Thanaporn Rumney's interest in science led her to pursue chemistry, graduating from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand with bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry. She also pursued an MBA from Stamford International University.
Rumney started at Saudi Basic Industries Corp. as a color specialist and has taken on leadership roles over the years.
"At Sabic, we believe in the importance of diversity in experience, knowledge and ideas, and my role involves creating an inclusive environment for team members to flourish and contribute to the organization," said the senior manager for the Specialties business, SHPP Thailand.
"Since 2007, I have been leading a team of more than 100 employees at the Sabic Rayong, Thailand, manufacturing facility in my role as plant manager. In addition to my responsibilities at the Rayong facility, I was also given oversight of the Moka manufacturing plant in Japan in 2021, guiding an additional 120 employees. At both sites, I lead and drive operational and cost optimization, system automation, energy efficiency and safety excellence."
She added: "Together with my team, we completed a rooftop solar panel project at the Rayong plant in 2019, making the plant one of the first in the region to reduce its carbon footprint using renewable energy."
Rumney obtained Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification in 2006 and led SAP implementation across eight Asia-Pacific manufacturing sites in 2014-26, which she considers a significant accomplishment.
"SAP implementation enables faster decision-making and improvements in the company's efficiency, effectiveness and cost management. This project involved leading change management, and its success depended on thorough planning, dedication and teamwork across the region," she said.
Rumney said her leadership mindset sets her apart and enables her to make independent and ethical decisions. She also fosters a culture of openness and dialogue among team members.
"Even though manufacturing is generally a male-dominated industry, the plastics industry is a hidden gem that allows women to grow their careers in the long term. In particular, Sabic is committed to empowering women, and there is more focus on ability or competency rather than gender," she said. "Women can bring empathy to the business, which allows for the creation of a safe space for employees who work together to be more self-aware and allow other voices to feel heard and welcomed."