Diversity is key
Dana Evert is the Senior Vice President Human Resources for North America at thyssenkrupp. She strongly believes: Diversity is key.
Dana started her career at thyssenkrupp with the Materials group in North America more than 15 years ago. Her first Human Resources role after she received her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University in Michigan was with a small company, but Dana was eager to work with a larger HR team. She opted to continue her education and earned her MBA degree in Human Resource Management at Wayne State University, Detroit, in 2002. With that, Dana found the job that she was looking for: being a Human Resource Manager primarily supporting the Copper and Brass Sales business unit of thyssenkrupp Materials Services.
An impressive career in human resources
During her first years in this new role, she also helped with projects not specifically related to Human Resources. She remembers: “I was working onsite on the acquisition of a small company by Copper and Brass Sales and I ended up counting inventory to help out.” These experiences helped her form relationships with her new colleagues, understand the business better and also gave her an idea of how the HR organization at thyssenkrupp worked and the role she would play, Dana says today. After five years, she was offered the position of the Senior HR Manager for Materials North America. “That’s when I started to manage other HR professionals in the group and grew into a bigger leadership role.” A few years later she was promoted to Director, Human Resources Materials, and then Vice President. In October 2016, Dana accepted the challenge of moving to the thyssenkrupp North American Regional Headquarters as the Senior Vice President Human Resources for North America. Today, the mother of a 13-year old girl describes her role as collaborative. “I bring together the Leaders in Human Resources in order to work on the various topics regarding HR, on the work plan, and the strategy for HR in North America in general”. Her motto: “A problem shared is a problem cut in half. I really love to work in a team environment and solve issues”.
Why diversity is key
“One of our biggest challenges is finding, retaining and developing talents, Dana says, outlining their current priority in HR and explaining her general recruiting principle: “I am a big advocate for diversity of thought. I do not want to come into a room and have everybody offer the same answers. Whether that be women, whether that be people from different cultures or even from different functions – diversity is key”, she says: “If we always look into the sales department or the engineering department for certain positions, we might be missing other candidates.“
What does she advise young professionals seeking a career in an industrial company like thyssenkrupp? “Say yes to the opportunity, go out and learn about the business. Say yes to projects that are outside the original function, ask questions, ask for advice and don’t be afraid to ask.”