NAEM Women’s Leadership Roundtable 2019

Cathy Hansell, Founder & President; Breakthrough Results LLC


 Cathy Hansell, President; Breakthrough Results, LLC

For more than 35 years, Cathy has been a catalyst for change. Cathy has held several senior leadership positions in safety, health, environment (SHE), product stewardship, sustainability and manufacturing areas at AlliedSignal, BASF and American Standard across 47 countries and 20 industry segments. She led culture change and management system strategies throughout hundreds of manufacturing and service operations globally, to create global safety cultures and risk prevention processes for hundreds of thousands of employees. Results included 90%+ reduction in incident rates, prevention of thousands of injuries and millions in cost avoidance, and documented business value in production, quality, products, services and employee morale.


Cathy received a JD in Law, an M.S. in Environmental Toxicology (NYU Institute of Environmental Medicine) and a B.S. in Environmental Science & Engineering. Cathy holds 12 certifications in Safety, Six Sigma, Quality and Sustainability. She was awarded One of the Top 100 Women in Safety from the American Society of Safety Professionals (formerly ASSE).


As the President of Breakthrough Results for the last 12 years, her firm specializes in leading companies to achieve superior, sustainable safety cultures, systems and business value results. Cathy’s firm provides a strategic transformation roadmap, practical tools, a unique change model and targeted education to guide the cultural transformation, which also links with sustainability goals. Clients include organizations in manufacturing, chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, retail, energy generation/distribution, construction, food, military and government (CDC, NIOSH), and the investment community. Cathy is also adjunct professor in the College of Engineering, West Virginia University, teaching a Graduate Safety Culture and Management course.


Cathy began her crusade in 2009 to link SHE culture with sustainability and ESG factor incorporation with business strategic planning, processes and financial revenue returns. In 2012, she published a ground-breaking guide book, "Accelerate Corporate Social Responsibility Results: Link and Leverage Your SHE Culture.” In 2015, Cathy co-founded the Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development in Europe. Cathy was recently published in Forbes on the need to incorporate ESG (Environment, Social and Governance consideration and the culture behind it) into investment decisions. To advance the linkages of SHE with ESG and Sustainability, Cathy is an international speaker, adjunct professor and co-organizer of symposia in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy and Canada.


Cathy is also the host and executive producer of “Safety Breakthrough Talk Radio,” a unique talk radio show that airs on I-Tunes News & Talk Radio. Cathy interviews international experts and government officials on safety, sustainability and wellness topics, including Ed Foulke, the former OSHA Administrator, and several NIOSH experts and industry leaders.

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