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23 June 2019

Transforming the future

Gender diversity across our workforce has many tangible benefits, and we celebrate those women helping to ‘transform the future’ on International Women in Engineering Day this June.

Transforming the future means different things to different streams of engineers. At ExxonMobil Australia, engineers focus on long-term, global projects that will help meet the world’s energy needs into the future.

One local engineer who has spent her career with ExxonMobil focused on this task is Altona Refinery Environmental Engineer Leia Evans. Since starting with the business as a Surveillance Engineer at Long Island Point Plant in 2008, she has held a variety of roles across ExxonMobil’s operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Leia said that she feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take the experiences she has had in her career so far and use them to help develop others.

“I spent the early years of my career in our Upstream Australian business, learning from people in an established business with strong leadership, technical expertise and world class systems. 

“It was extremely rewarding to then take these experiences and step up into a role to help shape an emerging business in PNG, mentoring younger or less experienced engineers, operators and maintenance technicians,” she said. 

Leia noted that being a part of the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in PNG and the large impact that has had on PNG meant that living and working in the changing economic environment was a chance of a lifetime from a personal perspective, as well as in her career.

“I am proud to have been part of an organisation with a strong focus on empowering women through involvement in programs such as the Global Women in Management training, business coalition for women, scholarships programs and a strong WEN presence within the organisation. This in addition to the support to schools, hospitals and communities in the project affected areas to transform the future for PNG communities.

“On a personal level, I loved visiting local schools in PNG as part of the science ambassadors program, organising basic financial literacy training ‘Money Minded’ sponsored by our Women in Engineering Network (WEN) to further develop our employees and other volunteer activities,” she said.

With a 2016 Australian study highlighting that only 16 percent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) qualified people in Australia are female, encouraging the next generation of women to consider a career in engineering or related is all too important.

ExxonMobil Australia supports a range of education initiatives at primary, secondary and tertiary levels aimed at inspiring future generations to think about STEM as a career pathway, said Community Relations Manager Melanie Saliba.

“Through our wide range of local program which recognise the importance of STEM education, we are supporting the development of a passionate and highly skilled workforce that will help solve problems and create new opportunities into the future,” she said. 

Leia said that coming back to Australia, and in her role at Altona Refinery, she has a new-found appreciation for the established workforce, regulatory and economic environment in which we work in Australia. 

“We have a strong workforce with 70 years of experience and network of contractors that allow us to responsively react to changes in our market and operations. I’ve enjoyed a truly global career with ExxonMobil across a range of engineering roles thus far, and I look forward to continuing our local focus on transforming the future,” she concluded. 

 
INWED
Photo — Leia with her daughter Julianne. “I am proud to have been part of an organisation with a strong focus on empowering women."

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