Women executives are making inroads in the petrochemical market.
Four female leaders commented on their roles March 11 as part of the World Petrochemical Conference.
Claudia O'Rourke is a rare female plant manager in petrochemicals, serving in that role at Oxy Vinyls' chlor-alkali plant in Taft, La.
"Early in my career, I had a leader who said never say no to a job or a project," she said. "If you're being asked, it's because people see your ability, and a lot of the time it's for your development and growth.
"I took that to heart and developed a broad skill set," she added.
Janile Parks is relatively new to the petrochemicals market as community and government relations director with FG LA LLC, the Formosa Plastics Group unit that's working to build a petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, La.
"As a neophyte, petrochemicals can be intimidating," she said. "And a lot of places lack the resources to help women perform in some roles."
Parks said that it's important to offer resources like mentoring and management training programs and also important to understand that "progress starts with awareness that women can be as successful as men."
"We've made great strides in hiring more women," she added. "Now we're seeing women thrive in male-dominated positions."