Exxon Mobil Corporation
For being a role model and advocate for a diverse workforce; for mentoring women engineers across the organization; and for continuous involvement in SWE at all levels.
Irene Chang is an experienced strategic advisor in the energy and petrochemical industries with a global management perspective and commercial focus. With nearly 30 years of service with Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chang learned much from each set of roles across her career — from plant engineer for environmental, utilities, and raw materials to senior section supervisor of supply chain in polyethylene technology to global marketing and development manager for new products to her current role as industry outlooks manager and senior advisor. In this position, she leads the cross-functional development of annual industry crude, gas, and natural gas liquids supply outlooks to support corporate planning and strategic development.
From her broad development background, she discovered the value of connecting people with resources and capabilities across functions and markets. Chang has shared her expertise and mentored other women through her leadership positions as chair of the ExxonMobil Upstream and Global Projects Women’s Leadership Team made up of all women executives across the Upstream and Global Projects divisions. This team is committed to recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the company through focused mentoring and virtual and in-person networking conferences with a goal of preparing women to lead and inspiring a new generation of engineers.
Chang has been recognized for this work via many corporate awards, including the Exxon Chemical Americas Award for Excellence in Responsible Care and ExxonMobil Chemical Women’s Leadership Team Award.
She credits her rise through the engineering ranks at ExxonMobil and her desire to help other women succeed to her association with the Society of Women Engineers. Chang’s involvement with SWE started with a college scholarship and grew to leadership roles at the collegiate, section, and Society levels.
Chang joined while a student at Princeton University, where she earned a B.S. in chemical engineering followed by an MBA at Rice University. She joined the SWE Houston Area Section upon her graduation from Princeton in 1993 and became a SWE life member in 2020. She was named a SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2001.
Throughout her tenure with SWE, Chang has accepted various leadership roles and volunteer assignments. She served as chair of the special events committee and co-chair of both the national convention (as it was called then) and student conference in 1998. Within the Houston Area Section, Chang served as president, treasurer, and section representative.
She has participated on five SWE annual conference panels, the first in 2004, with the topic “Work 101: Things They Never Taught You in Engineering School” and the most recent in 2019, with the topic “Help, I’ve Fallen (How to Recover from a Bad Situation).” In partnership with SWE, Chang has been the team advisor for the ExxonMobil SWE Network since 2015. She has led several ExxonMobil corporate women’s networks both on-site and company-wide for technical, professional, and executive women.
Chang lives with her husband, Daniel Fu, in Houston and is the proud mother of three boys, who have broadened her horizons in music and literature.