Renée Breyer is the Associate Director for the Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) Directorate. She provides leadership, management, applied expertise, and to set program goals and establish measures of effectiveness in support of the Laboratory’s recruiting, hiring, onboarding, compensation, benefits, leadership and development programs, work-life balance and retention programs, internal personnel policies and practices, as well as support to employee groups. Breyer is responsible for providing management and leadership of a team of approximately 100 human resources personnel with an annual budget of ~ $15M.
Breyer has 25 years of experience in finance, information technology and project management. Breyer joined the Laboratory in 1992 after working at Oracle and quickly rose to leadership ranks in the CFO Projects Office, the Information Technology and Project Management Office, and SHRM. Prior to leading the SHRM organization in the current associate director capacity, she held the position of deputy associate director since 2011, and held division leader positions managing the breadth of scope for SHRM.
What inspired you to work in STEM?
Interestingly, I started my career in information technology developing computer software for financial systems. As I progressed in my career and delved into other system areas including Human Resources, I realized that I was more inspired by people and supporting people needs which led me to changing careers to becoming Human Resources Professional.
What excites you about your work?
Every day is a new opportunity and more importantly every single day I have a chance to make a difference for at least one person.
How can our country engage more women, girls and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
We all need to be ambassadors of engagement with the girls whether it is our neighbors, nieces, daughters, etc. As we walk and talk, we are setting the example for the next generation to follow in our footsteps. We are the best marketing tool around.
Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
So many tips! But I will share just a couple that I would offer are worthy for any position in STEM or not. Speak up – meaning that you should ask for what you need to get your job done. As part of speaking up, also ask for what you want. If you don’t speak up, your manager will never know that you have a desire to learn and grow. My second favorite tip is that if there is a will, there is a way. Roll up your sleeves, dig in, learn, and make it happen.
When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the kids’ sporting events, snow skiing, playing games, and most importantly getting away on vacation together. I also enjoy staying active including running, yoga, Pilates, and now hiking National Parks. Overall, squeezing this level of activity means that worklife integration is a constant challenge and takes an incredible team effort at home.
Learn more about our programs & resources for women and girls in STEM at http://www.energy.gov/women