Photo of Natasha Thompson, Logistics I.T. Lead

Meet Our Pro

Natasha Thompson

Logistics I.T. Lead

As the construction of its new polyethylene plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania continues, Shell Polymers has been hiring a team of industry experts, aka Polymer Pioneers and Polymer Pros, with proven track records in polymers. In this article, we talked to Logistics I.T. Lead Natasha (Tasha) Thompson to learn more about her 26-year career in I.T. and energy and the work she is doing for Shell Polymers today.

Experienced Leadership in I.T. and Logistics

Tasha started with Shell as a Senior Business Analyst and moved into the Logistics I.T. Lead, helping Shell Polymers build the technology that supports its railcar and trucking logistics operations. Her career spans a wide variety of leadership roles in I.T. and energy, helping companies implement and optimize industry-standard software. During that time, Tasha has seen progress when it comes to how women are portrayed, but there’s always more that can be done.

Tasha explained, “I’ve been called she, her, gal, and all of that. As the workplace becomes more diverse, I’ve seen that change. I’ve been really proud of the objectives and changes Shell has been making.”

"I love our team and working with them. We have a lot of women on our team, more than I’ve ever worked with before. It’s usually male dominated industry so it’s been nice to have as many women as we do on the team."

Tasha Thompson

“I know who I am. I know what I’m capable of and that if I stay true to myself, I will succeed.” Tasha sees the progression in the polymer industry as a real highlight. To see the shifts from when she started to where she is today is something she can be grateful for every day. But the progression and change go deeper than just in the industry she (Tasha) works.

“My great-grandmother was born into slavery and I’m just a few generations removed from that. To see the progression from that to where I am, I am extremely proud of that fact.”

A Trailblazer in Multiple Fields

With over 20 years of experience, Tasha is a true trailblazer in logistics I.T. She hopes that the women coming into the field can lean on the doors women like her have broken down as they start their careers. With her experience, Tasha is grateful to be able to mentor those who are just starting out in the industry.

“Seeing the progression is a highlight. I feel personally blessed to be where I am. I would’ve never imagined it. As a woman of color growing up I didn’t imagine this is where I would be.”

Given her experience as a consultant, Tasha is well aware that culture is a two-way fit. When interviewing with Shell, she wanted to make sure that work/life balance and diversity were as important to the company as they were to her.

“Every person I spoke with had longevity at Shell, and if that’s the case, then it must be a great company. People only stay that long if it’s a great company,” Tasha said.

One attribute she admires about her Shell colleagues is their mindset of knowing what they don’t know and connecting people to those who can help. The diversity and connection in Shell have been a breath of fresh air for Tasha as she strives to connect to the new generation of employees as a way to help inspire them.

Guidance for the Next Generation of Women in Polymers

Early on in her career, Tasha didn’t have anyone to turn to when she needed help. Being able to provide that kind of support and guidance to other employees is something Tasha strives for every day. One of her biggest pieces of advice? Cherish what matters most.

“At the end of the day, no one says they wished they would have worked more. Appreciate your family time and the people that love you.”

Tasha urges others to be mindful of their past and those in which they interact. It’s critical to learn from both the bad moments and the great moments and take it all in stride.

“I want to get more of that mindset that things in work aren’t personal. We all have the same goal, and we have different ideas of how to get there.”

Tasha sees people’s passion as an outward reflection of how much they care and how badly they want to reach a goal. We should utilize our passions to achieve goals rather than a reason to disagree with someone. She sees disagreeing amicably as an essential skill that everyone could learn. Similarly, Tasha advises that changing how you act towards someone you bump heads with is a great way to de-escalate situations. After all, we’re all on the same team.

With a great team at her side and experience at her back, Tasha hopes to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse workplaces while guiding the next generation of women in polymers.

Four Pieces of Advice from Tasha to the Next-Generation of Polymer Professionals

  • Enjoy the Moment

    Especially as a young woman, you’re career-driven and want to succeed but you can lose out on big life moments if you’re too focused on work.

  • Learn to Let Go

    We have to get better at letting go. I strive to do that every day. Too often we hold onto arguments that we can’t remember but we hold onto that resentment when all that happened was a disagreement on how to reach the same goal.

  • We are All on the Same Team

    Every colleague has the same goal of succeeding and helping Shell succeed. We can’t lose sight of that just because we have different ideas of how to get there.

  • Change Yourself First

    When I bump heads with someone, I change how I act with them to make it less toxic and 9 times out of 10 it works. You can’t expect other people to change first.