Named after the Greek goddess of cleaning and hygiene, the ISSA Hygieia Network is an international community dedicated to the advancement and retention of women in all branches and at all levels of the global cleaning industry, with special focus on cleaners' advancement.
It will provide ongoing education, networking, professional development, and personal recognition awards available to any women working in, or associated with, the industry.
This vibrant, world-wide community is open to any woman or man employed in, or associated with, the cleaning industry.
The moral imperative
Women should not face gender discrimination and should always enjoy opportunities for advancement solely on merit. Sadly this is not always the case and, exacerbating the problem, women at all levels are often less confident requesting the tools and training required for continuous professional development.
The ISSA Hygieia Network aims to reverse this invidious social conditioning and provide an empowering and supportive network that allows talent to shine and develop regardless of gender.
Improving the bottom line
The business case for diversity and gender equality is equally irrefutable. A more diverse workplace – in which women are able to freely participate and where their contribution is valued – fosters creativity and innovation.
A more diverse workforce also enables the understanding of a broader range of market segments, offering the potential for business growth.
Numerous studies show that organizations with middle and senior management teams that are gender balanced consistently enjoy better bottom-line results.
"70 years ago when my grandmother went to work, she walked through the backdoor of the building...just because she was a woman. Still today, too many doors remain closed to too many women. I want our daughters and granddaughters to be able to walk through any door of any building in any place in the world."
Deborah Gillis, CEO at Catalyst
President & CEO, Diversey, Chairwoman of ISSA Hygieia Network
CEO at Harvard Services Group
CEO at EBP Supply Solutions
Senior Director of Cleaning Services
CEO at American Paper
President at Maintex
VP, Sales Force & Distributor Effectiveness, GP PRO l Georgia-Pacific, LLC
CEO at Catalyst
With an overarching remit of supporting career advancement for women at all levels in the industry, the ISSA Hygieia Network will undertake activities that promote the entry into, advancement, and retention of women in the cleaning & hygiene industries.
The ISSA Hygieia Network develop programs to reduce illiteracy levels and foster academic achievement in members as well as campaign for the improvement of working conditions for immigrants and undeclared labor. Help will also be offered to educate women on more personal topics such as healthy eating, childcare and health issues.
These objectives will be met through a variety of initiatives including women's executive roundtables, the organization of a global awards scheme and receptions at major exhibitions and conferences to provide a supportive touchpoint for members and encourage the cross-fertilization of best practice ideas.
"Any opportunity to learn new skills that will allow me to move forward in my career is great. Knowing that there is a supportive and encouraging network ready to help give me access to this has given me the confidence to be more ambitious."
Holly Borrego, Cleaning Services Director NA at ISS Facility Services Inc
In addition to a strong sense of purpose and self-actualization that comes with being involved members will receive a variety of benefits. ISSA Hygieia Network hopes to eventually develop 24/7 access to online forums for help and advice and access to an ISSA Hygieia Network member directory.
The ISSA Hygieia Network will also help both established professionals and entry level colleagues through a multitude of programs designed to develop their skills and decision-making.
In 2017 the ISSA Hygieia Network has launched a Mentoring Program in North America that facilitates and encourages professional development of ISSA Hygieia Network members at any stage in their career and in any of the areas related to their work in the professional cleaning and jansan industry. The program aims to develop strong leadership and support members in developing their professional skills and expanding their learning circles.
Applications are now being accepted for the first set of five mentorships in the Spring of 2017 and a further five in the Fall. All applicants must be registered members of the ISSA Hygieia Network. The initial set of mentors will be members of the ISSA Hygieia Network Council.
Applications should be made to email@example.com
The 2017 ISSA Hygieia Network Awards were announced at a special ceremony held in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas on September 12, 2017 during the ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2017 exhibition.
The Hygieia Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the cleaning industry, was awarded to Michelle Mercer, senior director business development supply chain, Aramark, for her work in promoting women in the workforce and within outside organizations.
The Rising Star of the Year Award, open to women aged 35 and under who have demonstrated their commitment to further the ideals and objectives of the ISSA Hygieia Network, was awarded to Michelle Munvez, vice president, Chemcraft.
