Women in Process Safety

Following up on a September 2018 Process Safety Progress (PSP) special article entitled Women in Process Safety, a brilliant session by the same name took place today as GCPS Session 118 at the Global Congress on Process Safety.  The session was chaired by John Murphy, PSP Senior Editor, and Ron Willey, PSP Editor-in-Chief.  Cristina Thomas of 3M and Sarika Goel of UOP Honeywell were session co-chairs.

The session overview states, "In the past decade, many women have chosen process safety as a career focus. Many have attained leadership positions in industry, government, academia, and professional organizations. Process safety industry, academia, and society have benefitted enormously from the accomplishments of these women."

Successful Women Process Safety Leaders

This well-attended session featured a panel discussion of 12 highly successful women who are process safety leaders, including Denise Albrecht (3M), Tracy Carter (Northeastern University), Gretel D'Amico (Pluspetrol), Cheryl Grounds (Baker Engineering and Risk), Kathy Kas (Dow Chemical), Lisa Long (OSHA), Louisa Nara (AIChE CCPS), Kathy Pearson (BP), Kathy Shell (Applied Engineering Solutions, Inc.), Angela Summers (SIS-TECH), Laura Turci (Ashland), and Tracy Whipple (BP).

The women on the panel each discussed their career path in process safety, their interests in process safety, and challenges they have faced, among other topics. Between presentations, the audience was encouraged to ask questions.

Engineer First

There were many notable quotes during the session including, "Best solutions require conflict as a necessary part of creativity and problem-solving" (Kathy Kas); "Gender is not an issue. Prepare and develop competences according to roles and responsibilities" (Gretel D'Amico); "A woman should be looked upon as an engineer, second as a woman" (Louisa Nara); and "Be a mentor and demonstrate through your own action" (Tracy Carter).