Women in Safety Summit helping create ‘more inclusive society’

Dexterra safety exec ready to 'celebrate the successes' while focusing on challenges

Women in Safety Summit helping create ‘more inclusive society’

As the Women in Safety Summit approaches later this month in Calgary, industry leaders are gearing up to address pertinent issues and celebrate milestones in the realm of health and safety. Among them is Lee-Anne Lyon-Bartley, executive vice president for health, safety, sustainability, quality, and community at Dexterra Group, who will deliver the opening remarks at the event.

"I think it's an opportunity for us to just celebrate the successes that we've had, but also reflect on where we need to still go to become a more inclusive society," says Lyon-Bartley.

Panels will feature discussions about career advancement, emerging technologies, and equality in the workplace, and while much might seem weighty, Lyon-Bartley wants to also “just have some fun.” The networking sessions will provide opportunities for just that. And this is the first time it will be held entirely in-person since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on the broader impact of these events, Lyon-Bartley highlighted the opportunity for self-reflection and professional development. "When you're in health and safety, you're a leader," she says, emphasizing the role of these gatherings in personal and organizational growth. She underscores the importance of fostering inclusivity and inspiring individuals to strive for leadership roles, particularly within traditionally male-dominated sectors.

Discussing the future of the profession, Lyon-Bartley acknowledged ongoing changes and the evolving nature of the field. "It's requiring us to know a lot about a lot," she explains, highlighting the increasing integration of environment, sustainability, social governance, and compliance into the roles of health and safety leaders. Lyon-Bartley is optimistic about the role of safety professionals in driving sustainability initiatives, leveraging their understanding of organizational systems and impacts.

When addressing the specific challenges faced by women in safety roles, Lyon-Bartley says there’s a lot of work to be done to enhance psychological safety and combat gender-based violence. "There's still a lot of harassment, there's still a lot of violence towards women within workplaces," she notes. Lyon-Bartley urges leaders to confront these issues head-on, by promoting open dialogue and taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and dignity of all employees.

Lyon-Bartley looks forward to connecting with other women in her field, in-person, to tackle these challenges. "There's still that opportunity for all of us to just value what women can bring to the table," she affirms. As the Women in Safety Summit approaches, Lyon-Bartley's words serve as a reminder of the ongoing journey towards a safer, more equitable future for all.