Shameka Lewis ensures workplace safety for Kellogg’s Company

By Shameka Lewis

Introduce yourself and describe your work

I am an EHS Director for Kellogg’s Company. My work includes supporting and overseeing the safety programs, maintaining legal compliance, and serving as a resource for day-to-day environmental health and safety functions for EHS Managers in my categories.

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or discovery?

As a worker in the healthcare industry, I spent the last eight of those years working in the ER. One day I was injured while at work, and realized there was a different avenue to explore. That is when I started my journey into occupational safety and health.

During times of imposter syndrome or feelings of discouragement, what or who helped you persevere?

Going back to school as an adult, I often felt discouraged and thought I was too old to pursue further education or be able to make an impact on something new. However, my desire to help people help me get through that feeling and continue my strive for greatness.

How does your work impact people and the world around us?

My work is for the overall safety, health, and well-being of people in the workplace. The impact I make is ensuring that when someone goes to work, that they have the safest, physically and mentally, workplace to successfully earn a living for their family.

What is a unique fact about your career/industry?

A unique fact is since Covid, many industries have built up a more robust safety organization. Safety is no longer the afterthought or one person’s job, but being viewed as everyone plays a part.

What trends do you see in your industry?

Trends I am noticing in the manufacturing industry are workers are much more knowledgeable about their rights as a worker, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and are not afraid to speak up. This is what really shapes the culture and helps create a safe work environment.

What advice do you have for other women or nonbinary individuals considering this field?

To anyone considering a career in safety and health, my advice is to go for it. There is a special kind of passion and human kindness that goes into a career of wanting to ensure the safety of individuals and the key is to stay true to yourself and your beliefs.