Myles and the Women in Safety Excellence Focus on Mentorship for Women in Safety
At her core, Laynnea Myles is someone who truly enjoys helping others. Her work in occupational safety and health as an environmental health and safety expert stands as a testament to this. For 17 years, she has motivated, energized and empowered people to consider the importance and value of EHS.
“I chose occupational safety and health as a career because it requires engagement with employees at all levels within the chain of command who have different backgrounds, expertise and job descriptions; all requiring a need to lead, coach and train in continuous improvement in EHS to help ensure that safety is a core value,” said Myles.
Myles, who holds both Associate Safety Professional® and Certified Safety Professional® designations through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, is the assistant vice president of EHS at L’Oréal in New York.
After starting as an intern with L’Oréal in 2004, she slowly climbed the ladder to her current VP position for one of the world’s top cosmetic companies. Throughout the climb, Myles stuck to her mantra of making safety a core value: “safety first, safety always.”
Part of the reason she enjoys EHS is because no day is the same.
“Each workday is enriching since my job is diverse,” she said. “My environmental health and safety responsibilities can impact and engage in every aspect of the work culture, facility management, operations, compliance, and return on equity; all benefitting employees and the company.”
Myles, a 2009 CSU graduate with a master’s in occupational safety and health, also has a drive to mentor to women in the safety field.
“I try to teach them that you have to be true to who you are and always remain humble. Also, not to let a setback hold you back from achieving your goals and dreams. Lastly, not to measure your success based upon someone else’s,” explained Myles, who has been mentoring others since high school.
Myles takes mentoring seriously as she understands her responsibility to help others and offer guidance when she can. Those who have sought out Myles as a mentor have commented on her advice being heartfelt and sincere.
“I hone in on my creativity and servant leadership style to enable me to take an analytical, yet hands-on approach to giving leaders the tools they need to have an interdependent EHS culture,” she said.
Along her journey, Myles has won many professional awards including: the National Safety Council’s 2020 Rising Stars of Safety Award, the 2019 Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) mentoring program’s excellence award, the 2018 WISE mentoring program’s excellence award, and the American Society of Safety Professionals’ (ASSP) Student Strategy Task Force President Award for 2013-2014.
She is also a member of several professional organizations such as ASSP, Blacks in Safety Excellence (BISE), WISE and the ASSP’s Outstanding Student Section Award Committee.
When Myles is away from work, she enjoys dancing. She is currently the dance ministry leader at her church, Morning Star Community Christian Center, and serves as a volunteer for church activities. She also likes playing games that keep her mind sharp, relaxing at the spa and watching one of her favorite movies, Star Wars.
“Honestly, I’m extremely busy. Nevertheless, I’m never too busy to help someone,” she said. “I feel that God has opened so many doors for me that I cannot let my ego allow me to think I got to where I am by myself.”
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Alumni Laynnea Myles