Helping women to lead safely – part 1

RoSPA and L’Oréal open the door on Leading Safely for women across the world

Helping women to lead safely part 1 as featured on

Developing the abilities of women as a currently underrepresented group in occupational health and safety (OSH) and enhancing their visibility in the sector is at the heart of the partnership between the two organisations.

Designed to coincide with International Women’s Day 2021, the partnership has provided six funded places on the IOSH Leading Safely course, delivered by RoSPA, which has been specially designed and developed by Louise Hosking to help participants examine how their personal leadership style influences how risk is perceived by stakeholders across their business.

RoSPA are following the journeys of the six women taking part in the course. Following an initial training session, each delegate was asked to put together a statement on their motivations and hopes for the initiative.

Commenting on the Leading Safely initiative Malcolm Staves, Global Vice President, Health and Safety, at L’Oréal, said:

“I was humbled and honoured to meet all these remarkable women making a real difference to the health and safety of their colleagues and I am looking forward to meeting others and following how they develop.”

The women, who come from all over the globe, will be assigned a mentor to help them continue their development. RoSPA spoke to three of the women who are taking part right at the start of the course:

Bobbie Grant

“I am the senior EHS specialist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the Instruments and Enterprise Services Division for Thermo Fisher Scientific. I am the safety specialist for the field service organisation and have been with the company for 24 years.

” I applied for the Leading Safely course as I wanted to learn more on how to develop myself into a better EHS leader within the organisation. There have been many leadership changes and I wanted to understand what effective EHS leadership looks like to better support the division.”

“The session was well-run with good interaction from all participants from a wide variety of organisations and different levels of experience and I really could have had further discussions with them all for longer.  I was interested to see the stages of compliance and understand the human capital model and sustainability and how I can develop and progress this.”

“I’ve not done anything like this externally before and I want to collaborate more and move from active to proactive models of safety to ensure I give a clear and accurate picture of EHS globally to our director.”

Belinda Myambare

“My name is Belinda Nyambare and I am a safety officer at one of the leading ground service providers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya.”

“My role revolves around the implementation of the safety management system and the Kenyan Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007, customised to our company specifics. Basically, this involves conducting risk assessments and providing mitigation actions in conjunction with the relevant line managers, promotion of safety awareness through weekly toolbox briefings, providing periodic safety performance reports and analysis on incidents, incident investigations, training of new staff on safety procedures, internal safety inspections and PPE management. The list is endless because it involves so many minor items that at the end of the day ensure that the company complies with regulatory and internal requirements as well as, which is very key to me, ensuring that workers at operating in a safe environment, and are using safe working tools and equipment.”

“To me, safety is passion and commitment, which involves dealing with people with diverse cultural values, attitudes and mind-sets. Safety is dynamic and changes are inevitable. As a safety practitioner, leadership skills are vital to enable me to interact and offer guidance and advice not only to the organisation but to employees as well. This course was to be kind of an eye-opener and offer me different leadership skills and help me to work around areas of my weaknesses to my advantage.”

“The purpose of the course is to help me as a safety professional and my organisation to reach a level of generative OSH culture where ‘’safety is our DNA and the way we do business’’. My commitment is around helping my organisation achieve this level – but of course through baby steps. It is basically to embed safety in all operations, contractors, the supply chain process and monitoring performance. And also, to reward good behaviour so that people can be motivated. Often the focus is on non-conformance and I forget to applaud a job well done-safety wise.”

“To be honest, the first course session was the best I’ve ever attended: to be in a room of great-minded ladies, with tons of experience and a safe space where we shared our feelings, experiences and aspiration without fear. I would attend and recommend this course a thousand times. If I start talking of what I learnt, then we could be here all day! That is how enriching the course was. But just to mention key highlights for me, I loved the sustainability aspect being integrated in OSH and viewing OSH as an investment rather than a cost. A good number of organisations focus so much on the financial pillar, forgetting that they need the natural environment and resources to operate and the people who burn the midnight oil to sustain them.”

“The other highlight for me would be the power skills for future OSH professionals as well as the OSH leadership in practice aspect. We have to be a ‘’best all-round’’ kind of professional so as to understand the whole organisation and be able to analyse risks and provide effective mitigations.”

Jwan Kamla

“I am Jwan from Kurdistan I live and work in the UK. I’m a senior safety, risk and operations consultant at Atkins.”

“I am also a chartered member of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT), a registered CIHT mentor and a committee member of the CIHT East Midlands Region. My current role at Atkins is technical specialist in the area of data, modelling and collisions analysis, in which I manage databases, provide guidance and create templates, and undertake data analysis and modelling.”

“I applied to the Leading Safely course to gain the practical, strategic knowledge required to enhance my safety objectives and to share and deliver it effectively, and with confidence, to all my colleagues and the individuals whom I mentor.”

“The course is designed to add value to individuals and the business, and enables delegates to deliver their daily tasks more effectively. I have gained extra knowledge on how occupational health and safety has an impact on business productivity and profits. The session has widened my vision towards health and safety in practice and it was also a good chance to get to know powerful skilled women in the area of safety from around the world.”

“My main focus is to make the world better for everyone through involvement in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads and I am passionately working hard towards achieving that.  I am committed to collaborate and communicate with my colleagues towards delivering the knowledge I have gained from the course regarding occupational health and safety in the business.”

“As a road safety engineer, as a mentor and as a STEM ambassador I am committed to continuously raise awareness of road safety to my colleagues, mentees and young students, respectively. Working safely should become a habit for everyone, including myself and this is what I would like to achieve.”



L’Oréal and RoSPA have come together to offer a limited number of spaces as part of their Safe@Work-Safe@Home partnership. If you would like to be considered for one of the places, please email and your name, organisation, role, contact details and some information about yourself along with a 250-word personal statement explaining how this opportunity will help you and your business. For more details click here