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Mary Perez — Security Guard

One of Mary’s earliest memories as a little girl was being excited to visit her uncle working at the Port of Brownsville. Her uncle inspired Mary to pursue a career on the Port, at International Shipbreaking LLC (ISL), which is part of the global leader in sustainable materials, EMR.

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Based in Brownsville, Texas, ISL has built a global reputation for recycling some of the world’s largest ships, ensuring material goes straight back into a sustainable, circular economy.

Mary has worked as a security guard since 2015. She is the first point of contact for people coming into the state-of-the-art recycling facility, and she loves interacting with customers and colleagues, and the variety that her role offers:

Mary stood at International Shipbreaking Sign

“I get to meet new and interesting people every day, no two days are the same,”

says Mary.

Although the industry has traditionally been viewed as ‘male-dominated’, the organisation prides itself on being an equal opportunities employer. Mary says:

“There’s definitely been a positive shift in metal recycling, there’s a lot more women nowadays with many of them in jobs that were predominantly done by men. I really admire all of my female colleagues, especially the ones that are very hands on, doing manual work, like weighing-in or on the rail network driving trains with massive loads - they do an amazing job!”

There are now 6 women on the site alongside Mary, a completely different world from all those years ago from when she used to visit her uncle.

And, with plenty of opportunity for employees at ISL, and across EMR, to advance their skill set and careers, Mary says she’s been given the tools, training and support to excel, and feels very valued within her role:

“I’m the person who everyone comes to, no matter what the problem is, big or small, and I’m here to help - I love it, I enjoy my role immensely.”

Mary is keen to see even more women join the industry in the coming years and says:

“Women often view things differently, so it’s great to get both a male and female perspective on things - more women joining the recycling sector can only be a positive thing.”

At ISL, and EMR, it’s not your background or where you come from that matters, it is about your attitude, and Mary truly believes that the door is open for anyone with the right determination wanting to forge a career in the industry:

“Never give up, take every opportunity given to you, and regardless of being a women or man, you will be given the support to succeed.”

As a global leader in sustainable materials, EMR has many career opportunities including engineering, site operations, marketing, commercial, shipping, and health and safety.

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