‘Your Opinion and Voice Matters’ — How This STEM Leader Took Charge of Her Own Career

Sponsored by Dow

Gretta Granado Huerta. Photo courtesy of The Dow Chemical Company.

Gretta Granado Huerta. Photo courtesy of The Dow Chemical Company.

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Fairygodboss
May 25, 2024 at 11:48AM UTC

“Your opinion and voice matters!” That’s what Gretta Granado Huerta, Senior Operations Leader for a polyols chemical manufacturing facility at the Dow Texas Operations Chemical Complex, emphasizes for her fellow women in STEM. “Diversity of thought in the workplace is crucial now more than ever,” says Huerta. “The world is changing fast, and technologies are advancing at a rapid pace. Your creativity is essential.”

When using your voice, never forget to “be the driver of your own career,” Huerta emphasizes. “This will allow you to find your passion at work and perform at your best!.”

In fact, not taking charge of her own career was what Huerta considers her most valuable career mistake. Looking back, she recalls labeling herself as an inexperienced young engineer. “I lowered my self-confidence by always thinking that I didn't have 'enough' experience to take on something challenging, even though I knew I would enjoy it,” Huerta tells us. “It wasn't until a mentor pushed me to start trusting myself more and encouraged me to sign up for special projects that I was able to grow exponentially as an engineer and contributor.”

Here, Huerta shares more about this growth, including her current job, finding her voice and her best leadership advice. Read on to learn more!

To start, what’s your day-to-day like?

I am responsible for leading the operations workforce to deliver excellence in EH&S and manufacturing to reliably supply the Polyurethanes business needs for Dow. I have direct supervision of process technicians.

What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your work?

The most rewarding part about my job is helping to foster the growth of my team. Elevating each of my employees to perform at their best based on their skill sets, aspirations, and motivations. The most challenging part about my work is addressing daily technology challenges in a very dynamic manufacturing environment.

What people, resources, and tools do you rely on to get on to attain work-life balance?

The culture that Dow fosters and the constant support of my leader have been instrumental in maintaining a proper work-life balance. Dow continues to push the envelope in terms of employee benefits with their recent changes to parental leave. As a first-time parent about to start my maternity leave, I am extremely lucky to have the adequate time away to spend with my child. 

Dow’s new global parental leave policy provides 16 weeks of paid time-off to all parents, birthing, non-birthing, and adoptive parents, regardless of gender. 

In your work, how have you found your own passion, purpose, and voice?

I bring my full self to work every day, and I am thankful that I work for a company that enables me to do that. Because of this, I am able to utilize my unique skill sets at work and be vocal about my career aspirations and passions. I am passionate about people and motivating employees to do their best work and feel engaged at work. Dow has allowed me the opportunity to grow in this area and has invested in my own personal development so I can continue to be the best leader for my employees.

What advice do you have for others who are looking for their passion or voice at work?

It is extremely important that you feel as though you can bring your true authentic self to work every day. If you are able to do this, you will ultimately perform at your best. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I understand the true importance of diversity at work, such as the strong diversity of thought women bring to any work environment. It is important that every woman learns in order to continue to drive change in all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion at work. Don't forget about how important your voice is.

What about leadership? What is your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are moving into or want to move into leadership roles?

Don't assimilate and be yourself! Always believing in yourself and your true potential as a leader. Once you become a leader it is critical you give back — a true leader takes the time to coach and advocate for others!

Finally, let’s talk about Dow’s culture. What’s your favorite aspect of it, and how does your company help you succeed?

If you are going to talk the talk, you have to walk the talk. This is one of the areas that I am the proudest of to work for a company like Dow. We are walking the talk in terms of a positive work culture. One of Dow's goals is to be a global leader in inclusion, diversity, and equity for ALL. This is extremely important to me as a Hispanic female minority.



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