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More Chances for Cleaning Pros to Learn at the ISSA Show

October 13, 2022

As ISSA Show North American 2022 continues this week, attendees have been able to pursue even more opportunities to hone skills and gain insights on how to best improve their cleaning businesses.

Women Turn to Their Authentic Selves for Leadership Skills

Women—and a few men—packed an education session dedicated to teaching women how to take charge. Jenean Merkel Perelstein, the speaker for Stand in Your Strength: A Woman’s Approach to Leadership in the Cleaning Industry, said rather than mimic management styles demonstrated by men, women should be authentic to themselves.

As a business anthropologist and workplace culture expert, Perelstein has noticed people let their ingrained beliefs shape their behaviors.  For instance, in making decisions, most people fall back on feelings and emotions rather than logical thoughts. This practice is an evolutionary trait meant to keep people safe, maximize their pleasure, and reduce their pain. However, this practice can lead people to make safe choices that keep them stagnate instead of allowing them to grow.

In a related concept, Perelstein said that people often rely on ethnocentrism, a belief of how they think things should be according to the culture in which they were raised, to make judgements. Often, they are doing this unconsciously, and these traditional beliefs might not be in-line with their career goals.

Women especially can become burdened by cultural expectations, which prevent them from accomplishing what they want professionally and keep them on the hamster wheel.

“Women are tired and burned out,” Perelstein said. “They take on the needs of other people before they take on the needs of themselves.”

The problem isn’t just emotional; it’s biological. Perelstein related how in men, the success hormone is adrenaline. A typical American workplace is set up to motivate workers through adrenaline-promoting tactics such as competition. For women, however, the success hormone is oxytocin. Although women can certainly operate on adrenaline, too much of it will keep them from accessing their success hormone.

“We need to create systems in the workplace that help everyone success, both women and men, and that don’t hold people back,” Perelstein said.

Cleaning to Create Healthy Indoor Environments

Dr. John McKeon, CEO of Allergy Standards, hosted an informative 30-minute session, Cleaning for Health to Create the Healthiest Possible Indoor Environment. McKeon began by sharing his own story—how he started as an emergency room doctor and later transitioned into his current position. Recognizing the value of preventative and proactive health strategies, McKeon looked at how to develop a health protocol that wasn’t convoluted, reactive, or expensive in nature for company leaders to utilize. When explaining the focus of his company, McKeon stated, “We’re about design thinking and innovation so we can all live in a healthier environment.”

According to McKeon, we spend 90% of our time inside, and yet, indoor air quality (IAQ) can be up to four to five times worse than outdoor air quality. Despite this and the need for strategic measures, McKeon acknowledged that it’s understandably overwhelming to have a whole allergen avoidance plan. Furthermore, as he put it, a lot of science for preventative IAQ measures is not helpful or easy to grasp for key decision makers. In order to tackle these issues and ensure that products are truly effective in the allergen and IAQ world, McKeon developed a certification program that tests products for suitability criteria in regard to asthma and allergy concerns. 

The presentation underscored the overall cost of poor preventative health and safety measures on society and how being proactive can help create a better mental and physical health environment. Partnered with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA,  McKeon and his team continue to break down these issues and strive for a certified healthier world.

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