Dorina Diaconu: We are suppliers of utilities for all refinery and petrochemical facilities
Dorina Diaconu, the head of Thermo-Hydro Unit of the Petromidia Refinery, gave an interview to the ZIUA de Constanta newspaper, in which she talked about her activity in the company, about teamwork, and also about the responsibilities deriving from this position.
I: Tell us about your activity in the company! How did it all start?
DD: My story started around 1979, when I heard that a petrochemical factory would be built near Navodari. I told myself that I would like to work there, too. Therefore, after graduating from high school, I took the admission examination for the Faculty of Chemical Technology at the Politehnica University of Bucharest, the Petro-Carbo Chem section. After graduating from the faculty, I was assigned a job at the Midia Petrochemical Factory and I could say that my wish was fulfilled. I was assigned to the Hydro Unit – this was its name at that time.
I: For how many years have you been the head of the Thermo-Hydro unit? How difficult is it for a lady to coordinate such a unit? We assume there is no area left on the platform that hasn't benefitted from your experience…
DD: From the moment of my employment until the present moment, I went through almost all the factory facilities. I worked as the head of the Water Treatment Plant, then of the Water Households and finally of the Utilities Network Plant. I became Head of Section when this position was reinstated, in 2017. It is not difficult to coordinate a department; I have always collaborated well with my colleagues from the unit and from other facilities and units. Having a team next to you makes it a lot easier.
I: How many people do you have in subordination and what professions do they have? How many are women and how many are men?
DD: I coordinate over 80 people with different professions, chemists, mechanics, foremen, engineers, out of whom 17 are women.
I: The job you hold involves a number of responsibilities and obligations. How can you handle them?
DD: It is true that the position I hold is not an easy one, but, as I said, I believe we are a team that has the same objectives. It is no less true that communication is also very important.
I: What was the hardest time in your career?
DD: The industry in which I work is not an easy one, there are times when you think, at a first glance, that you will not be able to complete the task or that you do not see the solution of the problem, but with a good knowledge of the situation, focusing on the problem, everything becomes easier. However, there was a difficult time at the beginning of my career when I witnessed an accident at work. Then I understand how important it is to work safely, never to minimize an action and think “I have done this many times and nothing can happen to me.” Routine is the main enemy of safety.
I: One of the points in your job description is preventing and resolving abnormal and emergency situations, by proactively identifying such situations and responding promptly, in order to work in safety. Have you faced such situations in your activity?
DD: We, the people working in the thermo-hydro unit, are suppliers of utilities for all refinery and petrochemical facilities. Some of them are produced by use; some are bought from suppliers and only transported through pipelines to consumers. Of course, abnormal situations also occur, but by means of the theoretical knowledge, a good knowledge of the processes and with the help of the team, we succeed, in our actions, to solve the situation and minimize the effects on the functioning of the other facilities, so that in the end, we are pleased that we contributed to maintaining the necessary parameters for our colleagues, without negatively affecting the technological processes. In these situations, reaction speed and team spirit are decisive.
I: What strengths should a woman have in order not to be overcome by male employees?
DD: I do not believe there is a competition between women and men. We are all the same. We do not have to prove anything; we do not compete with each other. Each of us, women or men, holds a position with clear, precise duties, and we carry out our work for and within the scope of this job description. A former director used to tell us: “male operators are equal to female operators". And he was right.
I: What is your opinion on yourself, from the point of view of the position you hold? Do you consider yourself a good boss?
DD: I do not know if I am a “good” boss, my colleagues should be the ones to tell that, or maybe my superiors. I believe that I am a correct boss, one who has respect for the people around her and for everything that surrounds her - be it objects, be it the environment.
I: Can a woman be fulfilled in all aspects of life, or must she choose between career and family?
DD: The woman is the one to decide whether she is fulfilled or not. I cannot generalize but, as far as I am concerned, yes, I'm a fulfilled woman. I have a beautiful family that helped me, understood and supported me in everything I did. Maybe it was not easy for them when the phone rang during the night or on Sunday, but they understood that this was part of my activity.
I: A wish for Petromidia!
DD: On the occasion of its anniversary, I wish Petromidia prosperity, an ongoing investment program - because I know there are bold projects in preparation - and...Happy Birthday!
Source of the interview: Ziua de Constanţa