Erosion Control Services recently welcomed a new President Danielle Roundy, and beyond being a significantly qualified leader in the field of stormwater science, she is also breaking ground as a female owner in an industry that is primarily dominated by men. As more young women enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and go on to build careers as respected leaders, it’s important they also have examples of other women to show them what is possible.
Danielle Roundy first entered the stormwater science field with Erosion Control Services only recently when her uncle, who was the President until recently, asked for some help writing SWPPP books on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs). She took the SWPPP writing class to become a Registered Stormwater Writer (RSW) and has worked with ECS ever since. When her uncle decided to step down as the President, he asked Danielle to take over.
As an established company, ECS was an ideal place for Danielle to move into a leadership role after working in office and managerial roles in accounting and risk management. She has built strong relationships with her team and contributed to a one-of-a-kind culture in stormwater management of working diligently to improve SWPPP while having plenty of fun along the way.
Entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, commitment, and hard work run in the family for Danielle. Her uncle opened and ran ECS for 10 years, but she has also watched the example of many of the women in her life who have the same work ethic. Her mom is also a great role model, having worked at the same company for 33 years where she puts in extra time whenever necessary and takes great care of her members and employees. Her Dad also owned and ran his own successful company for many years teaching her many things including leadership. She has many role models in her life. Being surrounded by a hardworking and supportive family has helped her be where she is today. Danielle helps spread and continue that drive to everyone on her team.
Danielle brings her own style of management to the team, with a close personal connection to employees. “My door is always open, I prefer face-to-face communication and meetings with the whole team,” she said. “I am still learning every day how to be the best leader and communicate with my team to keep building and growing this company.”
The International Journal of STEM Education published a 2018 review of a program at the University of Maine, Stormwater Management and Research Team (SMART) that aims to recruit more women and underrepresented minority students interested in the field of stormwater science. They cite literature that highlights the fact that this field—along with many others in STEM disciplines—has long been dominated by men, and the absence of diverse voices and viewpoints can be detrimental to growth. Some of that research also focused on the lack of female scientists and engineers as role models in the STEM fields. Right now that is more critical than ever, as the events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic are threatening to push millions of women out of the workforce and erase decades of progress toward more gender diversity.
Other studies have clearly shown the benefits of diverse leadership that includes women in leadership positions—specifically that companies with female executives earn higher profits and have more collaborative and productive workplaces. On a macroeconomic level, more women-led companies could boost GDP by as much as 35% according to the World Economic Forum.
Danielle isn’t necessarily thinking about her impact on GDP, but she is excited about the impact she can have on ECS. As Danielle steps into her role as President, she likes to repeat a motto that she and her sister say to each other whenever things get tough: “You got this!”