Passionate about the industry

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, ten Tecpetrol women employees shared their experiences, ideas and reflections on the technical subjects they studied and what happens at work in terms of diversity and inclusion.

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The date, established by the UN in 2015, aims to achieve the equal participation of women and girls in training and science studies in order to close the gender gap.

Whenever the subject of women in science comes up, one ineluctable reference is Marie Curie, a historical figure who not only left a mark because of her discoveries, but also because she led the way towards a more egalitarian and just society. Her undeniable intellect and perseverance are an inspiration for women around the world, as she was the first woman scientist to receive two Nobel Prizes in different specialties, and her words continue to inspire and encourage to this day.

It is this brilliant mind in physics, math and chemistry, a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, who was chosen by Marilyn Lozada, who is in the Young Professionals Pool at the Pesquería Power Plant, Mexico, as a reference when talking about her vocation. The Mexican engineer answered the invitation from Tecpetrol Hoy to join nine other Tecpetrol women colleagues keen to share their ideas and visions about the road to equality.

"Currently in Mexico, three out of ten female professionals choose careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), which is why I encourage all women to strive to break paradigms. Greater inclusion in the industry stimulates significant social and economic growth within companies,” she explained.

Although the gender gap continues to be an issue, "the role of women in the industry is changing and for the better, as we have achieved greater openness and equality," emphasized Marcela Morales Bobes, Chemical Treatment Sr. Manager in the Neuquén and Vaca Muerta basins in Argentina. “I’ve seen many changes in the industry. When I started this business, things were very different. I had two complicated pregnancies and at that time, it was very difficult to balance my health without my work getting in the way, to ensure there was no difference between me and my male peers since there was a pretty clear gender gap then. But today, the role of women in the industry has changed for the better, achieving greater openness and equality for all, where women are now taking on roles in the workplace without stereotypes or limitations."

"There is a lot that has been achieved, but there is also a long way to go," reflected Ailen Soledad Duarte, Supply Chain Planning & Process Lead Analyst in Buenos Aires. Her vocation prompted her to pursue a career in Systems Engineering, but two years later, she moved into industrial engineering. She made a point of turning a deaf ear to those voices that told her this was "a job for men." Beyond her technical knowledge, Ailen recognizes that she has strengths in soft skills that value commitment, recognition and knowledge transfer. "Measures such as equal paternity and maternity leave, or participating in Lean In Circles, where the focus is on training and discussion about inclusion, are very helpful to promote Tecpetrol's role as an agent of change."

"When I entered, the women in the operational area were very few. Today, slowly, that number is increasing, and ushering in new alternatives and opportunities that are driving a shift in mindset within Tecpetrol," said Lilen Virginia Cambareri, Maintenance Planning Engineer at El Tordillo. The industrial engineer has been at Tecpetrol for four years, and she chose her career because of the flexibility it offers for professional development. "This area gives you a global vision of a company's processes."

"Although I’ve only been working in the industry for eight years, I grew up in this environment and I feel that every day women are getting closer to where they should be," said Andrea Mihailliuc, Procurement Specialist in the Neuquén Basin. “I see that there is a general push for change that will probably take a little longer, but we already see positive results. All this, added to the fact that more and more women are being encouraged to study subjects which were previously the preserve of men,” added the industrial engineer, who recognizes the role played by her parents and grandmother in supporting her. "Although they never had the opportunity to study for a degree, they gave me the values and the drive I needed."

The changes in recent years cut right across the board. "Since I joined the company, I have seen a big change: women have been given a greater role in the oil sector, not only in administrative tasks but also in other operational areas," acknowledged Yael Fiorela Bernardi, Development Geologist Sr. Analyst in El Tordillo. A geologist who graduated from the University of Comodoro Rivadavia (UNPSJB), Yael was bringing up her little daughter, Tiziana, when she decided to let her genuine interest in nature define her vocation. Her family has been a bastion of support throughout her career as she looks toward a promising future. "I understand that we are living through a moment of transition and that our situation will continue to improve."

"There are more women with each generation of graduates, which means that there are more women working in companies, spurring a broader and more open outlook, embracing new perspectives and the possibility for change," commented Angela Hernández, Sr. Supervisor of HSE at the Pesquería Power Plant in Mexico. "At a decision-making level, women are also gaining more and more influence as we move toward a common goal, united by our passion for Industry and Engineering," she added.

Understanding how the world works was what motivated Maria Amelia Corradi, Project Economic Lead Analyst, to study engineering. Today, she invests great enthusiasm and passion into her work at Tecpetrol. "It may sound obvious, but the role of women in the industry requires, precisely, that there be women in the industry to start with. For that reason, it’s vital to publicize STEM subjects and encourage women to develop and grow in these areas," she highlighted.

"I am passionate about being part of one of the industries that move the world and its economy, whose impact affects all generations and leads to huge technological, social, economic and environmental development," said Katherine Torres, with force. As a Petroleum Engineer who is currently the Security Sr. Analyst in the Neuquén Basin, Katherine affirmed that she was always clear about where she wanted to work, "ever since I first saw a person in overalls!"

When she was evaluating her future career, gender bias had a strong influence. "I wanted to work for an engineering company which would in the future hire women, but my parents waded in and helped me to choose without fear or prejudice," recalled Michielle Zurita, Commercial & Planning Manager, in Quito. “I understand that there are still all these preconceived notions and beliefs about traditionalism and gender differences, but today I work in harmony with my colleagues,” said this industrial engineer, a recent mother. “We are training a new generation that understands and accepts that there are differences, but that does not mean that they are either better or worse,” she concluded. "Everybody is equally capable and equally competent."

Every day there are more women employees working in managerial or operational positions. Every day there are more women taking key decisions for the industry. At Tecpetrol, we wish all our women colleagues a great day, in the way we know best: working daily to promote inclusion and diversity on our path toward equality.

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