and Career Management Fellow, taught her to, “slow down, take the time to build relationships and focus on quality instead of quantity.” Barbara shared great insights on becoming a better performer as well as accepting and working through ambiguity. “It’s not all black and white. Sometimes you have to work in the gray area,” Elizabeth states, and getting past uncertainty when working on projects can lead to rich experiences and opportunities for growth.
Success isn’t just measured in results, which Elizabeth and her team achieved through the development of a customer-facing tool to display how Veolia recycles and disposes of waste. It’s also measured in what is learned during the process. Elizabeth is now aware of how important a network is to expand your horizons within an organization. “I believe that building strong relationships is what can lead to higher quality work and a more engaged organization,” she said. “The opportunity to network with peers in other departments made the program worthwhile. People want to work with people they know and trust.” Elizabeth feels that exposure was a key benefit of the program, and this is what she hopes will lead to additional projects down the line.
Elizabeth was thrilled her employer was willing to invest in her professional development, and she believes when employees feel valued, they are not only more engaged but also more apt to stay with the company. As she prepares to step into her next role as a Key Account Manager, Elizabeth is excited to grow the relationships she built during the program and maintain a strong network within the organization, maximizing every relationship to continue to drive Veolia as an industry leader.