Although the primary purpose of charities is to assist people in need, they often provide benefits to those who donate, as well.
Such is the case with ISSA CharitiesTM, which provide free home cleanings for cancer patients through the Cleaning for a Reason program and support the next generation through scholarships and internships. ISSA Charities also serve working women though the ISSA Hygieia Network, an international community dedicated to the advancement and retention of women in the cleaning industry. When women in the cleaning industry grow, the entire industry grows along with them.
“Women make up most of the workforce in our industry; however historically the supervisory and management positions have been held mostly by men,” said Nathalie Doobin, a member of the Hygieia Executive Advisory Board. “Engaging and supporting women in the janitorial service industry is critical because they bring a balanced perspective, which helps better serve our industry and, ultimately, the community at large.”
Bringing women to the forefront
As president and CEO of Harvard Services Group, a janitorial services provider, Doobin realizes first-hand the challenges facing women leaders in the cleaning industry and how mentoring through the ISSA Hygieia Network can help them realize their full potential.
“Whether perceived or real, women leaders sometimes feel pressure to conform to the male leadership model and if we bend to that pressure, we sacrifice our own sources of strength and personal power,” Doobin said. “Mentorship has helped me understand those differences and how to leverage them.”
Doobin is grateful for the donations that have made Hygieia programs possible, as she believes advancing women in the cleaning industry is a shared responsibility.
“The donations directly support various programs that in turn support the development of women in our industry,” she said. “Other ways to become involved would be to join the network, attend our events, and help mentor our next generation of women leaders. These are just a few reasons all building service contractors (BSCs) should consider donating.”
Benefits for all participants
Involvement with ISSA Charities and the ISSA Hygieia Network can take many forms and offers unique benefits to each participant.
“From a mentor’s perspective, a mentoring relationship can bring you a fresh perspective and/or knowledge you could not access otherwise,” said Doobin. “From a mentee perspective, whether you are facing a glass ceiling or a sticky floor situation, the mentoring helps mentees to expand networks, gain new knowledge and insights, as well as to build new skills.”
The ISSA Hygieia Mentoring program also benefits employers.
“Employee training and retention can be a challenge for nearly every business, but within the cleaning industry, the high annual turnover speaks for itself.” Doobin said. “Promoting the mentorship program opportunity with your employees can help you identify employees who are looking for, and are serious about, advancement.”
Doobin is joined by other BSC owners who recognize the importance of ISSA Charities. Sally Schopmeyer, the president of Maintenance, Inc., a Dallas-based company that provides commercial cleaning services, is another supporter of ISSA Charities, especially the Hygieia Network.
Watch the Straight Talk! video below to learn why Schopmeyer’s company concentrates on charitable giving and how this support boosts employee morale and helps build a stronger company culture. She believes that with the right approach, companies can engage employees in charitable giving projects and help make a difference to organizations and individuals who benefit from these charities.