Women of Harsco: Shannon Crawford’s Story
Our Women of Harsco program fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with our organization’s mission, values, and goals.
We are proud to feature, Shannon Crawford, Area Environmental Manager at Clean Earth.
Shannon Crawford | Area Environmental Manager | Nature-Lover | New Mom
Getting Her Start in the Industry
Shannon graduated from Penn State University where she studied Environmental Systems Engineering, which focuses on the environmental impact of industrial activities and the choice of cost-effective remediation strategies.
Prior to college, Shannon worked in a small private laboratory in her hometown, running basic water sample testing. To the naked eye, the water samples appeared to be crystal clean. However, once the analytics of the samples were completed, she realized how unfamiliar she had been to the widespread pollution found in the simplest of places. Shannon decided she wanted to help, and this experience helped her make the decision to explore an environmental degree. She participated in a few exciting internships while in college, one of which was working as a wetland scientist. The more Shannon got her “feet wet”, the more fascinating the business became. After graduation, she worked in the environmental consulting side of the business for five years as a Project Engineer, supporting customers like Clean Earth to process their permits and assist their management with environmental planning efforts.
Shannon joined the Clean Earth team in 2017. Today, Shannon serves as Clean Earth’s Area Environmental Manager focusing primarily on our soil and universal waste facilities across the United States. Shannon’s role involves environmental permit compliance and managing site audits. She also assists with employee trainings and ensures third party disposal vendors meet Clean Earth requirements. Shannon places a strategic focus on aligning disposal vendors with approved disposal or recycling technologies, concentrates on the disposal activity with the most financially stable vendors, and establishes and maintains strategic business relationships.
What Do You Find the Most Exciting About Your Job?
I think the most interesting part of my role here at Clean Earth is that every day is completely different. Even though I'm not necessarily working with our customers on the front-end of the business, on the back-end, I’m finding a home for our material after we've treated it, focusing on recycling as much as possible. This includes everything from batteries to specific components of waste such as metals. It’s fascinating to learn about Clean Earth’s treatment technologies and how they mix and mesh with our other recycling and disposal vendors to do the best job possible for our customers and the environment. It's such a small world in the waste industry, and every business relies on another.
Where Can We Find You Outside of the Office?
With my family! I just had my second child and we are soaking up all the baby milestones and the deep belly laughs from the hilarious things that my two-year-old says. Thankfully both kids can’t get enough of being outside. My husband and I have always loved being outside - hiking, running, biking, boating. We have always loved finding new hiking trails and hidden gems. Lately we’ve been enjoying the weekends on our family’s boat.
What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self at the Start of Your Career?
I really think the best advice is to remember that everyone you meet in your workplace has something to teach you. Take the good with the bad, but always try to surround yourself with people that you find inspirational. How you treat people in all facets of the business is what helps you grow. Everyone from the facility workers, the custodian, the FedEx delivery driver – everyone matters, and everyone is an integral part of our business.
How Do You Empower Other Women in the Industry?
Something I like to stress to women is that the environmental industry really is a motivating and interesting field to pursue a fulfilling career. I think that as our culture is changing, we are seeing that girls can get their hands dirty too.
There are so many opportunities to grow, lead, and be hands-on in this business. Young women can essentially have a direct effect on the future and protection of our environment and their own communities, even if it’s on a small scale. In the city of Allentown, for example, we hold our community electronic waste drop-off events, and we can honestly say that our company is directly helping the local community keep this type of waste out of landfills.
Why Should Women Work for Clean Earth?
I genuinely believe in the Women of Harsco initiative and I always feel compelled to speak about it. My team is mostly male, but as woman, we are looked at as an equal member of the group, and I think that women are looking for that in an employer. Every team member is held to the same expectations, and that speaks to the culture of Clean Earth.
Clean Earth really provides a lot of opportunity. They allow you to follow your interests and excel in the parts of your job that you enjoy most. If there is something that intrigues you, they take your curiosity into account and help tailor your position for success. I have always felt that Clean Earth values its employees. I have seen entry level facility employees grow with the company and are now supervisors and general managers of those facilities. I think working for a company that wants to invest in careers for their employees is something that people are looking for in an employer.