Leadership insight: Emily Ramsay, head of safety, health and environment at the Forestry Commission
Emily Ramsay believes that a willingness to question others is an important trait in a safety leader. The need to show strength as a woman in a predominantly male sector means she has been slower to accept challenges.
“If you are used to standing up for yourself a lot of the time, you are not always thinking self-reflectively and being open to challenge. That’s something I’ve worked on improving.”
Her job has been made easier over the years by a growing credibility for the OSH profession in forestry as industry leaders recognise that poor safety equals poor productivity.
She believes that leadership involves setting a good example. Three years ago, the Forestry Commission HR department started to enforce a clear-desk policy for data protection purposes.
“I said, ‘I never have anything on my desk that’s confidential; what’s the problem?’ Then I had a lightbulb moment where I thought ‘Emily, you are on the HR management board, it’s not about you, it’s about how others see you’. It made me think it’s not about what people hear from leaders, it’s what they see.”
Read IOSH Magazine’s full interview with Emily Ramsay: