The GRIT Awards is committed to honoring energy’s unsung heroes — the women, men and teams doing the heads-down gritty work of building a new future for energy.
At our first-ever GRIT Awards ceremony back in March, one of the teams we honored was the Colorado Stakeholder Relations team at Anadarko, one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. Anadarko recently joined Pink Petro as a corporate member. With operations in Colorado, Texas and worldwide, the company is committed to developing, acquiring and exploring for oil and natural gas resources vital to the world’s health and welfare responsibly.
It’s also committed to doing that work in collaboration with the communities surrounding its areas of operations. That’s where the Stakeholder Relations team comes in: Its priority is to communicate with and listen to residents in communities where oil and natural gas development and neighborhoods coexist.
It’s not an easy job as the team strives to do whatever it can to help minimize the inconvenience our world-class operations have on the community when operations and urban expansion coincide. The role has become vital to how Anadarko operates in the U.S. and beyond.
We spoke with members of the Anadarko Stakeholder Relations team — eight dedicated servant leaders — about how they work and why they love what they do.
PINK PETRO: Give us a look at the role Stakeholder Relations play in Anadarko’s Colorado area of operations.
The Stakeholder Relations team strives to regularly meet citizens with a sense of empathy and understanding to try to find common ground and build trust. They listen with respect and compassion. They attend community events on evenings, weekends and holidays to gain a better understanding of the community’s values and build relationships. They answer the phone without hesitation when a stakeholder calls with an issue and tirelessly try to find solutions that will improve the experience of living near one of the nation’s most important oil and natural gas producing regions. When a solution can’t be found, they remain a resource for community members. They do all of this because they care deeply about the residents who live in the communities where we operate and are unwavering in their commitment to resolving the conflict that arises when oil and natural gas development occurs in urban areas.
PP: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
When we first stepped out into the community to establish our social license to operate, the Stakeholder Relations team quickly learned that our efforts would need to go beyond a traditional communications campaign and that tailoring our operations to a growing urban setting was going to be key to changing public sentiment. However, in the beginning one of the mistakes we made was not challenging the internal status quo hard enough during the planning phase for new well development to ensure efficient communication was occurring across our organization. From land to drilling to completions and midstream construction, everyone needed to be informed at every step. We learned it is important to speak up and be persistent when presenting our understanding of the community’s concerns and the need to optimize the plan and improve the compatibility of our operations with the communities. Open and constructive debate leads to better solutions.
PP: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?
As a Stakeholder Relations representative, you often meet with or speak to members of the community who are upset with the current circumstances relating to oil and natural gas operations. These stakeholders often direct their frustrations at our representatives. The most rewarding part of being a member of this team is seeing how the strategies employed to overcome this dynamic, such as active listening and empathy, can help to garner trust and build lasting relationships with residents.
One example of this is a resident with whom the team has a four-year relationship. The citizen initially called the Anadarko Colorado Response Line very upset at the prospect of having her home sandwiched by two large-scale oil and gas developments. By actively listening, investing the time to understand her issues, and doing what we could to lessen the impact of these temporary operations on her day-to-day life, we were able to build a meaningful relationship with this resident. She has even become a community advocate for Anadarko, often sharing her story about how much the team helped her and encouraging residents who are frustrated with oil and natural gas operations near their homes to reach out.
PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?
Our biggest role models are the men and women working in the field who recognize that it is essential to treat the community with respect. They were doing stakeholder relations long before the Stakeholder Relations team was established. These men and women take time during their day to say hello to a landowner or meet with a concerned citizen and share information. They know the importance of balancing the needs of the people who live near our operations and those of the company.
Our job is to support them and to work with them to ensure they are able to develop the resources all of us need every day to sustain modern life, while also addressing the needs and concerns of residents living near operations.
PP: Which community service activities/organizations have you been associated with and in what capacity?
Anadarko’s Stakeholder Relations team is regularly involved in finding unique opportunities to align values and build meaningful, long-term partnerships with the communities where we operate.
One of the hallmark community partnerships the Stakeholder Relations team is responsible for is the Mead High School Energy Academy, a unique program designed to immerse students in all facets of the energy industry; from engineering, math and science to data management, welding and pipefitting. In addition to securing financial and in-kind contributions for the program each year, the Stakeholder Relations team was heavily involved in the ideation and development of the program and continues to be actively engaged as the program grows.
Additionally, the Stakeholder Relations team is actively engaged in the community in the following ways:
Supporting municipal community events such as festivals and holiday celebrations
Filling and delivering backpacks with much needed school supplies to students in need
Collaborating with local law enforcement to provide gifts for families in need during the holidays
Working with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for veterans and their families
Serving meals to residents in need
Serving on local nonprofit boards
Restoring local trails and outdoor recreation areas
Allison Lami Sawyer’s career is a study in the value of calculated risk.
