“Tatoy. One would think that the nickname would belong to a man, but it’s mine,” jested Eleanor Batiquin, “I guess the not-so-effeminate nickname would come to signify me, a woman, carving out a space in a stereotypically male-dominated field.”
Eleanor, fondly called Tatoy by most, leads a team that handles some of the vital process areas of the 300-megawatt baseload power plant of AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI). Tatoy’s day-to-day work revolves around ensuring that the operations of the chemical laboratory, water treatment, and wastewater treatment plants are running smoothly, efficiently, and responsibly.
Ensuring that these process areas are in optimal conditions is critical to providing reliable and responsibly-produced power to the Mindanao Grid. The quality of water impacts the quality of the generated steam which spins the turbines that produce the much-needed stable flow of energy for Mindanao. Similarly, making sure that the wastewater is handled and treated properly is crucial in keeping the environmental impact at a minimum.
Tatoy graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and has had more than a decade of experience in the manufacturing and power industry. Having an innate interest in science, she dove into the field with the ultimate goal of giving back.
“As a child, I was more inclined to the Sciences but wasn’t adept in Math. I wanted to challenge myself, so I took up Chemical Engineering. My ultimate goal is that in whatever field I’m in, I will be able to give back and be a part of the advancement of society,” Tatoy shared.
Tatoy shared that one of the best parts of being in the field she’s in is feeling empowered to do what she’s capable of and driving more balance to a traditionally male-dominated field. While global initiatives such as the sustainable development goals push for gender equality, studies show that women and girls lose interest and leave STEM at key points in their lives.
According to statistics from the Commission on Higher Education, just two in seven Filipino engineering students are female. Furthermore, only 36% of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates are female.
“Sometimes, women feel like they have to put in more effort and assertiveness to gain credibility and value of work. It’s still a reality around the world and we need to change that,” Tatoy said.
The good news is that more and more organizations are breaking gender barriers and the Philippines has seen a lot of women leaders on the rise.
“In the organization where I’m in now, my opportunities for growth are vast. Being a woman is not a hindrance at all to any growth. AboitizPower has always recognized talents and merit, not in terms of gender,” Tatoy shared.
As a team leader in her own right, Tatoy offered some advice to young girls who are interested to pursue a career in STEM but are hesitant to see it through because of gender barriers.
“Pursue what you are passionate about. Think of the contribution that you will make and this will fuel your desire to do more and excel in the STEM field. The contributions to society do not matter whether it comes from one gender or another,” Tatoy encouraged.
Wholly-owned AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) is the owner and operator of the 300-Megawatt Davao Baseload Power Plant located in Binugao, Toril, Davao City. TSI is certified in four ISO standards, namely Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015), Environmental Management (ISO 14001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety Management (ISO 45001:2018), and Asset Management System (ISO 55001:2014). Along with Therma Luzon, Inc. and Therma Visayas, Inc., the three primarily compose the Coal Business Unit of AboitizPower.