Enviri Women: Kathy Skinner's Story
Our Enviri Women employee resource group fosters a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with our organizational mission, values, goals, business practices and objectives.
We proudly feature Kathy Skinner, who has been a tremendous asset to Clean Earth and authentically reflects our “be-caring” value. This value demonstrates treating others as we’d like to be treated ourselves.
How did your career start, and what has your work experience been?
I started back in 2004 as a receptionist at Strong Environmental, which was acquired by Stericycle in January 2010. Over time, I became very involved with onboarding, culture and engagement. After hosting new hire orientation for several years, I was asked by senior leadership to take on the role of hosting new hire orientation for all sites across the country. I did that for many years and then shifted into more of the behind-the-scene aspect of HR. I focused on my strengths within the department, which included supporting our HR leadership team, creating a positive onboarding experience, and promoting employee engagement and recognition. Fast forward to this year, I was given the opportunity to take on a new role that included providing employees with a strong sense of culture and engagement. I feel very fortunate to share how my determination led me to build up from the start of my career successfully.
Will you talk about your current role at Clean Earth?
I currently work as the Human Resource Manager, Talent. This role includes all the core Talent Development Programs such as engagement survey, talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, vendor management, training and employee engagement and recognition. This responsibility allows me to encompass my drive for employee care through building connections and promoting engagement and recognition. In addition to my current role, I manage the ambassador program at Clean Earth, which is vital in building a foundation among employees that actively sustains our organizational values.
Are there any misconceptions people may have about your position?
People often think my job is all about the fun stuff however, there is a great deal of behind-the-scenes work that people don’t realize. One of the areas I'm responsible for is employee engagement. This involves building trusting relationships with employees at all levels, analyzing data from surveys and interviews to identify trends, seeking, and listening to feedback from employees, and partnering with business leaders to decide on initiatives that will improve employee engagement.
Let’s talk about some of the highlights of your career. What has been the most rewarding or meaningful part of your work experience thus far?
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with various women leaders who supported my career goals. These women helped create my roadmap which ultimately guided me through several phases of my career. One highlight that inspired me to continue to work hard and focus on opportunities for growth and development, was having a mentor. Her support, leadership and encouragement were so impactful that it inspired me to help others in the same way. I want to make a difference in others the way she made a difference in mine.
The most rewarding moment of my career occurred in February of 2023. The VP of Human Resources and Human Resources Director contacted me and extended an opportunity that was a brand-new role at Clean Earth. I was over the moon excited and thrilled to take on the role of Human Resource Manager, Talent. That was the moment when my persona changed. I exuded more confidence, security, and drive to continue reaching goals beyond what I ever imagined.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
I volunteer at an organization in Atlanta, called Camp Sunshine. This organization enriches the lives of children with cancer and their families throughout the year. Being a former camper myself, I volunteer each year to give back what was given to me. In addition, I enjoy spending time with my family, shopping at outlet malls, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs!
How do you empower other women in our industry? What advice do you want to share?
First and foremost, I serve as a mentor to other women within Clear Earth. I love being able to share my story to help others build their roadmap, especially from someone who has walked in similar roles. I want to show my empathy and help others in the industry who are not quite sure how to begin.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the start of your career?
Be patient and be driven. Follow your roadmap and use your passion to fuel progress. Lastly, stay humble.
How should we encourage the younger generation of women to join the waste industry?
Enviri Women has done a great job highlighting women across the organization in various roles which provide insight, encouragement, and opportunities for growth and development. This is important in this industry as it inspires women to be a part of something greater. From Enviri Women Regional groups to our Mentorship program, we are providing multiple resources for women to build connections and support each other while making a difference in our communities and environment.