Resilience was the main topic during the 118th annual reunion of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers’ (AFPM) Women in Industry session; which is aimed at empowering women in the midstream and downstream sectors by creating a networking environment; as well as an inclusive space for discussion.
Firstly, during this year’s Women in Industry session, the keynote speaker was Eboni Adams Monk; Director of Marketing, Advanced Refining Technologies, which is a joint venture between Chevron and WR Grace.
Secondly, Monk’s session addressed the issue of resilience; its importance in today’s context for the industry, as well as its relevance for women’s lives as industry leaders and members; as well as in a personal and spiritual level.
Thirdly, one of the points that Monk discussed was how to build resiliency through facing challenges. As she said. “leveraging from challenge is taking them as a journey, as a path for transformation, instead as an opportunity to break.”
Moreover, Monk highlighted that 2020 was one of the most difficult years in the U.S. and around the world; with the strike to fuel products from the pandemic, and also the political environment; the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, the assassination of George Floyd and the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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Resilience as the result of a journey; the path of building it through challenge
She also highlighted: “During 2020 women were particularly hit by the loss of jobs, primarily due to child caring.” Consequently, building resilience for women is imperative, she concluded. “In the refining industry, with people stuck at home, the lockdowns and virtual work, many refineries closed under the economic strain; many of them may not yet be operating at pre pandemic levels.” She said.
However, “building resiliency through challenge is like a pose of yoga. We have to root ourselves in front of challenge. Find strength and make a decision to transform; take the challenge as a journey, as a path to build resilience.”
Although she recognized that it is easier said than done, she offered some of her personal experiences as an example on how women in the energy industry can leverage challenge; “one of the first steps is allowing yourself to recognize that you’re going through a challenge. Then notice that the opportunity to build resilience happens every day.”
Finally, she shared. “It doesn’t have to be a main event or trigger… what it is small at first, can end up being a big deal later. If there is a challenge to overcome, know that there is an invitation to be resilient.”