Global Women Forum - Introducing Renata Lins Reis

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Global Women Forum - Introducing Renata Lins Reis

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Renata Lins Reis (© EITEP)
Renata Lins Reis (© EITEP)

In this interview, Renata Lins Reis shares the unique perspectives she brings to pipeline technology, emphasizing her multidisciplinary background in Chemical, Industrial, and Pipeline Engineering. Her role at Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) and as chair of Young Pipeline Professionals (YPP) Brazil equips her with practical insights and a forward-thinking approach. Renata’s experiences with global best practices at events like the Pipeline Technology Conference fuels her commitment to innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in pipeline operations.

1. As a woman in the pipeline business, what unique perspectives or experiences do you bring to the field that contribute to innovation and progress in pipeline technology?

I believe that my interpersonal communication and articulation skills have been very important to my professional journey. I have always strived to be honest about my limitations and to demonstrate a strong willingness to learn and evolve, for which I am grateful to have found many mentors along the way. Additionally, my involvement in volunteer groups, such as Young Pipeline Professionals (YPP), of which I am currently the chair, has provided unique opportunities. Being part of YPP-BR has allowed me to connect with various people and companies and to attend national and international conferences. These experiences have facilitated the exchange of ideas and knowledge with other professionals in the pipeline sector, enabling me to contribute to its advancement. I believe that the diversity of experiences and perspectives from different fields, ages, and genders enriches our understanding and opens up new perspectives.

2. Can you share any challenges you've faced as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry, and how you've overcome them to excel in your career?

Of course, like the vast majority of women, I've often heard things that a man would never say to another man, but because it's directed at a woman, they think it's acceptable. I've experienced micro-aggressions like being interrupted, hearing sexist jokes, being asked if I am married during job interviews and the list goes on. Once, when I was about to have a meeting with a client of a company we provided services to, I heard: "Wear a low-cut top and everything will be fine”. 

3. In your role as Chair of Young Pipeline Professionals Brazil, how do you advocate for diversity and inclusion within the industry, particularly for women, and what strategies have you found to be effective?

As chair of YPP-BR, my goal will always be to encourage their participation! To achieve that, we strive to prioritize the participation of women in the selection of attendees for our events, such as technical visits, as well as for scholarship opportunities in postgraduate studies, courses, etc. Additionally, I aim to take part in events focused on diversity and gender equality to enhance, overall, the involvement of women in our industry and in engineering.

4. Your expertise in pipeline leak detection is remarkable. How do you think diversifying the workforce, particularly with more women, can enhance safety and efficiency in pipeline operations?

It is well-known that having a more diverse environment is directly related to employee satisfaction. Additionally, for the companies, diverse teams contribute to better financial performance and enhance their reputation among customers and in the market. Besides that, I would highlight the fact that women are inherently multitaskers, possess strong interpersonal skills, and are flexible and adaptable, all of which align well with the profile of a pipeline operator. Unfortunately, despite these strengths, women often face the challenge of having to prove themselves in male-dominated industries.

5. Given your experience in automation and simulation, what steps do you believe the industry can take to attract and retain more women in technical roles like yours?

I believe the first step would be the creation of corporate policies and actions that seek to balance roles between men and women. Mentorship programs, encouragement of education and formation of female leaders are all important initiatives. Setting inclusion goals through the development of career advancement programs is one strategy to enable and integrate women at various hierarchical levels in an organized and competent manner, ensuring not only representation but also teams with diverse ideas. 

6. With your background in teaching and international experience, how do you envision mentorship and networking opportunities playing a role in encouraging more women to pursue careers in pipeline engineering and related fields?

I believe mentorship programs help women feel more self-assured and secure, in addition to assisting with career planning or the development of specific skills. Networking opportunities could inspire women, showing them what they can achieve and motivating them to work to accomplish that. However, for this to happen, it is essential for them to feel represented and to be able to see themselves in these environments. 

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