Get to know the women behind Solane and their work to help keep Filipino homes fire-free
The world is indeed full of interesting career opportunities but sometimes, it’s difficult to find a job that strikes a balance between giving you fulfillment and providing you with the support you need. Think about the times when you went on a job hunt — how often have you considered joining the LPG industry?
Working in the LPG industry is seen as an unpopular choice, especially for females. As an industry connected with oil and gas, the petroleum niche seems like it is riddled with too many technicalities, volatile prices and resources and complex operations. More specifically, the LPG industry is often associated with simply getting stoves to work so people could cook. But beyond supplying essential goods, the core of this industry is ensuring that people could go about their daily lives safely.
For the women of trusted LPG brand Solane, a job in the LPG industry means spearheading innovations within the energy industry to ensure that a volatile product becomes a lifestyle essential that is part of Filipino homes and businesses.
These feminine forces who work all year-round to keep Filipino homes safe share how talent and effort propel the LPG industry and how Solane is a supportive workplace that enables them to realize their individual qualities.
A Woman’s World, Too
At first glance, the LPG or the gas and oil industry may seem like a man’s world due to numbers and technicalities. But for Nancie Rivera, Chief Finance Officer of Isla Petroleum & Gas Corporation, the company behind Solane LPG, the industry offers an exciting opportunity for women due to its nature as an essential commodity. Nancie said despite facing crisis, the field presents opportunity for growth for those in the finance and management professionals.
“Working for an LPG industry trains you to think on your feet given the volatility of pricing and maintain regard for standards due to its nature as a highly regulated industry. At the same time, it teaches you to be receptive to changes as it deals with economic barriers and fluctuations.”
On the technical side, Gigi Indangan, Plant Operation Executive of Isla LPG Corp. (ILC) – Cebu, also defies the notion that leadership in production operations are built for men. Having worked with ILC for almost 19 years, Gigi said that women are known having good interpersonal and negotiation skills, which she said landed her opportunities to provide resolutions for challenges in the business.
“Gender doesn’t matter even if the work is quite masculine in nature. I have operated and handled over 5 LPG Plants in the VisMin region as the pioneering female Plant Manager for 10 years. I have taken over several major projects and contributed to many breakthroughs and innovations in the company,” Gigi explains.
For Vicky Araneta, executive assistant to the CEO, the LPG industry has boundless opportunities for women. To name a few, Shell companies in the Philippines and even the LPG Industry Association has seen women lead. “More and more women are being empowered to lead, even here at Isla. It is a fair and level playing field,” she says.
Building a Career in the Energy Industry
Sales may be predominantly seen as a job that deals with numbers, but for B2B Manager Elma Revillame, who heads the B2B segment of the Isla sales force, reaching out to consumers and leading a team involves incorporating a personal touch and being willing to listen, which she said is innate with being a woman. Having stayed with ILC for 16 years, and taking on various sales related roles even prior to joining Isla, Elma noted that a remarkable part of the job is being able to build and maintain lasting relationships with customers and with people, in general.
“My work is not only about selling but also involves a lot of relationship building which for me is quite fundamental in any profession, not just in sales,” she says. “It gives me a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose when I am able to build, and then develop, nurture, and cherish relationships, and to be able to do this, I believe that the key factors would be integrity and sincerity — two things that I am glad our company truly stand for.”
Aside from being having female leaders in the administrative, sales and production lines, Solane also prides itself with having women at the helm of marketing and creative work.
Marketing manager Valeri Villano has been with ILC for almost 15 years, where she started out as an intern and became a sales account manager, handled promo and brand before leading the Marketing department. “At Solane, our marketing and creative perspectives are hinged on understanding the Filipino mindset at a deeper level. Our marketing efforts require a different level of creativity and a sense of rapport because the product we’re communicating is very personal to Filipinos.”
For Nancie, constant learning is part of her career at Solane. She admits that it is a challenge to be the only woman in the Isla Management Team but the culture at the company is built on collaboration, not competition.
“One of my favorites is the catch-up sessions with the top management where we share our different opinions and points of view on critical areas of the business but ends up with collaborative decisions,” she noted.
Keeping Kitchens Safe
Nancie says Solane empowers cooks by providing them a reliable fuel, which could support their creativity and passion in cooking while assuring them of safety up to the last flame. She also mentions the convenience of ordering Solane as a huge plus. “With Solane, they will never run out of LPG! Hatid Bahay is always to the rescue: quick, reliable, and safe.”
Vicky adds, “Since we are the main users of cooking gas and knowing how dangerous LPG can be if improperly used or illegally filled, using only Solane in our homes empowers and reassures us.” In fact, Vicki notes, “Isla has had more than 21 million manhours without Loss Time Injury and this speaks heaps of our brand and our company.”
Meanwhile, Gigi, who is a mom and breadwinner herself, takes pride in the consumption efficiency of Solane products, as the company ensure every gram of LPG counts and serves its use. “What is essential to families are now more convenient, easy, and most importantly, safe,” she adds.
According to Valeri, beyond ensuring product safety and quality, Solane also empowers individuals from different life stages by considering their lifestyle and needs. Valeri has been hands-on with Solane’s campaigns, including having artist, actress and mom Solenn Heusaff as the brand endorser. “The most important and fulfilling part of my job is being with Filipinos every step of the way, from navigating changes and life stages to celebrating life’s milestones.”
Women’s Month and Beyond
At Solane, the celebration of women goes beyond March. “We honor the achievements and contributions of women and how they have evolved from a home maker to a strong willed, independent, reliable, successful, and empowered citizen of the world. Women can do more than what a man can imagine,” says Nancie.
Gigi also shares the importance of making space and creating opportunities for all women to rise and reshape the norms that hold them back, “We celebrate the amazing contributions women make all around the world, but it is also a call to do more.”
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish,” adds Vicky.
For Nancie, Vicky, Valeri, Elma, and Gigi, keeping Filipino kitchens, homes, and communities safe goes beyond their work. As empowered women themselves, ensuring safety and quality for every Filipino household is also part of their personal endeavor all year-round.
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