IWD2021: Ratna Marjaria: Keeping People Safe and Healthy and Managing Environmental Impact to Ensure We Protect our Planet

Many of you might know Ratna Marjaria, Corporate EHSQ Cultural Development & Investments at Evonik Industries, from our Leaders2Leaders campaign. In those discussions, Ratna shared her thoughts about EHSQ leadership and culture, and the topic of challenging perceptions and coming up with innovative ways to approach challenges came up.

March 8 was International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD2021) and March is Women’s History Month. At Intelex, we celebrate the accomplishments of womxn every day and we’re using the month of March to recognize women like Ratna in tech and EHSQ.

The theme for IWD2021 is: “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.”  IWD2021 is asking: How will you help forge a gender-equal world? The answer is by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

What is your name, title and company?

Ratna Morjaria, Corporate ESHQ Cultural Development & Investments, Evonik Industries

How did you become in involved with EHSQ and/or technology?

I started as a quality control chemist in a chemical production plant. With a Bachelor’s in Applied Chemistry and Masters in Environmental Management, my role was extended to manage the site environmental permits as well implement ISO14001 environmental management systems. This resulted in me becoming a director of an environmental charity – the Green Business Network – in Bedfordshire. We supported SMEs to implement management systems and look at environmental projects to reduce waste with projects, including the Environment Agency, National Industrial Symbiosis Projects (NISP) and the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) with European and local funding. Due to being under the COMAH regulations in the UK, the role expanded whilst developing the management systems into an integrated management system with ISO9001 and a safety management system.

My next roles were then expanded, first to the UK plants and then globally to support sites to manage ESHQ compliance with the focus to really drive culture to ensure compliance and continual improvement. Keeping people safe, healthy and well and protecting the impact we have on our environment (however small) to ensure we protect our planet and try and limit the damage for the future are also important to me as an individual. In each area, we can and have to be part of the solution.

In your career, what have you decided to #ChooseToChallenge?

Always challenge the “Why?” Why do we do what we do? Can we do it differently to improve efficiency and buy-in? Challenge people to come out of their comfort zone and own the potential changes we want to drive.

What were your greatest challenges – personally or professionally – in 2020?

Challenges in 2020: To adapt to my lifestyle as I travel so much in my job and to find a different energy online to do my role as a change agent. Changing culture online requires a different energy. Without body language (from in-person meetings), emotional intelligence radar had to increase.

What was the primary learning(s) from 2020 that you brought with you into 2021?

Enjoy nature, take time out and reenergize to fuel myself personally and in my job to provide energy to others as a project/change manager. The power of influence and connectivity online are effective online when trying to change culture are bigger than I thought. So many more people engage online than when face to face.

What are you focusing on in 2021?

I’m focusing on:

  • Myself to maintain a balance for re-energization through the peaks and troughs of work. Changing culture on a global platform – even with only 32,000 (employees) – requires energy, so implementing powering up and powering down are new routines that I need to focus on more.
  • Challenging myself to take some brave steps in my adventures both in my personal life and career. COVID has made me more determined to explore.
  • Empowering people to challenge their powers/boundaries of influence. Everyone has potential so long as we are not biased when we help someone!

How are you rising to the challenges found in the new year and what do you hope to accomplish?

  • I have set up a full-time organization to make the projects I work on sustainable and to empower future talents and leaders.
  • I bought myself a guitar at the end of last year, so this will be the year where I challenge my creative side of my brain to keep learning.
  • Getting involved in voluntary projects to empower young girls and leaders to know whatever they choose to do they are born to lead.

Other IWD2021 Blogs:

This entry was posted in EHSQ, Health & Safety Management and tagged , by Sandy Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Global EHSQ Content Lead for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences.

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