Jane Henry’s background begins as a Division 1 Collegiate Athlete where she learned clothing and equipment matter when it comes to performing at a high level. Yet, as she says, “I spent 20 years in the oil and gas industry dealing with ill-fitting personal protective work clothing and equipment (also known as PPE).” It wasn’t until Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017 when she was forced to use the gear on a day-to-day basis that gave her the inspiration to start this company.
SeeHerWork isn’t Henry’s first business. While Henry’s career began as a consultant with Accenture, she founded her first company in 2002, Xcution, a consultancy specializing in cultural transformations within the workforce. She launched Xcution after the fall of Enron where she was the project manager for the divestiture and was able to turn the post aftermath workforce, which many describe as if someone had declared martial law inside of a building, around to deliver 14 systems and create 750 new jobs. After Enron, Henry took on many complex efforts with her card being handed around the Houston Executive Network as “The Fixer” of workforces that had gotten off track or were politically charged and needed an unbiased 3rd party to help shape the path forward. After Henry helped develop a $50 million onshore exploration business plan which is now a $6 billion portfolio, Xcution’s portfolio of clients quickly expanded to include entities such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health, BP, Chevron, CIVEO, ExxonMobil, Shell, Enterprise Products, Par Pacific, Scientific Drilling International, Fluor and Disney Imagineering.
Post her Hurricane Harvey recovery, Henry researched the breadth and depth of the ill-fitting work clothing and equipment issue. The results were too game-changing to ignore. Henry unearthed information going back 50 years where women talked about how the PPE didn’t fit; thus, leaving the women feeling as if they were not a part of the team, isolated and eventually leaving the roles. To progress with her goal, Henry made it a habit of walking into hardware stores to talk to both the men and women. Quickly, she received invites to come to speak at the work sites. Enjoying sewing as a hobby, she ended up making female sized work gloves to take to the ladies for their feedback. Henry knew she was on to something when the women would “fast walk” up to her at the sites and say, “can I try on THE glove.” The employers started to catch on and invited Henry to speak with their most seasoned professionals. In each session, she started with the same question, “What do you think about Women’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?” with over 50 focus groups across the nation, the response was eerily the same. Inevitably the women would say “We are tired of this Pink-it and Shrink-it. We need stuff that helps us perform.” They then would tell stories about having to duct tape back their coveralls and pants given the extra material. Firefighters shared stories of their lower back burning because their pants wouldn’t stay up. The women (and smaller men) even spoke about completely ditching the PPE, because they needed to get the job done and the force and frequency required to make it work was not worth the harassment from their peers.
Today, Henry works side-by-side with Employers to set up PPE Programs that support Safe and Inclusive Work Environments. She also speaks to groups about the challenges many entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have in implementing their ideas, and how to overcome what she calls “The Natural Human Instinct to Resist Change.”
SeeHerWork is a safety consultancy and product manufacturing company that designs, manufactures and sells workwear, safety equipment, and other job-specific products for both women and men that are sized to their unique body needs and to help them operate as one team.
To schedule interviews or speaking engagements with Jane Henry, please contact Anca Verman at (281) 623-1448 or via email at Info@SeeHerWork.com.