Cindi Leslie (Production Engineer)
This International Women’s Day, we had a chat with Cindi Leslie, a Production Engineer working at our Lubricants Oil Blending Plant. She is one of our few female engineers aspiring to be a supply chain professional who can bring a positive impact for the zero emissions world.
“I’ve always been a big science person growing up until now, which is perhaps the most pivotal factor in getting my chemical engineering background which brought me where I am today,” she said.
Care to know more about Cindi and learn how spent her day at a plant as female engineer? Read on our interview with her!
Can you share with us your typical workday?
My typical workday starts with the daily production morning meeting where we run through the production schedule of the day from all angles; raw material readiness, line performance, maintenance, etc. After this, I usually review my emails, then I spend some time for my regular review of my projects, KPIs and also various Continuous Improvement ideas from the front-liner team. For lunch, food is served in the canteen (for free!) so it’s a nice routine to have a meal every day with my peers. The afternoons are usually spent compiling performance reports and having Root Cause Analysis (RCAs) discussions of any improvements that can be done.
What it feels being a female engineer working at a plant dominated by male?
In the beginning, I felt self-conscious about being the only female in the production team. However, our team is very open minded and welcoming, which helped a lot for me to gain confidence in showing how I can help the team to achieve our common goals.
What have been some of your significant successes in Shell?
I have been managing the Waste-Buster program in Marunda LOBP for the past year. My main role in managing this program is improving the Continuous Improvement mindset in the front-line level and ensuring that various process wastes in the plant is identified and eliminated. When I reflect on the program’s success, I recognized a major improvement in the quality of thinking in our front-liners, where they are able to quantify the savings when eliminating wastes, and are able to critically decide what approach is best to go forward in eliminating the wastes. This took a whole year’s worth of engagement, refreshment courses on the methods of Root Cause Analysis, and constant follow up to ensure ideas born come to actual fruition. In the end this consistency and discipline are major factors in affecting the program’s sustainability. In 2019, we were able to harbor ~160K USD worth of savings from the various improvement ideas from front-liners.
What moves your world?
It’s Curiosity. I relate with the saying: “she who knows the most, knows that she knows the least” and this drives me to never stop learning and always be grounded in whatever I do.
How do you make time for yourself and how do you see Shell supports you in achieving your work-life balance?
I make it a habit to schedule and commit some “Me Time” for myself, where I usually do my exercise, a little bit of self-pamper (shopping, salon), or just zone out during the weekend. One thing that helped me do this is to stop feeling guilty when I choose to spend some quality time with myself instead of going out.
On company’s support, I personally feel that Shell is very supportive in terms of work-life balance. It is shown in its flexible working hours policy, providing the means to work from home in case of emergencies, and a-16 weeks maternity leaves.
This year’s IWD theme is #eachforequal – what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘equal’?
When I hear the word equal, I think about respecting differences. Being equal does not mean we’re the same, but if we ingrain that sense of respect and humility in the way we co-exist with each other then no matter our gender, our sexuality, our gender identity, our level of education, we can see each other as equals.
Do you have parting messages or advise, especially to young girls aspiring for development?
Sometimes the toughest barrier for your own development is your own mindset and conviction. If you ever come to the point where the going feels very tough, don’t give up and reflect on your motivation. Surround yourself with supportive people and always be a keen learner.
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