"We thought it would be a great way for us to support and help expand the Open's sustainability efforts while at the same time supporting and expanding the women in leadership educational efforts," said Jackie Schwartz, marketing specialist at Veolia.
In addition to its regular waste removal commitment, Veolia supplied recycling ambassadors to remind individuals at the event to recycle. The commitment represents the company's hands on approach to involvement as well as women in leadership, Schwartz added.
"Jim Long, chief executive officer of Veolia, is very supportive and really wants a diverse organization and group of decision makers," said Rachel Byers, regional human resource manager at Veolia. "Our goal is to have our organization better mirror our customer base and that means having more women take on leadership roles within the organization."
The goal of the program is to create a network of skill sets and knowledge for women already in managerial positions to learn from, Byers said.
"We want to provide them with a supportive environment so they can move up in the ranks to senior leadership," she said.
The group has organized several meetings since fall and consists of anywhere from 14 to 16 women in managerial positions in Veolia locations across the country, Byers said. In addition to setting up the network, they have also organized tours of area locations so women can better understand other functions of the company.
"What we found through brainstorming and other discussions was that some managers don't have a good understanding of what goes on in other parts of the company," Byers said. "We want these women to take an operational view point and so touring other parts of the company they may not be familiar with and allowing them to ask questions provided us a way to do that."
Long term, the program plans to establish a mentor system so young women in the organization have others like them to look up to before they even get to management, Byers said.
"We're looking at doing things externally as well with educational opportunities and other women's organizations in the communities," Byers said. "Right now, things are very preliminary, but this is definitely something Veolia plans to remain focused on in the future."
According to Schwartz, the sponsorship of the U.S. open was also a catalyst for the creation of a group outing with all the women in the leadership program to come together for a golf outing. The event has a senior sponsor that will allow the women to take professional lessons and learn how business deals are done on the golf course, Schwartz said.