Women Are Making Their Mark at Atlantic Environmental Solutions
HOBOKEN, NJ Atlantic Environmental Solutions Inc. (AESI) as the full-service environmental consulting firm, is committed to creating a corporate culture that supports and promotes gender equality. According to Michael Novak, AESI President, the number of women joining the environmental industry and his firm has expanded significantly in recent years, echoing national trends.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 75 million women worked in the country's civilian labor force last year compared to around 72.6 million in 2012. "Increasingly, women are breaking gender stereotypes and stepping into historically male-dominated fields," Novak said.
Today, nearly half of AESI's professional staff are women, a number that is expected to grow, and the company continues to attract and develop talent equally for men and women in key leadership roles. The firm's services include environmental due diligence; soil and groundwater investigations and remediation; and asbestos and wetlands surveys. With a focus on New Jersey and New York City, AESI works with municipalities, brokerage firms, transit village developers, REITS, general contractors and utilities.
In the coming months AESI plans to fill several key positions including an entry-level manager, mid-level manager and senior level environmental professional. "More women are entering this field at all levels than ever before, and we view this as a tremendous opportunity for AESI," Novak said. "As a company, we are excited to be a leader in providing employment and advancement opportunities for women. AESI takes great pride in all its employees, and it's particularly gratifying to create an environment where women can grow and thrive."
The environmental industry has evolved significantly over the last 30 years, with jobs in the field now running the gamut from environmental scientists, geologists, project managers and civil engineers to biologists and other science/engineering disciplines. In New Jersey, the number of female Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRPs) also is growing: Almost 100 of the state's nearly 700 LSRPs currently are women.
This career path is a good fit for those with the desire and capacity to learn about the technical aspects of the environmental profession, along with the regulatory and legal matters that drive these projects, said Novak. "The environmental industry has transitioned from one that is almost entirely industrial cleanup-based to being much more sophisticated. As a result, careers in the field are expanding, along with the skills required to perform these jobs."
A Culture Based on Opportunity
AESI's unique culture ensures all team members have the support and flexibility they need to be effective leaders. According to Novak, "Beyond technical training, new employees are provided with some level of client interaction and also participate in the company's internal operations. Both of these opportunities cultivate leadership. Growth here is person-specific, but our goal is to help each employee become a fully rounded professional with technical, administrative, operational and financial capabilities. At other firms, a staff member may only be working in the field learning technical aspects of the job, but at AESI, employees learn the technical components of the industry as well as how to run, sell and even handle billing matters for our company."
Many organizations exist throughout the tri-state area to give women valuable opportunities to network with other professionals, build relationships, foster new business and promote mutual industry interests, including CREW NJ (Commercial Real Estate Women Inc. New Jersey). Novak also created the Women in Business Council in 2012 during his tenure as president of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce. The successful organization is dedicated to growing women businesses, supporting women through advocacy and empowerment, and providing networking opportunities.