Below is a summarised excerpt of an article which first appeared online in Facility Cleaning & Maintenance magazine on the Remi Network by Rebecca Melnyk*.
International cleaning community ISSA Hygieia Network has said that ‘more work needs to be done to propel women into executive roles within the cleaning business and retain their talents’.
The organisation – which is ‘dedicated to the advancement and retention of women at all levels of the global cleaning industry’ – was launched by Sealed Air Diversey Care president Dr IIham Kadri in 2014, after she noticed “huge gaps in gender diversity and a lack of prestige connected with cleaning jobs”.
[quote]“We’ve noticed in the upper echelons of the industry there is no gender diversity and we want to see women advance,” stated Maintex president and ISSA Hygieia Network council member Linda Silverman. “It’s about letting women reach managerial levels and not letting talented women leave our industry, but providing them with the tools to advance.”[/quote]
EBP Supply Solutions CEO and ISSA Hygieia Network council member Meredith Reuben said “it’s also about rewarding institutions, from building service contractors to manufacturers and distributors”.
[quote]“The ISSA Hygieia Network is about visibility,” she explained. “And we’re trying to reward and create visibility for those companies that are helping women.”[/quote]
During this year’s ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America trade show, the ISSA Hygieia Network will be holding an educational event – [highlight]‘Networking Secrets of Successful Women’ [/highlight]– on Tuesday 25 October to teach women how to ‘strategically network with colleagues’.
[quote]“We’re focused on this industry, but some of the training is about decision-making, networking and best practices, which you can use in any industry,” shared ISSA Hygieia Network council member Nathalie Doobin, owner and CEO of Harvard Services Group.[/quote]
This kind of training and networking from ISSA Hygieia Network is continuous; ‘members field all sorts of questions in between ISSA events, from how to handle an employer relationship or deal with a situation involving a family-owned company’.
[quote]“For me, there’s a lot of women who just want to understand how to get from here to there and understand there is a path,” commented ISSA Hygieia Network council member Holly Borrego, senior director of cleaning services at C&W Services. “Some questions are as simple as how to bid on window cleaning. It’s really different based on the level of the individual. That’s the beauty of the organisation; it doesn’t matter what level you are. There are resources available to everyone.”[/quote]
*Rebecca Melnyk is an online editor and writer with Canadian Property Management and Facility Cleaning & Maintenance magazines