Joining ERM was never actually my plan. I’d spent more than a decade working in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) when a combination of an economic downturn and a corporate merger left me (plus 1,200 of my colleagues) unemployed. When I went looking for a new role in the field, I found ERM – both the job and the company appealed to me. Today, after 13 years, I think it’s safe to say that unexpected change in direction took me to the right place.

To work here is to be part of a community of experts that’s both close-knit and widespread – people working at the top of their game, across a range of different fields all over the world. But I’ve also found my own community within that community, thanks to what we call our Employee Resource Groups. These serve as internal networks, providing personal connection and affiliation for members throughout the business. For some, that’s about gender or ethnicity, things like that. For me, it’s about my time in the military: I’m proud to be a member of the North American Military Veterans ERG. We meet monthly to share stories and experiences, to provide peer support and mentoring, and to raise any concerns with leadership – like all ERGs, the group is our common voice. I’ve benefited so much from the group, learning from members, making connections and meeting people I identify with.

Thankfully, being here is just as fulfilling professionally – that’s why I’ve been here so long. Being an ERM consultant has given me the chance to get involved in pretty much every major industry – energy, manufacturing, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, mining. You name it, I’ve had a project in it. Performing EHS audits and providing onsite support has taken me right across the United States, and beyond. And I’ve grown along the way, too.

Initially, I was working on projects that were won and managed by others. But I soon took on more responsibility for winning business, leading projects and mentoring others in their own career progression. Whatever I needed for my development, ERM was happy to oblige. As well as providing on-the-job training and internal training, they funded external courses and professional certification. They gave me the time I needed to prepare for the Certified Process Safety Auditor exam. They even pay my annual membership fee!

The support we get doesn’t end with professional development – ERM also has lots of ways of recognising the contribution you make. I’m proud to have won a quarterly Global Recognition Award recently. It comes with a cash bonus, which is great, but just as important to me is the sense of impact: that the years we’ve spent collaborating with the client have made a difference.

Quotation mark Joining the business may not have been my plan all those years ago, but staying here for the years to come certainly is. Quotation mark

Larry Lepard

Principal Technical Consultant, Ohio