Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and as a climate company, your hiring decisions can make a huge impact. That's why we're excited to launch our new Climate Hiring Playbook! It's packed with everything you need to know about finding, attracting, and hiring top climate talent.
Meet Keiko Henry, a Japanese Bilingual Sr. Climate Analytics Lead at Persefoni
ARUNA: Hi Keiko welcome to the call! I am Aruna, the senior recruiter at Climate People and I'm joined by Natalie our Marketing Lead. Thank you for working with us and it has been a pleasure working with you. It was a unique job rec, not a typical rec that we typically work not in our wheelhouse, but this was a Japanese-speaking analyst position that you have taken with one of our clients. I remember talking to you and you said, this job is for me and you told me a wonderful story about your childhood, and why this job was for you so can you tell your story so the audience can listen to it and relate also?
KEIKO: So yeah, my sustainability passion goes all the way back to when I was an 11-year-old. I was watching a TV program. They were talking about Africa’s desert expanding. This was super, super shocking to me as an 11-year-old girl. I asked Dad, what I should do and what I can do to help Africa and help the world. He actually gave me really practical advice. He said, okay, whatever you want to do the first thing if you want to work with global something, you need to first learn English. The second thing he told me was that I should be able to use a computer because that is going to connect the world.
You know, I started learning English I started getting used to computers. He bought me a huge, huge desktop computer. I started typing and my kind of sustainability/computer/English Japanese bilingual capabilities started. Moving the clock forward. I was a junior-level accountant at my first company. Oh, by the way, I graduated physical education at college so I have my preschool education background also. I got all those unique stuff.
But with my current company. I started as a Japanese English bilingual, mostly translator and admin for some and it was about 20 years ago. As I worked with this company, I became interested in learning more about accounting or business because I was in so many executive-level meetings. And that made me realize that I need to know what they're really talking about in the business world. And I came up with a fun crazy idea to become a CPA.
I then started earning college grades from zero because again, my background is in physical education. I had zero college credit for any accounting business nothing so I started from zero to 100+ credits for the CPA test and somehow I passed the CPA.
I say what can I do next? And that was 2017 or 18. I cannot remember who but that was when our largest customer started talking about sustainability. I cannot name the customer but they are a huge giant company and they are forcing all of their suppliers to comply with or help them achieve their goal.
At that time, our executives were talking about it. Our president, our sales guy told the executive team that this is important. We have to do something. No, everyone was busy.
Everyone was busy and nobody took the responsibility. I said I want to do this. It sounds interesting and I want to help, first of all, secure the business because the largest customer, and also I'm passionate about sustainability. I thought maybe I can do something, so I stepped up with no raise, nothing, no promo. I just stepped up and took the opportunity. And my journey has been wonderful. So it took us three years. But just in February of this year, our headquarter CEO finally is committed to sustainability. Our company is committed to sustainability. Now the thing that I mentioned is that we started reporting service EDP, participating in the CDP report, three, four, or five years ago the beginning we were just filling in the form just because we were requested to do it when I started. Our score was a D minus. This past year, our score was B minus in just a few years, like awesome.
Another thing that I'm proud of is that I have been working with my colleague but our team is now going to be able to apply the how-to recycle labels on the private label products. So it's super exciting to see all those things happen. So that's my sustainability portion. And while COVID working from home, I had time so I started learning about data analytics. I don't know what I was doing, why I started it, but I thought, oh, I can do something else. So I started data analytics and somehow was this opportunity. This is really, really exciting for me because this company is looking for a Japanese bilingual, somebody who knows accounting, loves data, and is passionate about sustainability. That's a long story about how I got here.
ARUNA: Thank you. So tell us where you're going. And what you’'ll be doing why again, why? This? Why you choose to take this job.
KEIKO: The company’s name is Persefoni. They are providing software solutions to make it easier for companies and financial institutes to report their emissions. They started in 2020 but now there are entering the Japanese market this January. They are needing somebody who can help understand what the Japanese market is about from their specific emissions calculations regulation reporting format, so I will be working as Japanese climate and all this analysis lead to help the company basically localize the solution for the Japanese market.
ARUNA: And are you excited? Do you want to tell us more about it? I know you mentioned that you were looking for jobs within the sustainability industry. And so how was your journey trying to find a job within sustainability last year? Your experience with Climate People?
KEIKO: Yes. So when I started looking for jobs, I was, to be honest, not sure what exactly I wanted to do. Because I'm a CPA and passionate about sustainability. There are 1000s of data analytics positions available in the market. I was looking but actually nothing really, really made me excited. But when I saw the position through Climate People, that was like just like Aruna mentioned, like this is for me - check, check.
Working with Aruna has been really wonderful. I felt like from day one, I had a new friend. It's interesting that we have never met or you haven't even shared the screen and look, she's just my friend and the best advocate. That was wonderful. If I can do a little bit more specific, she was always reachable. She gave me her external phone numbers. I was able to reach out to her. She gave me specific advice as to this is what I should do, and how to prepare, and gave specific, actionable advice that helped me pull through all the interviews.
NATALIE: I love hearing about your journey and just seeing how you had this passion and then you took all the actionable steps you pursue that passion and then at the end it all just worked out.
So with some help from Aruna too! While we are super proud and our favorite thing that we do is getting people in climate jobs but we're also super proud of our 1% for the planet partnership.
So essentially, we donate 1% of every placement fee to an environmental nonprofit. I know we sent over two nonprofits, I can give you a quick little refresher if you need it. But did you happen to look at them and see which one you want to donate to?
KEIKO: Yes, I did. And first of all, thank you for that. What a wonderful, wonderful thing that your company is doing. And yes, I looked at the options and I'd like to choose the Soul Fire Farm.
NATALIE: Yeah, that's a great one. They're an incredible organization and they're really doing some really good localized work that is extremely important. So thank you for your donation. It was perfect. I think that was all the questions we had for you unless either of you has anything else that you would like to touch on before we wrap up.
ARUNA: No, I think this is it, and if you have any feedback or as we can do any better or if you have any friends really the friend you know people are more people to work in the climate industry. It's so interesting because then we have monthly calls and such. Our founder Brendon Anderson, makes sure to remind us that we've found this many people to work in the climate industry and we all are here for that and it's really really rewarding at the end of the day. I'm very happy for you.