Holly Pearson Chemical Engineering Champion

When choosing which organization to work for, finding an inclusive employer has largely become the deciding factor for the next generation, ahead of high salaries or employee benefits.

Inclusiveness is an area that ChampionX has prioritized and continues to encourage and develop in its culture as part of the company’s commitment to improving lives. This includes a focus on creating safe environments where colleagues are respected, valued and seen for who they are as individuals.

As a global leader in chemical solutions and advanced equipment and technology that help companies drill and produce oil and gas safely and efficiently around the world, ChampionX employs more than 7,000 people worldwide. Its RISE (Recognize, Inspire, Share, Engage) employee resource group was created to help the company become an industry leader in gender equality by inspiring all associates to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion. The European Chapter was launched in 2018 and has developed a strong community through collaboration and sharing of best practices, formal mentorship programs and other professional development events, such as unconscious bias training.

With a background in nuclear safety, process engineer Holly Pearson joined ChampionX at the start of the pandemic two years ago. She is also the Professional Development Manager for the RISE Europe chapter of ChampionX, which has seen approximately 40% of European employees become members since its inception, including a growing percentage of men.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, Holly is championing her employer as a great example of a company breaking down stigma every day to support other women in energy and engineering.

What prompted you to pursue a career in engineering?

Engineering is the ultimate problem-solving job, and I’ve always been interested in understanding how things are made and how things work. Real-world examples in math and science classes were probably what first inspired me, even before I understood chemical engineering as a profession. I’m lucky that I managed to understand what chemical engineering was before I applied to college, otherwise it would have been very easy to ignore it as a profession. It never seemed to come up in discussions about career advice. I think it is something that is improving now, which should hopefully see more young women applying for engineering courses and working in industry.

What does your job usually consist of?

The variety of my role is one of the things I appreciate the most. Every day is different, depending on the priorities of the moment. Some of the basic tasks involve introducing new products, deciding the best location to manufacture a chemical based on plant capacity, estimating standard costs, working on engineering projects such as installing new mixing vessels at our Aberdeen factory, root cause analysis investigations of manufacturing quality issues and auditing factories for advanced filtration capabilities.

What type of D&I activities are you involved in?

D&I is something I’m passionate about, so I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to become the Professional Development Manager for ChampionX’s RISE chapter in Europe. We help raise awareness of gender gaps and promote conversation around D&I within the company. The focus and passion that ChampionX clearly has for these important issues initially led me to work with the company as well. I really enjoyed being part of RISE and organizing events on topics like Courage Training, which received great feedback from those involved and has now taken place in other regions.

Have you noticed that these types of programs make a difference?

Absoutely. Initiatives both inside and outside the workplace encourage young girls to stay interested in math and science and promote engineering to pre-college young women. I think progress is slow, but such changes take time, especially when there is a shift in societal thinking. However, I believe that my positive experience as a woman in an engineering role at ChampionX could help inspire more women to join the industry. Children need role models they can relate to, so seeing an engineer speak positively about her work can have a lasting impact when you’re young and influence the future of women in industry.

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