Join us on March 9 to celebrate women in the safety profession
Back for its second year, Canadian Occupational Safety and Key Media are thrilled to be hosting the one-day virtual summit. Women in Safety is part of our ongoing mission to highlight and support women in the OHS profession.
COS recently spoke with Eldeen Pozniak, CEO of Pozniak Safety Associates. Pozniak has a wealth of experience in the field of OHS, and has brought her expertise to a number of countries around the world. She will be part of our panel: “Beyond mentorship: Becoming allies, champions and advocates for the next generation.”
Find out more about the event’s agenda here.
“I've been in health and safety a very long time…I knew that I had the skills and capabilities to be one of the best health and safety professionals out there,” says Pozniak.
Building a career in health and safety, and indeed in any industry, is about being the best that you can be, regardless of gender: “I encourage that no that no matter what gender, culture, race, religious belief, sexual orientation we are, that if we work to be the best at what we want and what we do, we can leave the world a better place,” she says.
It is important to create support and recognize some of the challenges that women in health and safety have faced and continue to face. It is also essential to bring in different perspectives and to have an open conversation about women in safety. That is why events like Women in Safety are so important, but more so than the event it is about the speakers and the different opinions and experiences they bring to the table.
“I want to be a part of this conversation to ensure that it is an inclusive process, that it celebrates diversity and that when we do these things it doesn't increase exclusion,” says Pozniak.
Building on the past
Pozniak says that we need to recognize the work that previous generations of women have done to push for new opportunities for women in the field.
“I recognize the women in my life that were before me in health and safety that carved a path, created opportunities and helped me recognize those opportunities,” she says. “They helped me identify issues and concerns and hazards that blocked my way within the profession and helped me overcome them, whatever they may be. And so now it's important for me to pay that forward, to be able to work with other people in my profession and support them.”
Pozniak says that another aspect of taking part is looking at how we can support women in health and safety on a global scale. It is about finding ways to support and be involved within the Canadian realm as well as globally.
“I’m from a generation of women that had to fight, claw, scratch and overcome some issues to be successful,” she says. “I have had wonderful support from friends and peers, of all diversity, that have helped me in my health and safety journey professional journey and I will never downplay or underestimate that.”
Conversely, however, Pozniak says that she has “had some people who have created blocks and walls as well, sometimes unconsciously and sometimes very specifically – and they haven’t all been men, they have been women at times.”
Pozniak says that women in positions of power should not create roadblocks, “I want to be a part of that conversation to say to women that we should be lifting each other up. We shouldn't be tearing each other down.”
“We should be true leaders with strong emotional intelligence, to be able to be the shoulders for the next generation of strong, intelligent safety professionals – who happened to be women, who happen to be men, who happen to be anybody – to succeed more than we did,” she says.
Register online here to take part in the one-day summit.