MY ENVIRONMENTAL CAREER Name: Lola Okunrinboye
Job title: Environmental Manager at Dragados UK and Women in Sustainability Network Aberdeen Hub Lead
Qualifications: Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) , MSc(Eng) Environmental and Energy Engineering, BEng(Hons) Chemical and Process Engineering.
Why did you go into an environmental career?
Growing up, I loved everything to do with the environment and always wanted to make a difference and impact.
What was your first environmental job?
When I completed my MSc in Environmental and Energy Engineering, I was hired as an Environmental Specialist within the global regulatory compliance team of Halliburton. I was responsible for ensuring that our products were registered with the various regulatory authorities. It was a great start to my environmental career and I am still grateful for this opportunity.
How did you progress your environmental career?
Due to my passion for learning and development, I decided to hone my skills and understand all aspects of environmental management and sustainability, and not just regulatory compliance in which I started my career. That realisation has continually enabled me to progress.
What does your current role involve?
It involves the implementation and maintenance of the project Environmental Plan. Supporting and developing all environmental mitigations. I am also responsible for all environmental training, liaison with relevant stakeholders and regulators including the coordination and submission of all environmental consents applications whilst managing a team of other environmental professionals.
What’s the best part of your work?
I love interacting with people so the best part of my role is engaging with various departments within the project and external teams and knowing that my work makes a difference.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome these?
When senior colleagues are not onboard with environmental initiatives. I overcome the by looking for creative ways to persuade them and emphasise on how important it is to have them on board and actively engaging.
What was the last training course or event you attended and how does it benefit your work?
“Communicating about Culturally Sensitive Issues” on LinkedIn Learning. I completed this course because of the increasing need to communicate with people and colleagues about cultural sensitive issues. These conversations can be tricky and sensitive. It benefits my work because it enables me to communicate effectively as an environmentalist and facilitate dialogues around diversity and inclusivity.
What are the most important skills for your role and why?
Great communication skills are important for my role because I engage with various stakeholders as part of my role. Persistence and influencing skills are also key.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
Making an impact and seeing that behaviours are changing and businesses and governments are making decisions that are good for the environment.
What advice would you give to a young woman who wants an environmental career?
Keep learning, be bold, brave, ask for help when you need it and partner with like minds. Do not be afraid to say YES to opportunities even when you feel that you do not have all that it takes because everyone feels that way sometimes.
Meet Lola in July when she will be speaking and facilitating at our Catalyst Summit