Ilse Kenis had an impressive career prior to coming to work at Carmeuse, serving in high-profile leadership roles at companies like Sibelco and McKinsey & Company. In 2022, armed with her extensive leadership experience, a background in strategic business development, and a Ph.D. in geology, she joined Carmeuse, where she strives to create a roadmap to decarbonization and instilling the values of ‘building a better world’.
As the Chief Carbon Officer, Ilse sees a dual opportunity. She is responsible for defining the decarbonization roadmap while also understanding how to seize new business opportunities in a decarbonized world. When asked why she chose to take this role, she responded, “Carmeuse stands out because many companies talk about decarbonization, but we are actively engaging in this process. Through TECforLime, we have the technical competencies and the ability to create solutions in-house. We must understand that the ownership and execution of these impactful ideas lies regionally, and we can all contribute to their success.”
It’s proven that teams get stronger as diversity in thought, experience, and talent grows. The addition of Ilse to the leadership of Carmeuse is a broad step in the right direction of increasing diversity in leadership. This is an important step that Ilse advocates for strongly. As a female leader with an impressive career, a mother of 3, a book-lover, an author, and an outdoor enthusiast, Ilse understands the pressure that women put on themselves to be all things to all people. However, her refreshing viewpoint on the matter, which she has written about in her book, “Resetting the Default,” states that women can do it all, but we must reinvent how we take up our positions. The best piece of advice she has for women up-and-coming in their careers is to “disable the worry box.” By this she means do not allow your doubt or worry about the future prevent you from taking risks and believing in yourself in the present.
As a leader, Ilse believes in having fun and fostering an environment of continuous learning. To her, anyone can be a leader because leadership is a mindset. Instilling passion and improving performance through inspiring people is what great leaders do and Carmeuse is fortunate to have her join our team.