We sat down for five minutes with Mauricio Castillo Ferri (Mau), an Associate supporting Environmental Incentives’ Human Resources team. Mau tells us more about his role, what drew him into the environmental field, and the key trends he sees emerging in human resources.
How would you describe your role at EI?
I’m the Human Resources (HR) Associate, which means I support multiple aspects of HR, including the recruitment processes, benefits management, and employee verifications, anything HR related.
I’m also on the Steering Committee of our internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. I’m very passionate about that work. We try to come up with ideas and solutions to make EI a more inclusive place.
What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be a professional soccer player. In Ecuador, we played soccer all the time. We’re a soccer–driven culture in terms of sports. That’s all I did growing up. I continued to play recreationally up until very recently when I broke my ankle playing here in DC. I like to stay active, so I may go back to it when I can.
What drew you to work at Environmental Incentives?
I’ve always been interested in the environmental space, but my previous experiences were in international policy. When I saw this opening, I was excited and put all my efforts into the application. I saw EI as a welcoming and innovative place where I could grow. It was a challenge and a risk to join such a small team, but one I wanted to take on. Because I’d only worked in international organizations, it was a big transition and a great opportunity to move to a private company with American employees.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite part of my job is giving input on developing the company culture. I really like enabling people and building on their strengths, so they feel comfortable and can do their job in the best way possible. I also enjoy recruiting people because I get to try to figure people out and see what ingredient they will add to our company’s mix. I try to recruit diverse and excellent people who can help our company grow in every possible aspect. I care a lot about this because I am from a diverse background. I know the challenges people face and the opportunities they can bring to the company.
What trends do you see emerging in the HR Sector?
There is a big trend around making workplaces more diverse and inclusive. This trend extends beyond HR. We see that companies have an obligation to be more intentional and create policies that foster inclusion. Also, with COVID-19, there are many efforts to support workers as we adjust and prioritize flexibility. Overall, I think these changes are good because we are reestablishing priorities and creating a win-win situation.
What is your proudest moment at EI?
The best moments come when I extend an offer of employment. I remember what it is like to look for a job and the joy you feel when you get an offer. Getting to be the person who extends that offer and makes a change in someone’s life is incredible. I always feel the same way when I do it, I feel like I’m doing something for someone, and it is something I take a lot of pride in.
What are your favorite pastimes?
I love spending time with my daughter. That is a new hobby because she is only ten–months–old. I enjoy family time; my wife and my daughter are the most important things in my life. If I’m not spending time with them, I love playing video games. And I think the thing I love the most is eating, that’s my favorite hobby.
What’s one food you can’t live without?
I love crabs. In Ecuador, we eat the smaller crabs, and you take your time to hammer them. It’s so awesome. We get them once a month. It’s like a two-day ritual. I’ll spend my whole day eating crabs. I love it.
What’s your favorite thing to do in DC?
I lived in Adams Morgan, and I loved going to this seafood restaurant called Pop’s Sea Bar. Before COVID, whenever I had visitors, I would always take them there and spend the day. It’s so cozy and nice. They have a jukebox, so I would pick music to play for like five hours.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Being a father and having a family is my most important achievement. I am also proud of myself for adjusting to life in multiple countries, where I knew very little about the language and culture. Being able to adjust and live in new places for an extended period of time, those are the things that have molded me into the person I am today.