As part of Valero’s commitment to safety and excellence at work, significant resources, training and attention are given to ensure employees have the tools they need to perform well – starting with what they wear.

For women in the industry, particularly expectant mothers, proper fit and flexibility in protective coveralls go hand-in-hand with safety. Coveralls that expand easily and properly in the midsection, without compromising fit from head to toe, would ensure comfort and functionality for female operators and engineers at all stages of life.

In the fall of 2018, Valero partnered with Houston-based engineer Jamie Glas to create just that. This groundbreaking project is fueling important advancements for the industry while reinforcing Valero’s safety and excellence values.

Employee focus groups at Valero’s St. Charles and Meraux refineries have created hope that flexible, fit-friendly maternity coveralls soon could expand the limited options available.

Mariana Williamson, Superintendent-Turnaround Planning at Meraux, said her own needs during her pregnancy, plus her engineer’s background, stirred her passion for the project.

“It’s amazing that Valero is trying to fill this need,” Williamson said. “It’s a commitment that the company has made toward diversity, and we want to give women the tools they need to be able to carry on their roles in conjunction with their pregnancies.

Valero and our entire industry can benefit from this effort,” she said. “No woman in the future will have to even wonder, ‘What will I do when I am pregnant? How will I be able to carry on my responsibilities?’ I hope our efforts contribute toward that very important solution.”