Women in industry: In conversation with Ingrid Ooms

As the UKLA gears up for celebrating International Women’s Week in March with its inaugural Women in the Lubricants Industry Conference we shine a spotlight on Ingrid Ooms, Global Technology Manager at ANDEROL. We ask her a few questions about herself and her perspective on working in a sector traditionally dominated by men.

Please explain your role at ANDEROL and how you got to where you are today?   Ingrid Ooms

Having completed a degree in chemical engineering I applied for a position at ANDEROL in 1991 when I was 21 years old. I started in the lab in quality control where I gained a good understanding of the product. After this I moved into technical support which involved going out and visiting customers. I provided on-site, customized support and advice around oil selection and lubricant usage.

Following this, I started working in product development where I was responsible for developing new ANDEROL products. Nowadays I still work in product development and have a lot of contact with customers and OEMs providing technical support and advice.

What was your dream job when you were growing up?

I was always interested in chemistry - it was my favourite subject in high school. I dreamed of achieving ground-breaking developments within the chemical industry which is probably what influenced my move into new product development.

What do you think are the biggest challenges faced by women in your industry?

To be taken seriously as a woman in chemistry you have to work harder and prove yourself more than men. You need to excel in expertise, communication and drive, as well as create trust with the people that you’re working with.

What advice would you give to women who are just starting out in the industry?

If there is a will, there is a way. You might have to fight a bit harder, but you can pursue the same goals as male colleagues. Impress with your knowledge!