Women of Harsco: Laura Dillon's Story
Our Women of Harsco program fosters a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with our organizational mission, values, goals, business practices and objectives.
We are proud to feature Laura Dillon, Manager of Administrative Services & Sustainability at Clean Earth.
For nearly twenty years, Laura has been a tremendous asset to the Clean Earth team and embodies what our program is all about – mentorship and inspiring future leaders.
Describe Your Position at Clean Earth
I’ve worked in Administration Services for 32 years and have been with Clean Earth for the past 19 years. If I could describe my role at Clean Earth, I would say that my overall objective is to provide a corporate workplace that is our Center of Excellence, offering leadership, best practices, research, and support. I’ve heard over the years, ‘Laura, you do everything!’, but the truth is, I have some great colleagues in this company, and I could never do my job alone. There is a great deal that goes into administrative services. It's managing everything that happens inside of the walls of the building – from safety procedures, keeping the first-aid cabinet full, to providing the office supplies we need to get our jobs done. Whether you work here every day, or we just get to see you a few times a year, I want you to have an awesome place to spend your workday. It’s clean, bright and safe, the furniture is comfortable and functional, the machines and tools are in good working order, and supplies are available and stored in neat and tidy places. There are lots of options for you to work in a quiet space on your own or collaborate with a team in a well-equipped room or in an open area. Carol Metzgar and I work with lots of vendors and collaborate with other team members to make it excellent every day including keeping up with various monthly safety protocols and the occasional fire drill. I also help keep the Senior Leadership Team organized with their calendar of daily, weekly and quarter meetings as well as some special event planning.
Let’s Talk Sustainability
My role as the Sustainability Committee Manager at Clean Earth has been the most rewarding role in my career so far. All this time that I've worked for Clean Earth, I often thought only about the recycling part of the business. The more involved I became in the Committee, the more I understood how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Our Sustainability Committee brought to light what sustainability means to the world as a whole, and not just our company. That's really rewarding for me. Clean Earth has gone through a lot of change through the years – change in leadership, organizational changes, and physical locations. Keeping our Sustainability Team engaged and productive through a pandemic with a number of procedural and organizational changes is both challenging and rewarding. Aligning the group with our ESG strategy plays a key role in creating long-term value for our business and our people. The committee’s focus on delivering Innovative Solutions, a Thriving Environment, Safe Workplaces and Inspired People is very meaningful to all of us.
Tell Us About a Proud Moment in Your Career
There’s plenty of unique projects that I get involved in, so I'd say the most interesting project recently was the corporate office move from Hatboro, PA to King of Prussia, PA. That was a huge under-taking and it went really well. Everybody I worked with day in and day out to get that done was remarkable and it went off smoothly. The project included key team members from IT, Marketing, Administrative Support, Accounting, Real Estate and was led by Zach Miller who brought forward his talents in logistical planning. The team collaborated seamlessly together on all of the many impacts a company will have moving from one building to another. There was IT hardware and wiring to configure, furniture to redistribute, seating arrangements and packing of files, work tools and supplies. We worked with many business partners to coordinate all the logistics of getting our stuff from one place to another, including notifications about our address change and making sure our mail and deliveries get to the new place. We worked with our former landlord to make certain we vacated our old office within the terms of our lease successfully. We worked with our new landlord and neighbor to learn the new logistics of working in our office on the 2nd floor as well as signage and branding to make the space look and feel like our new Clean Earth home base. It was the largest project I’ve ever worked on and the success of it came from the awesome group of collaborative team members that kept communication open and often.
Share a Fun Fact About Yourself
I was a majorette in High School. I can still twirl a baton, even if it’s on fire!
Where Can We Find You Outside of Work?
Dinner with the family, at the playground with my Granddaughter, walking around the neighborhood or reading a book.
What Advice Would You Give to Young Women Starting Their Careers?
Take your seat at the table. If you have an opportunity, take it and don't be afraid to fail. Something I didn't recognize as well when I was younger and starting out was that it’s OK to make a mistake. Sometimes women are so afraid to make a mistake that they don't do something they should have done, or they might have missed an opportunity because they're afraid they wouldn't get it right. It's also just as important that when you make a mistake, you learn from it and you learn from the experience of fixing it.
In any industry, it's really important to look out for your coworkers. Try to think on a larger scale about your business partners, other employees, and not just the group you're directly involved with. Especially if you participate in a company sustainability program, you're continually thinking about the whole company, the Earth as a whole – all people and communities. Work in a way that you're constantly keeping in mind how your actions affect other people that you work with. Whether it's using the copier, or putting together a presentation, or you're traveling to another Clean Earth location. It's so important to always be mindful.
What Do You Enjoy Most About Clean Earth?
The people. I work with such a good group of people. One of my favorite things to do in my role at Clean Earth is to travel to our different facilities. I enjoy meeting with the facility managers that I normally do not have the chance to interact with on a daily basis. They’re so proud of their facility and have a real passion for what we do at Clean Earth.