The Man of the Year Award, open to a senior-level man who is dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the cleaning industry, was presented to Mark Oldaker, vice president of operations & finance – commercial cleaning, Midwest Maintenance.
TheEmployer of the Year Award was awarded to Earth Friendly Products for promoting women in the organization and building a community of mentorship and support that has led to a dramatic increase of women in leadership positions in the company.
The Eidyia Award, which recognizes companies or individuals leading efforts to reduce illiteracy rates within the cleaning industry’s workforce, was presented to Professional Janitor Services of Houston.
During the ceremony, a Special Honors Award was presented to Hao Dang Tanascos, president, HAOskeeping Inc., for her dedication to diversity and inclusion within the industry.
The judging panel included Gayle Capozzalo, executive vice president/chief strategy officer, Yale New Haven Health; Lynn Frankenfield, executive director, Cleaning for a Reason; Michelle Marshall, editor, European Cleaning Journal; Renee Starr, vice president - strategic & national Accounts, Essendant; Jeff Tafel, executive director, IFMA Foundation; and Dan Weltin, editor-in-chief, Trade Press Media Group.
The ISSA Hygieia Network has recently published a ground-breaking new book called Invisible Heroes. It tells the inspirational stories of 23 women - and 1 man - who have brought cleaning out of the shadows.
Invisible Heroes is available to purchase now online at Amazon
The ISSA Hygieia Network (IHN) has announced the launch of a new mentoring program open to any of its members in North America.
The IHN Mentoring Program facilitates and encourages professional development of IHN members at any stage in their career and in any of the areas related to their work in the professional cleaning and jansan industry. The program aims to develop strong leadership and support members in developing their professional skills and expanding their learning circles.
Applications are now being accepted for the first set of five mentorships in the Spring and a further five in the Fall. The initial set of mentors will be members of the ISSA Hygieia Network Council including: Holly Borrego, Senior Director of Cleaning Services, C & W Services; Nathalie Doobin, CEO, Harvard Services Group; Ilham Kadri, President, Diversey Care; Meredioth Reuben, CEO, EBP Supply Solutions; Linda Silverman, President, Maintex; and Lydia Work, CEO, American Paper Converting.
“We’re excited to be able to offer this program to a wide range of individuals within the professional cleaning industry,” said IHN Chairwoman Dr. Ilham Kadri. “The mentoring program goes hand-in-hand with our interest in expanding opportunity for women at all levels within our industry. It will teach and empower women with many of the tools and life-skills they need to succeed and reach their full potential.”
The mentorship relationships will be guided by a Code of Conduct, agreed to by the Mentor and Mentee, ensuring their interactions were confidential. Mentees will be asked to send their Mentor questions or topics prior to each connection, then follow-up with a re-cap after each discussion. These items allowed both the Mentor and Mentee to have a clear picture of what was discussed, what actions were being taken, and the progress subsequently made by the Mentee.
Applications should be made to Hannah Kennedy at ISSA.
Annual individual membership subscriptions are available to individuals employed within existing ISSA member companies*. Similarly corporate memberships* are also available.
Cleaning Operative or Frontline Supervisor
Membership is free to employees of organizations with corporate membership of the ISSA Hygieia Network.
Individual Professional Membership
$95 per annum
$295 per annum
There are a number of ways for relevant organizations to get involved with the ISSA Hygieia Network. Corporate sponsorship forms the basis of this and demonstrates support of the cause and of the ISSA Hygieia Network's activities.
Contact us for more information about becoming a Corporate Sponsor of the ISSA Hygieia Network.
* Companies that are not members of ISSA can join the Association at an introductory fee, or can become a Supporting Partner or Donor to the network.
"Let us never forget that in the cleaning industry, as in every walk of life, "women's rights are human rights."
Gender equality and the empowerment of women are essential to our sustainable future."
John Barrett, Executive Director, ISSA
Be a part of the ISSA Hygieia Network and commit to securing that sustainable future,
where all women and men in the cleaning industry are equally empowered and rewarded.