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‘Step up to the challenges,’ Lake Charles GM advises

Growing up in small-town Pennsylvania, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex General Manager Jolie Rhinehart loved math so much she wanted to be an accountant.

Luckily for Phillips 66, she went for chemical engineering instead.

“Thankfully, I met my future husband, Jason, when I was 14, and he had researched the best field to go into if you were good at math and science, and enjoyed collaborating with people, and recommended I study chemical engineering,” Rhinehart said. “I told my chemistry teacher I was interested in chemical engineering, and he sent me for a ‘shadow’ day with a chemical engineer, and it seemed like a great job where I could progress.”

Today, Rhinehart is in her 23rd year with the company, where she has thrived in a variety of roles in Refining spanning engineering, planning and economics, and operations.

She represents Phillips 66 on the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Committee and serves on the boards of several associations and foundations in Southwest Louisiana.

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we caught up with Rhinehart to get her perspectives on her career path and advice for the next generation of Phillips 66 engineers.

What’s it like to be a female general manager in Refining?
At Phillips 66, we encourage diversity of thought, and I believe I bring that to the company and the industry. I am an extrovert by nature. I love working on a team, getting to know my team and working to get the best out of each individual on my team. I don’t have the “typical” engineering personality, on top of being a woman. I find I’m able to use my perspectives to benefit my team and the company. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Seeing my team succeed and work collaboratively on the daily challenges of running a refinery. I also truly enjoy seeing people whom I have helped to hire grow and progress in their careers.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your journey?
On a personal level, the most difficult thing has been relocating. Phillips 66 has provided my husband and me with amazing opportunities, but moving is always tough. Through my 22 years with Phillips 66, I’ve worked at four of our refineries, and I continue to be inspired by the hardworking women and men in our industry. 

As we aim to attract, cultivate and inspire the workforce of the future, which efforts stand out most to you?
Our efforts around creating an inclusive environment by seeking other perspectives, working for the greater good, and creating an environment of trust with Our Energy in Action speak volumes to me. I believe Phillips 66 is head and shoulders above our competition thanks to our inclusive culture. We encourage people to provide their opinions and voice, and it shows in our organizations.

What advice do you give women engineers as they start their careers?
Hard work pays off, so step up to the challenges. Be a problem solver, focusing on what you can do and accomplish while keeping your perspective on what’s really important. Work for the greater good; be a great teammate; reflect and be grateful for all the good and the bad you’ve encountered; and stay positive. Be yourself and stay true to your values. Fill your life with people who make you better, stronger and happy.

Women have an amazing future in the fuels and petrochemical industry. Women can provide a diverse opinion, a caring position, and can express and communicate the importance of what we do. Everyone at Phillips 66 needs to do their part to share what we do. We should be proud of our work here to provide energy and improve lives.