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April 3, 2023

From the Army to MARTA – a Safety calling

This is a guest post from our partner Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE).

Picture of Sade in her safety gear

How Sade Taylor found her unique calling in Workplace Safety & Health.

Sade Taylor has been working in the safety industry now for over decade. However, this was not the career path the current MARTA Systems Safety Coordinator had in mind. Read Sade’s story about her career path and why she thinks representation of women in construction is important.

Taylor started her journey while she was in the Army and stationed at Fort Gillum working in industrial hygiene. She did not think this field would end up being her future career, but Mandan Fuller, Certified Industrial Hygienist told her she had a niche for EHS and gave her a Georgia Tech OSHA course catalog. In 2011 Taylor signed up for her first course, the OSHA 521 Introduction to Industrial Hygiene. After she completed the course she said, “This is what I want to do, this is how I can see myself making an impact on people’s lives.”

Since taking that first OSHA 521 course, Taylor has taken 12 more OSHA trainings at Georgia Tech. She recommends these to anyone looking to further their career in safety. Taylor says the resources provided by the instructors are invaluable and she utilizes them on a regular basis. “It makes me confident in my job. If I do not know something I know where I can find the answer.”  She also says the instructors are what keeps her coming back to Tech. “The instructors are effective because they make it realistic. The thing I like about the classes at Tech is the open discussion within the whole class. We learn from the instructors and from each other.”

When asked about why it is important for women to be in the construction industry, Taylor discusses how women are not represented in what is known as a “male dominated industry.” “Most of the time when you go to a construction site you may be the only woman there. We can get overlooked until we display our skillsets and knowledge, then you earn that respect as a safety professional.” Taylor is a mom of two boys, ages two and ten and says “it is important for her to show them that representation and that a women’s perspective should be valued and appreciated.”

Taylor stresses the impact of leading by example for the future. “It is important to show the women coming in behind us that they can do it too. You do not have to be boxed into certain positions because you are a woman. You can get out here and put on your steel toes! You know, we have kids, a home to take care of, laundry, chauffeuring to football practices, all that good stuff, but you can still get out here. Yes, you have to pick up the kids at four but at two, you are on the construction site reviewing a JHA. Women wear so many hats on a regular basis, and we know how to put them on and take them off, that is one thing I can appreciate about us women!”

Taylor has advice for others on how they can achieve the success she has had so far. “Know your reasons of why you want to do something. For me, it is the impact I can have on people to represent women in safety. Learn as much as you can, ask questions and maintain a sense of humor. Things will not always go as planned, but that does not mean they won’t turn out well. Learn from your co-workers, there is an abundance of knowledge around me, and trust me, I utilize it all! I have found my greatest resource is my team.”

“Enjoy it, I enjoy every bit of what I do, the different people I meet, the connections and networking. I truly have a passion for it all.”