Enviri Women: Shyrah Ramirez's Story
Can you talk about your years of experience in the industry and how you got started?
My sister introduced me to Clean Earth; she worked within the Company and told me of an open position in the transportation department. This was a significant role for me as I got experience scheduling and coordinating paperwork for multiple customer locations while giving me structured hours to spend more time with my son. I did this for two years until an opportunity arose to work in shipping and receiving, which gave me great exposure to the waste side of the business. From here, I held a position in accounts receivable and was recently promoted to Office Supervisor. I love my job and the 25 years I have been here.
Can you talk about your current role and what the day-to-day tasks entail?
I come in daily with a set plan; however, I’m always prepared to pivot as I never know what will come my way. As the supervisor, I manage the administrative shipping and receiving team while supporting Human Resources wherever needed. Every day is something completely different. I am a planner, but I have realized that everything can change in milliseconds. I enjoy helping people because it is in my nature, so I lead with the flow of it all.
Is there a misconception people have about your position?
Many people come to me thinking I’m in Human Resources. I assist HR when they need something at the location level, but I often have to reclarify my role. We are creatures of habit, and I am a big helper, so people tend to get confused. I never give off that HR is the title I carry because it is not, but I help wherever and whenever I can.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career thus far?
I love working in a unique industry that dramatically differs from my friends’ jobs. Being in this industry and seeing what it entails allows you to learn about things you never knew existed. There is a continuous learning process with a significant number of things to learn, so it never comes to an end.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
The most interesting part of my job is helping people from different walks of life. You encounter so many different people, stories, and circumstances daily. You never know what your day-to-day will bring, so you must remain open to the unexpected.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
At this point in my life, I can often be at a basketball or softball game or practice with my youngest daughter. I’m also a new grandmother and love spending time with my one-year-old granddaughter.
Do you have any habits or routines that keep you going?
It is essential that I keep everything structured and organized. I like to be in control and align everything so that nothing is misplaced.
How do you empower other women in our industry?
Encouragement, support and acknowledgment of how far women have come is vital. I come from a strong mother who I grew up watching work multiple jobs to help keep everything afloat. Seeing how positive and strong women have become shows we can bring a lot to the table. Seeing a powerful, dominant woman shows the younger girls that anything is possible.
How do you think we should encourage the younger generation of women to join the waste industry?
We need to remind the younger girls that we are just as capable. I have a younger daughter, and if she wanted to play sports historically for boys, I would support her. Not everyone else will, but I will encourage her if she feels she wants to do that. I love to see women join the waste industry and take on a male predominant role. When I started here, I was one of four women in the building; today, it’s great to see how that number has grown.
What advice would you give your younger self at the start of your career?
Take charge and be independent. Never back down from a challenge. I would have encouraged myself to push forward since I was shy. Keep moving forward and give yourself credit. You can do anything you put your mind to and achieve greatness.