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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Episode 6 of the Empowering Women Podcast


Drena Howard is a Senior Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability professional with 15 years of experience in retail, manufacturing and warehouse, spanning cosmetics, building system services, and aerospace. Drena holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from South Carolina State University, which is an important Historically black university, or HBCU. Drena also holds a Masters of Environmental Management and a Master of Public Health, both from Yale University. Drena is recognized as a leader in EHS as showcased by her roles with the National Association of Environmental Managers, where she is currently on the board of directors.


Notable Quotes and Concepts from Drena:

What do you like about being in Environmental Health & Safety

“Serious injuries can completely alter a person’s life… being able to prevent something like that from happening…so that they can have their limbs, their mobility, and can provide for themselves and their family as well as do the things they love to do on the weekends… makes my day”


Regarding how Drena would like to see the EHS profession change:

“There are a lot more people of color and women in the environmental health and safety profession, but they’re not always represented in conferences or trade events and trade shows… I would encourage organizations – if you have up and coming talent, whether they be women, people of color, LGBTQA, etc. that instead of just always sending your most senior people to the conference, send some of your more junior people. Send some of your more diverse candidates to these conferences, to these trade shows. Because it shows representation of your organization as well as it is a way to groom and develop your talent through their exposure, the things that they learn from the conference…”


“I am passionate about environmental justice because if you can improve the health and quality of air, quality of water in these communities, it gives more people an opportunity to go on to advanced education because they’re not sick and missing school. And if they’re not sick and missing school, then they have more job opportunities. It creates a stronger pipeline for the future as a whole… Environmental justice is not just limited to ‘not in my back yard.’ It’s what are some of those opportunities to improve the air, the water, the basic things that people need to function and live, which then opens up so many more pathways for success. ”


“Ask for what you what. Ask about the opportunities ”


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