Posted: Mar. 10, 2019 12:01 am

SPARTA — On International Women’s Day Friday at Lion Technology, owner Patricia Taggart stepped in for a look.

Patricia and her husband, Bill Taggart, founded Lion Technology, in 1977, focusing on helping businesses navigate a newly defined regulatory landscape.

Today, the company president is Tammy Kent, a 25-year veteran of the environmental compliance industry. Under her leadership since 2003, the company has gone from strength to strength, expanding product offerings and leading the field in compliance and training course development.

What stands out about Lion is the way the company has embraced a culture of gender diversity. More than 60 percent of Lion’s employees are female — an unusual number in a traditionally male-dominated field.

The importance of balance and diversity

Why does this corporate decision-making matter for women? “Women face additional obstacles when choosing a career path, resulting in a huge rate of attrition between college and career,” Kent said.

Women are well-represented in environmental majors, but when it comes to career positions, they still lag behind, making up an average of just 30 percent of the environmental workforce. In New Jersey, this gap is even further pronounced: In 2018, fewer than 100 of the state’s 700-plus licensed site remediation professionals were women.

“The key to tackling a complex regulatory industry like environmental compliance is to bring in a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. Gender diversity is one way to bring in richer perspectives, which in turn bring us continued growth,” Kent said.

A culture based on opportunity

Kent encourages honest conversation about the often-difficult choices women face in the pursuit of ambitious career roles and the constant balance between work and family. Coming from a position of experience, she serves as a rare, authentic voice on the board.

“The unique business environment at Lion allows us to build a culture where employees have the support and flexibility they need, and ultimately that benefits the company.”

By removing the obstacles women face in the workforce, Lion’s policies have allowed talents to thrive.

Patricia Taggart agrees: “Lion began as a family business. Opening the conversation to families allows us to stay true to our value and our legacy, and we’re delighted to be leading the field in more ways than one.”

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