Jami Patrick is a Partner at ERM, specializing in supporting clients in environmental, health, and safety risk management and compliance assurance. She currently works in ERM’s Nashville, Tennessee office in the US, but has also worked for ERM in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Manchester, England. Prior to her joining ERM’s Nashville team, she was the HSE Systems Manager at Al Hosn Gas in Abu Dhabi.
What were the reasons for joining the WBCSD Leadership Program?
My work as a consultant has been largely focused on traditional environmental, health, and safety needs of clients. In many client interactions, I’ve noticed that sustainability is often thought about solely as a reporting effort, or as something separate from the organization as a whole. I always believed that sustainable development is more about ‘the way to do business’, and was interested in helping clients make this shift in thinking. Although we have a lot of in house expertise at ERM, I saw the WBCSD Leadership Program as an opportunity to learn directly from leading academics and industry leaders about these real world challenges and innovative solutions – particularly around integrating sustainability into business decision making. My aim was not only to learn for my own benefit, but to bring that knowledge to my clients and to my peers. I was also eager to develop my leadership skills so that I can inspire others to see sustainability as a business imperative.
Why do you believe companies should send participants to the program?
The world is changing – climate change, scarcity of resources, population growth, etc. For companies to be successful in the long term and have a future, they need to be sustainable. It isn’t about recycling programs and tree plantings – this is about sustainable business! The WBCSD Leadership Program provides participants with direct access to thought leaders in this space, connects us to real world examples to learn from, and inspires us to be agents of change in our companies, our communities, and in wider society. On top of that, the program provides participants with an opportunity to focus on our own development as leaders so that we have the ability to be effective in sharing these learnings and creating a positive impact.
How did the program help in achieving your objectives?
I am very proud to say that I was recently promoted to Partner at ERM, and without a doubt my involvement in the WBCSD Leadership Program helped to make that a reality for me – in many ways! Through my involvement in the program, I learned a lot about the nuances of decision making and different leadership styles, and had a chance to reflect on what I could do to be a more effective leader. Interactions with my peer participants also really helped me see sustainability and business issues through many different lenses and served as a reminder for me to always keep an open mind and seek opinions that may differ from my own. Lastly, my involvement in the WBCSD Leadership Program provided a platform for me to interact with other ERM consultants and ERM’s senior leaders in a very meaningful way, and helped me to really feel connected and find my purpose. I was worried that my involvement in the program might slow my path to promotion (due to time commitments, etc.), but instead it enhanced it!
Your personal comments on the program
It is so rare for us to have opportunities like this, to learn from esteemed academics and business leaders, and to really take time for our own learning and development. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity. On top of all that, I have met some inspiring leaders from other organizations around the globe, and I am hopeful that we will maintain this close network we have developed and continue to help each other navigate the complexities that lie ahead. The program is an investment in the future – for rising leaders and their organizations.