For over 30 years, Julius has led human resources (HR) activities across many premiere organizations and industries in several continents. He has also engaged in focused HR efforts across numerous professions (including health, safety and environmental programs - HSE). Linda, a degreed engineer, has been a safety professional since 1987. She has also served across many premiere organizations and industries, and has done so in various roles ranging from industrial hygienist/engineer to safety director. These complimentary experiences contribute to a perspective about the advancement of HSE professionals that resonates with a diverse population (regardless of level, industry or even organizational culture).
Before anyone can appreciate how HSE professionals can advance in business, they must first get aligned around what ‘advancement’ means, beyond the traditional view of climbing the corporate ladder (a goal not universally shared amongst HSE professionals). It's also important to understand that critical leadership skills must be displayed on a consistent basis so HSE professionals can be seen as business leaders capable of successfully operating throughout the organization in the attainment of its goals.
Advancing in business is not just about getting promoted to higher level positions within an organization's hierarchy (though it includes getting promoted). Advancing also speaks to being positioned to make broader, more significant contributions.
While this definition may differ from the norm that most people are used to hearing, it is very applicable to the reality that purely upward mobility in our fast paced changing environment (where we are all asked to do more with less) is not possible. In fact as you think advancement in its broadest sense it can be viewed as a broad mosaic of development where sometimes we have to move laterally, diagonally and sometimes even take a step back to gain the needed skills that will allow us to increase and expand our roles as it relates to the depth and breadth of our knowledge.