Have you done WHMIS training so many times that your eyes glaze over when you read the word? Then you should be thrilled to hear that RilleaTech has an innovative alternative to WHMIS training; and it’s one that doesn’t require you memorizing every little fact about chemical safety!
SDS RiskAssist is an app that’s “like having a chemical safety consultant in your pocket,” as it digitizes safety data sheets, helping you make informed decisions about chemical management.
CEO & engineer Lisa Hallsworth co-founded the company along with her husband, Rob Hallsworth.
Lisa spent 30 years managing chemicals for high-risk chemical companies, and she wondered how other organizations managed them. When she started asking around, she discovered that many of them don’t have the resources to understand safe chemical management.
While they have their benefits, chemicals are often considered to be dangerous. RilleaTech wants us to understand the hazards chemicals possess and how to use them safely, protecting ourselves and the environment.
Over the course of her career, Lisa has often found she was one of the only women in the room. In fact, since she started out in chemical engineering thirty years ago, she’s doubtful that the number of women pursuing engineering has increased at all.
In navigating such a male-dominated profession, she has noted a difference in the way men and women communicate in the boardroom.
“The biggest challenge I’ve faced as a woman, is that women speak differently about things, very holistically about solving problems, and men don’t always understand the underlying idea. I feel like men speak more about what they’re going to cost, and get to the money, and there’s a way that successful men have communicated over time, and they’re comfortable communicating [in that way]. And so, when a woman presents an idea in a different way of communicating it, it doesn’t always resonate with them. If you don’t have a male advocate in the room, sometimes it’s just silence, and the topic is changed.”
“For a long time, I didn’t appreciate that it was maybe a psychological difference in the way men and women communicate. What I thought was, oh, my idea isn’t valid. It wasn’t until much later in my career that I realized I needed to find that way to communicate my idea so that it will resonate. It’s not that the idea is bad, it’s just the way they’re receiving it.”
“Only 32 per cent of women get funding for pitches while men get 60 per cent.” Lisa attributes much of this discrepancy to the difference in communication between men and women.