10 Questions With an Environmental Health and Safety Director

10 Questions With an Environmental Health and Safety Director

Kaleena Gong serves as the Flash Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) director at Western Digital. She has a deep love for animals, especially German Shepherds, and is a proud owner of two. Her hobbies include fitness, photography, continuous learning, board games, traveling, and exploring various culinary delights. 

1. What does a director of environmental health and safety do?  

My team and I are responsible for maintaining a safe and environmentally responsible workplace. We develop policy and procedures, manage risks, ensure compliance, and oversee training programs. We also perform incident investigations, promote safety culture, implement environmental initiatives, and ensure preparedness for emergencies. 

2. What are the biggest challenges in your job?

The most challenging projects that I work on as an EHS director involve establishing consistent EHS standards across various international jurisdictions. Each country we operate in has its own unique environmental, health, and safety regulations, adding layers of complexity to our compliance efforts. Navigating cultural differences and embracing diverse perspectives further intensifies these challenges. Balancing these diverse factors, while ensuring our standards are effective and culturally respectful, makes my role both challenging and interesting! 

Image of mock thriller movie poster with health and safety themed.

3. If your job was a movie, what genre would it be?  

A thriller because it involves tackling unexpected situations, solving problems under pressure, and ensuring everyone’s safety. 

4. If you could describe your job in 3 emojis, what would they be?  

😲 🧐 🤝 

5. What’s your WFH uniform? 

Business casual on top, pajamas on bottom. 

6. Do you have a go-to workday snack? 

Coffee, the stronger the better. 😊 

Photo of coffee cup

7. What’s the most unique item you have on your desk?  

A small snake plant. 

8. If you could have any superpower to help you in your role, what power would you choose?

Prescience or precognition – having the ability to foresee potential risks or issues before they occur.

Kaleena Gong as a superhero

9. What skills are needed to succeed in your role?  

Leadership, strategic thinking, a strong understanding of environmental and safety regulations, effective communication, risk assessment and problem-solving skills. 

10. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?  

Seeing the tangible impact of our policies and training in creating a safer, more sustainable workplace. 

Photo of two dogs

Artwork by Rachel Garcera

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