Nicola Duffey, senior HR manager for SABIC UK Petrochemicals, on why the Tees giant is supporting the first-ever Tees Businesswomen awards…
As with most of the process industry, SABIC is traditionally a male-dominated working environment.
Right now, fewer than 10% of our employees are female, but things are changing. We are committed to promoting the opportunities for women in industry, particularly within our operations here on Teesside.
It’s a sobering statistic that we have around 300 process technicians working on our sites across Teesside, but only one of those is female. That’s something we need to change.
We have a number of talented, young female chemical engineers coming through the ranks, who are our operations managers and business leaders of the future. So the positive news is that we’re moving in the right direction at a senior level, while we’re also starting to see more young women coming through at apprentice level too.
But we do want to encourage more – and that’s why we’re tying in with the Tees Businesswomen Awards, to create more role models for women who are pursuing a career in this industry.
One of the challenges for women in business is overcoming the myth that working long hours means a more effective and committed employee.
The reality is that the majority of women still hold the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities. Of course, childcare facilities have improved enormously in recent times but women still need ways to work more flexibly to allow them to achieve a good work/life balance. At SABIC, we understand that a supportive boss and first class support network are both essential to making this a success.
We offer flexible working arrangements for all employees, which are essential to helping us to attract and retain women – and men – in the process industry.
Within SABIC, we want to create more role models, so young women see it as a natural and fulfilling place to work and thrive. There’s a wide array of career opportunities within our company, no matter what your gender.
We’re thrilled to be highlighting SABIC’s commitment to creating 21st Century jobs for talented individuals, regardless of their sex, through the Tees Businesswomen Awards. I’m convinced these awards will inspire female business leaders now and in the future.
Senior HR manager