But when we asked her about her experience of being a woman in the fuels business — well, we said she was fierce:
“It is a male-dominated field — which is partly the result of higher levels of male participation in college STEM majors. That’s not the industry’s doing — but we can help do something about that, and we are doing something about that.
“In fact, this is the perfect time for young women with a passion for any of the STEM fields to come knocking, because this industry has acknowledged that we need a more diverse workforce — and we are, now, hiring that diverse workforce.”
That was not so true when Mitra was hired, though her first supervisor at Chevron was a woman. And when she wanted to move out of chemistry and into the production side (a big jump) — the supervisor who gave her that chance, that supervisor was a woman. But while it was mostly a man’s world when she started, a woman who’s gone through a war, a revolution, and immigrating to the U.S. before starting her first job — not surprisingly isn’t daunted by much of anything in the workplace.
Now that she’s established herself in the industry, her work (besides actually running the refinery) is to go beyond diversity, to create a culture of inclusion. To not only bring in a diverse mix of talented employees — but to make sure every employee is included in the work of creative problem-solving — to make sure that everyone speaks and everyone is heard. And in her experience at Chevron, the men are active allies of the women in that project (though we’d guess Mitra’s leadership certainly helps that along).
Oh, and about the basketball? No, she doesn’t play — but she does know the game, watch the game, and trash talk about the game! (So be prepared if you’re sitting next to her. Fierce.) She was a big Bulls fan (back in the days when that made the Utah Jazz anathema, but sssshhh about that now). These days though — she’s all about the players: Steph, Klay and Rajon Rondo (ok, you’ll have to ask HER about Rondo).
Click here to learn more about Chevron’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.