Women of Harsco: Mary Cross' 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 Mary Cross, Environmental Services Billing Manager, who exhibits the group’s core values. She is an advocate for sharing knowledge and takes every experience as a learning opportunity.
How did you get your start in the industry?
Prior to starting at ESOL, I worked in the manufacturing and industrial realm and held a variety of roles involving transportation. Although I didn’t gain hazardous waste experience there, working in the transportation industry gave me a knowledge base concerning DOT requirements and documentation. I moved on to managing warehouses and office staffs and became familiarized with a customer service organizational structure. I started at ESOL as a biller in the financial operations department, which was an entry level position. Within about two months of starting, there was a need for a data analyst; I quickly moved into that position which is where I gained my knowledge regarding the hazardous waste industry. I held that position for a year and a half, then transitioned into a supervising role where I was overseeing a subset of the organization. When Clean Earth acquired ESOL and the company underwent restructuring, I took over supervising all billing. I’ve progressed within the organization, through acquisitions, starting from an entry level position. All the roles I’ve taken throughout my life have culminated to equip me with the skillset required to work and function efficiently in my current role.
What does your current role require?
In my current role I am responsible for managing all billing for Clean Earth. This includes our M&I sector, healthcare, and retail. I manage five sub teams consisting of 24 people. My main objective is to complete invoices quickly, efficiently, and effectively. I’ve enjoyed transitioning with this position, as its always changing. Something is always coming up. I’ve also taken on a lot of cross training and cross functionality of the program. One of the cool things I’ve gotten to do in this role is bridge the gap between the operational daily work and the financial reporting aspects of the business.
What do you find the most rewarding in your position?
Being able to help create and implement processes and procedures that streamline our business. I love process improvement: taking broken processes and making tweaks to alleviate upfront issues that cause downstream impact. It’s rewarding to see improvements play out in the success of the business.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I love live music and going to concerts. It resets my soul. Most recently, I took my daughter to see Stevie Knicks, which was an endearing experience.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I love to do home improvement projects, its my creative outlet.
How do you empower other women in our industry?
Historically our industry has been male dominated, but I enjoy working for Clean Earth who is paving the way with the Women of Harsco initiative. Participating within this women-led organization has been great. I am an advocate for teaching people, and I believe everything can be used as a learning opportunity; knowledge is power. When we share knowledge, we make the business more effective. That is how I like to contribute.
How can we encourage the younger generation of women to join the waste industry?
I think it takes desire to want to see better for the environment and to maintain a planet that is clean and safe. We can encourage women to be conscientious of what they do in their personal lives and take that foundation and bring it into an industry where they can be impactful. There are so many ways we can impact the waste industry; it’s an industry we are starting to rely on as a nation. There’s a lot of room for future growth, and its rewarding to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
Take every experience as a learning opportunity no matter what it is, find a way to turn the negatives into a positive. Every experience is an opportunity to grow and progress.