What is your advice to girls and women about working in non-traditional roles/ industries?

I would say to give it a go! It can be challenging but also so rewarding. Don’t rule any jobs out just because they may be male-dominated. There are so many opportunities out there, if you have a slight interest or passion for something then go for it!

Were you familiar with the industry you now work in before you started?

Yes.

What are some of the coolest things you like about working in your industry?

I get to work with interesting and challenging equipment and processes. Moomba Plant is a very complex hydrocarbon separation and treatment facility with many feed and product streams. It’s pretty cool that Moomba Plant supplies Sydney and Adelaide with natural gas, knowing how much of an impact we have on Australia’s gas market, and how critical our steady operations are.

What do you love most about the work that you do?

I get to be on-site, see the equipment in person and learn from all the experienced operators. This makes it easier to understand and troubleshoot as well as coordinate trials and implement projects to improve efficiencies while being on site. The best part is the fact that I don’t just sit at a computer screen all day, I can go exploring throughout the plant, identifying any issues or opportunities for improvement.

 What successful strategies have you used that have helped you transition to working in a non-traditional industry?

Being open-minded to trying new things, working with different types of people and having a willingness to continue learning. I have also found good communication and gaining respect from other employees are key and go a long way in making work more enjoyable.

How did you get started in your career pathway and what helped you along your career journey?

Pretty much from when I started university, I knew I would likely end up in an industrial processing role. Just had to narrow down what industry, but I’m happy with where I have ended up.

What or who has influenced your career pathway?

My teachers at school, my lecturers at university, and my dad.

In school what subjects did you enjoy most or were good at?

Maths and chemistry.

What did you want to be or do when you left school?

I started studying chemical engineering straight out of school because I wanted to work in a chocolate factory (or similar), but after going through the degree, I realised there are plenty of other interesting processes that I could work on and industries that I could be a part of. I did work in industrial refrigeration for a couple of years before moving into the energy sector. It has been great to keep learning and developing my skillset across different industries.

What type of qualifications do you have?

 I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering (Honours), but various other engineering degrees would allow you to work in the oil and gas industry or as a tradesperson / apprentice if you would like to work on-site as an operator / maintainer.

Lastly, how are you making your own mark?

I would say I am making my own mark by trying to improve communication between site and office-based personnel. Communication is a quality that I feel is a strength of mine and that is something I can help to improve on across our assets. Being the only engineer on site, I believe this is one way I can make a difference and help to improve working relationships between different disciplines.

Hear from other role models making their mark

Steph

National Decarbonisation & Energy Transition Senior Manager
Energy, Mining and Property