7 March 2023

Increasing gender diversity is critical to powering a cleaner future sooner

Increasing gender diversity is critical to powering a cleaner future sooner

This International Women’s Day, OCI Global is highlighting the important role women play in our industry and why we believe increasing gender diversity will help us power a cleaner future sooner.

OCI’s purpose is to revolutionize the energy-intensive industries that shape, feed and fuel our world. To achieve this, we need a team who have diverse experiences, and ways of approaching problems and exploring solutions. We believe that gender diversity is critical to this, and that bringing more women into our business will impact us positively.

While, today, the number of women working in our industry is disproportionately low, at OCI we’re trying to change this, as Executive Director, Maud De Vries outlines:

“We’re really working hard on diversifying in terms of gender. Our target is to have 25% female leadership by 2025 and I think we’re already making a big step-change towards that goal in hiring very talented women. But we want more women to come into our industry and into OCI.”

Maud De Vries
Chief Legal and Human Capital Officer

We’re proud to see our female leaders being recognized for their contributions, proving the value of increasing the number of women in leadership. For example, earlier this year, Muna Al Mehairi, CEO of Fertil, one of our Fertiglobe subsidiaries, was recognized by Forbes Middle East as one it’s top 100 most powerful businesswomen. But we also want to see more women across our whole business, and particularly in areas like business development, commercial and technical roles, where we have vacancies today. We asked two women working in these roles why others should consider a similar career.

Kaitlyn Trehan is a Senior Electrical Engineer, based in Texas, North America. She says:

Lauren Bullard is a Turnaround Manager, who has been recognized for her fresh approach, which has resulted in her ideas being implemented in other parts of the business. She says she was first attracted to OCI because of its community culture.

Her second major driver was the company’s commitment to safety and best practice. “Management and corporate are willing to support us to work safely and to “fix it right.”, she says.

Lauren enjoys the unique challenges of her job as a Turnaround Manager, which means she is responsible for conducting a safe and efficient turnaround – a planned period of review and repair – at her site. “Knowing that you have a pretty big scope of work to execute and then finishing everything within schedule, I think that’s pretty exhilarating.”

One of the challenges of recruiting more women like Muna, Lauren and Kaitlyn is one of pipeline – attracting young people generally and young women in particular to the industry. Which is why we invest in our relationships with schools, colleges and universities in the communities where we’re based to give young people the opportunity to explore our industry and develop their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

One example is our participation in Girlsday, an initiative by the VHTO (Netherlands National Expert Organization on Girls/Women and Science/Technology) that aims introduce girls to science, technology and ICT at a young age. This national event takes place annually in April and allows girls to participate in STEM activities and meet female employees who work in STEM fields. Another is our partnership with JINC, a Dutch organization that provides underprivileged 8-16-year-olds with mentorship opportunities.
Last year, through our participation in JINC’s “Leader of Tomorrow” event we invited a young woman to get first-hand experience of industry leadership when she took the reigns as Operating CEO for the day at OCI Nitrogen Europe.

Meanwhile in our communities in North America we partner with local education organizations to support STEM education. Last year this included donations of $200,000 to develop a mobile STEM lab in Beaumont, Texas, and $250,000 to the Lee County Career Advantage Center in southeast Iowa. And at our Fertiglobe sites in Egypt, Algeria, and the UAE, we welcome over 100 university students each year on-site to train in a variety of technical and non-technical roles.

So why should talented women consider our industry and join OCI? Maud De Vries says:

“If you join OCI, you open the world to yourself. You learn from your colleagues, can work with people around the world, and you can contribute to feeding and fueling the world in a cleaner way, wherever you work and whatever your role, because of the decarbonization plans we have across our sites globally. You can really develop yourself and be agile in your career. At the same time, everyone connects. I hear a lot of laughter when I walk around in whatever location I’m at – and people care for each other. And that’s what I’m really proud of. We have excellent people and there is a really good spirit amongst them.”

Maud De Vries, Chief Legal and Human Capital Officer

So as people around the world #EmbraceEquity as part of International Women’s Day this year, we ask everyone to consider the opportunity women and girls have to impact how we feed and fuel our world, and encourage them to bring their skills and ideas to our industry and help power a cleaner future sooner.

If you’d like to find out more about a career at OCI visit: https://oci-global.com/careers/

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