Sarah Tannahill

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Account Manager
INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA 

I’m passionate about manufacturing because of the unique complexity and challenges posed by working with physical assets to create diverse products. It is exciting being on the ground floor of technology innovation that will ultimately result in positive, tangible changes to society and the consumer experience across multiple markets.

Upon beginning her career at INEOS, Sarah quickly took charge of a technically complex market segment, delivering key process improvements. This work included utilizing Six Sigma tools to improve critical testing for products. She also played a key role in bringing a new product line to market within a technically demanding and high barrier-to-entry segment. After initial technical setbacks and limited product adoption for this line, Sarah helped drive cross-functional teams to find solutions over multiple years, ultimately leading to a significant increase in high-value sales volume.

Sarah encourages other talented women to consider a career in the chemicals industry. She is active in on-campus recruiting for INEOS, advising students on available career paths and interviewing strategies. Sarah has also served as a STEM mentor to girls in local elementary and high schools.

Her leadership has extended into team-building achievements for INEOS. In 2018, she took on a company-sponsored challenge to spend six days in the Namibian desert, covering 335 kilometers by running, hiking and mountain biking. Sarah then spent the following year mentoring the next wave of INEOS graduates to take on the Namibia challenge. She encouraged women participants to tap into their innate mental grit and strength of character—qualities that translate well into their careers—and helped foster camaraderie and networking between female engineers across multiple sites.

Sarah has a passion for utilizing fitness to support and enhance her local community as well. She volunteers with the INEOS “Go Run for Fun” health and well-being initiative and has coordinated charity tournaments for the Houston Ultimate Frisbee Community. For the past two years, Sarah has also led corporate cycling teams to raise money for local charities during the Tour de France.