The ability to have honest conversations about the challenges women face in the workplace is what drew Environmental Engineer Natalie Sierra to co-found Women at BC, the company’s first Employee Networking Group (ENG). The group’s inaugural year exceeded her expectations in both participation and engagement from women and men, reaching a real turning point when the discussion turned to sexual harassment at conferences.
“It made people much more aware that it’s still a problem,” BC’s Solids and Energy Group Leader said. “The women in the ENG were very brave about volunteering their experiences to make it real. It had a huge impact in helping other women feel like they weren’t alone as well as creating momentum for change. BC’s leadership team took those discussions very seriously, which I appreciate, even though they were uncomfortable. We heard from women at all levels.”
It’s being able to have these difficult conversations, Natalie said, that allows for community building and change, “we’re able to have honest and trusting conversations about how to make BC, and hopefully the industry, a place where women can be wholly successful and bring their whole selves to work.” The ENG has influenced company policies such as its expanded parental leave and partnership with Catalyst, a workforce empowerment and education nonprofit.
With more professional growth opportunities on the horizon, Natalie looks forward to personally expanding her family’s experiences through community service, nature walks and rides, travel, and food.
“I am where I am today because of the people who supported and nurtured me in my career. I think everyone deserves that chance.”