Interview with Prisana Homhuandee, Supply Chain Operation Improvement Specialist, SCG-DOW Thailand

Production platform of oil and gas industry in offshore

We recently interviewed Prisana Homhuandee, Supply Chain Operation Improvement Specialist from SCG-DOW Thailand on her thoughts about gender diversity in the oil & gas industry.

Please introduce your role at your role at SGC-DOW

My Role is Improvement Engineer for the supply chain operation (SCO) in SCG-DOW, Thailand. My main responsibility is to cooperate with each plant operation to seek improvement opportunities and work with the project team to implement these projects. 

What does your typical workday look like?

Every working day, my team will have a morning update for daily activities, special tasks and issues. After that, I work on my improvement projects. I check the project status in the field for on-going projects that are in construction phase, clarify design for projects that are in progress for detailed design. I also have regular discussions with the team to see opportunities for improvement and evaluate each project’s feasibility.

How do you think the oil and gas industry compares to other industries when it comes to gender diversity?

Nowadays, women get more opportunities to show our potential at work. We give priority to competence over gender. However, it is inevitable that in some fields, one gender will have an advantage i.e. labour work. For these industries, we may see one gender is still more suited to the job than the other.

Women represent a growing segment of the oil and gas workforce but what are the main challenges that come with being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated oil industry?

I see more potential for women working in oil & gas. Nevertheless, harassment in the workplace is one of working women’s top concerns. Top companies have strong ethics policies and that could help eliminate this concern.

How have things changed within the industry during your career?

I see a lot of women stepping up to be leaders. The ratio of women to men in the industry is also better, especially in leader or management positions. 

How do you see the industry developing over the next five years when it comes to gender diversity and opportunities for women to reach leadership?

With improving diversity in the workplace, gender will become less of a consideration against technical skills and competency.

What would you say has been your biggest success story/a moment you’re particularly proud of in your career?

Leading a plant turnaround (MTP HPPO) as part of a plant operation team of more than 50 operations professionals to shut down a plant safety, and turn over the units to perform maintenance activities. We then restarted the plant and resumed normal operations. This was the first achievement of total plant turnaround and total turnaround took 40 days with over a year of preparation.

Are there any mentors/female role models in the industry who you look up to?

My female role model is my ex-supervisor. She is very strong in technical and soft skills. She treats all people in the team as they are her family. She has 2 children but this does not hold her back from professional success. She can give support at work as much as supporting her children as a mother. This shows how a person can manage work-life balance.

How do you think growing awareness of sustainability will most impact the industry/your organisation?

Sustainability is important to our industry. This can build trust and value to the customer and also within organisations.

What does innovation look like at your organisation and how does this impact your customers?

My organisation keeps improving when it comes to digitalisation and innovation. We keep looking for new opportunities and innovations that can be applied to our facilities.  

What does the subject of digital transformation and IoT mean to you?

As part of supply chain, IoT is crucial. Digitalisation can minimise / eliminate error. Our products can be tracked and traced by customers at any time. This introduces higher customer confidence and satisfaction.

How do you see the role of the Industrial Internet of Things in refining, petrochemicals, & chemicals? What are the key benefits and opportunities of using IIoT solutions in downstream operations?

For petrochemical companies, IoT can improve the reliability of process. Engineers / maintenance engineers can remotely access equipment & instrument troubleshooting and get real-time data. This can reduce downtime of process, and increase effectiveness of maintenance.

What are the current challenges and hurdles that affect the spread and deployment of the Internet of Things in your organisation?

Limited equipment specification can be used within plant facilities. It must be explosion-proof. Another challenge is securing confidential information through IoT. 

“Developing diversity across a company isn’t a quick fix but is a long-term business imperative” – please elaborate from your perspective

In my perspective, this is a true sentence. It takes time to make a paradigm shift. Businesses and organisations should provide serious support. Influencing people little by little at a time means that finally the whole team will be united and will recognise diversity within the organisation. 

In your opinion, what is one of the best ways to attract more women into the oil and gas industry?

Company expression in diversity and equality. 

What advice would you give to women considering a career in the downstream industry? Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started?

I’m lucky that my company supports diversity. However, I still see selective recruitment in some companies for a specific gender (male) for a position where I strongly believe a woman could also perform those tasks… nonetheless the majority of the downstream industry shows diversity support and there are lot of opportunities for women in the downstream industry.