Empowering Women
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#75 ASSP: Women At Risk In The Workplace


This week on The WAM Podcast’s special series with the American Society Of Safety Professionals, host, Jennifer McNelly, speaks with Dr. Katie Schofield, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Master of Environmental Health and Safety program. The ladies talk about how gender influences injury risk in the workplace and explore how the changing world of work, including precarious employment arrangements in traditionally gendered roles like teaching assistants or home healthcare aides, can create different risks that require new safety strategies, policies, and interventions.

“Safety is an evolving discipline. You think you know the whole story, or you think you have it figured out, and then you have experience or you hear about this injury and it really changes your perspective.” —Dr. Katie Schofield


Jennifer McNelly

Jennifer McNelly is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Society of Safety Professionals, stepping into the role on Aug. 16, 2018. She is the eighth executive director since ASSP was founded in 1911. McNelly has 30 years of association, government, regulatory, and business experience.

As CEO, McNelly advances the organization’s mission to create safe work environments worldwide through the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. She works with the Board of Directors to execute ASSP’s strategic plan for growth while building on the Society’s legacy and addressing the evolving needs of the professional occupational safety and health community. She leads 75 staff members and more than 38,000 safety and health professionals around the globe, strengthening the Society’s position as a leading voice while fostering a collaborative culture of member engagement, performance, accountability and innovation.

Prior to ASSP, McNelly was president of Indianapolis-based 180 Skills LLC, an online career and technical education company aimed at closing the manufacturing skills gap and transforming organizational and individual performance. McNelly also served as president of The Manufacturing Institute, the nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the national authority on attracting and developing world-class manufacturing talent. Over nine years with NAM, she was a national champion in changing the perception of manufacturing careers and re-establishing the United States as the global leader in technical education. McNelly launched the national STEP Ahead™ initiative to increase the engagement of women in manufacturing and co-founded National Manufacturing Day™ to engage the next generation workforce.

McNelly served at the U.S. Department of Labor as director of the Business Relations Group and administrator of its Office of Regional Innovation and Transformation. She has testified before Congress on manufacturing and workforce training and is past chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Manufacturing. A University of Maryland College Park graduate, McNelly earned the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award and was named among the 100 Women Leaders in STEM. She also interviewed numerous accomplished women in manufacturing who inspire the next generation of industry leaders by serving as host on The WAM Podcast.


Katie Schofield

Katie Schofield, Ph.D., CSP, ARM, is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the Master of Environmental Health and Safety program.  She earned her undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Prior to becoming a faculty member, Katie enjoyed a decade-long career as a safety professional in the insurance industry, focusing on workers’ compensation, risk management, and injury prevention. She worked closely with both employee and management groups in a diverse array of company sizes and industry sectors. Her research is inspired by career experiences and maintains a special focus on using workers’ compensation data to examine safety, policy, and injury risk factors. She enjoys engaging industry stakeholders in the research process and collaborative partnerships. Katie is active in the American Society of Safety Professionals and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences.

Connect with Dr. Katie Schofield on LinkedIn and visit http://www.umn.edu/~kscho to learn more.

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