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ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering Group Honors NY’s Diana Cortez as One of 100 Women Making a Difference

Posted in on Fri, Aug 19, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group has honored 100 women from around the world for making a difference in safety, health and the environment (SH&E).  Diana Cortez of Chappaqua, NY, was honored for her lifelong dedication to protecting people, property and the environment.

Cortez is currently the area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Tarrytown Office, and reaches out to external stakeholders in a compliance assistance mode, as well as engages the Latino and immigrant community as the Regional Diverse Workforce Coordinator.  With more than 30 years of experience in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field, Cortez began her career in safety in 1980 as a safety and health technician for OSHA.  She then went on to become a safety specialist and learned to apply the tools of the safety profession to identify and control workplace hazards encountered daily.  In her current position as area director for OSHA, Cortez is the leader of federal OSHA enforcement and compliance assistance programs in her jurisdiction, including the Bronx, Westchester County and Rockland County.

One of Cortez’s primary focuses is the education of immigrant workers including Latino workers and the education of those workers in their native language to reduce risk of injury and illness on the job.  She regularly speaks on this issue at national conferences to raise awareness about the seriousness and importance of the issue and strives to provide best practices for more effective communication methods.

Cortez is an active member of ASSE’s Hudson River Valley chapter and has helped grow ASSE’s Safety Professional and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) common interest group (CIG) as its past Vice Chair and current advisory board member.  The group has more than 600 members and Cortez has been instrumental in organizing meetings at ASSE’s annual Professional Development Conferences (PDC) and securing high profile key speakers.  She is a member of WISE and is also a member of ASSE’s Diversity Committee.

The ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project honors women who have dedicated their careers to promoting innovation in safety, health and environmental issues.  The valuable contributions of women to the SH&E profession have been recognized through this project and later this year WISE will consolidate the profiles of all 100 honorees into a single publication, titled 100 Women, Making a Difference in the Safety, Health and Environmental Profession as part of ASSE’s (1911-2011) 100th anniversary.

WISE was established to foster the advancement of women in the SH&E profession.  For more information about WISE and upcoming events, please visit

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to



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