Before the age of 30, Allison, a speaker at HERWorld18 earlier this year, abandoned her plan to start a company in nanoscale physics to co-found another disruptive business, Rebellion Photonics, which uses technology to help major oil and gas companies bring leak rates down significantly — in some cases by 90 percent within one quarter.
She built the business into a $5 million company with nearly 40 employees and then embarked on yet another adventure in unknown territory: politics. A political rookie, Allison is currently running for office in the Texas House of Representatives.
She’s also helping other women embrace calculated risks of their own: Two years ago, Allison co-founded StartHereNow, a startup weekend for women that focuses on early-stage women-led startups. The competition is part-incubator and part-pitch day, brainstorming session and hackathon and aims to create a collaborative environment for women to build impactful companies.
“We are excited that these prizes will help attract highly scalable, impactful businesses to the competition and also spotlighting the exciting things happening in the Texas startup environment,” Allison said in a statement.
StartHereNow is accepting applications for the competition (you can apply at the organization’s website), and it’s open to founders with startup ideas and team participants. Women who are interested in entrepreneurship or exploring startups are encouraged to join a team, and no prior startup or business experience is necessary.
The competition’s mission is to create a collaborative environment where women can bring to life ideas that they are passionate about and build companies that solve big problems. And Allison is proof that a little bit of risk can pay off in a very big way.
We held the firstGRIT Awardsback in March because we identified a profound need to honor the unsung heroes of energy — the leaders in our industry who are committed to growth, resilience, innovation and transition.
We are bringing them back on Oct. 3 because we recognize there are many more women and men worthy of this honor.
But the GRIT Awards are about so much more than handing out awards. It’s a full-on experience — another opportunity for us to bring this community together and share ideas, information and insight.
That’s why we’ve put together a half-day’s worth of thought-provoking content to stimulate conversation and create more opportunities for connection.
Doors open at 9 a.m. for registration and networking. Then, we’re going to kick off our day with a keynote address from futurist Crystal Washington.
Crystal is a technology and social media expert, an author and, yes, a futurist (you can read our full profile on her here), and she’ll be digging into the current state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the impact technology will have on its future. As part of that, she’ll talk through how technology doesn’t necessarily eliminate bias and the ways to combat that. She’ll also highlight the technology that should be on your radar, how to leverage it and what is coming soon that could change the game for women and men in energy.
After lunch, we will invite a panel of experts to the stage to delve into the details of several recent studies into the state of inclusion in energy. That includes our first-ever Energy Diversity and Inclusion Index survey (which you can take part in here), which we launched to gauge industry sentiment around current diversity efforts. NES Global Talent also conducted a survey focused on women in energy and how they feel about what their companies and our industry have to offer. And PESA studied the in-flow and out-flow of female talent in energy and identified actions organizations can take to get more women into leadership roles. Our discussion will dig into all those numbers and break down what they could mean for inclusion in industry. Our experts will also take the discussion out into the audience, engaging other leaders in the room to talk through what surprised them, what didn’t and what actions the data has inspired. All that will come with one final challenge — to commit to doing something with what everyone learned when they get back to the office.
Then, we’ll invite our second keynote speaker to the stage. Geeta Thakorlal is the president of INTECSEA. (You can read more about her incredible career here.) Her work in the offshore sector began in the aftermath of the world’s deadliest offshore rig accident and then progressed over the years to her current role as president of the leading offshore engineering consultancy, and as managing director of the company’s Global Front End Hydrocarbons and Chemicals group, which is part of the WorleyParsons Group. She understands how diversity and inclusion in energy has evolved over the years, and she’s acutely aware of the role technology and innovation must play as we move forward as an industry.
Last, but certainly not least, we will close out our day by honoring our GRIT Award winners — the women and men you nominated for the game-changing work they do, day in and day out. This will be your chance to find out who made the cut — LIVE in Houston or .
This is an experience you don’t want to miss — both for the opportunity to honor a humble and deserving group of energy leaders and the chance to deepen your insight into the state of energy and innovation now and in the future.
Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in its ranks.
Meet Stephanie Garcia, an associate technical professional at Halliburton. Stephanie joined the company from a career in retail — a transition she calls a complete “180.” In the process, though, she’s learned a lot about herself.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is I can. I can survive a job at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, I can provide competent solutions to my customers, and I can continue developing myself to be a well-rounded engineer and individual to better serve Halliburton.” Stephanie Garcia, Engineer “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is I can. I can survive a job at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, I can provide competent solutions to my customers, and I can continue developing myself to be a well-rounded engineer and individual to better serve Halliburton.”
For more on how you can join the team at Halliburton, explore open opportunities at Experience Energy!
We’re about 12 weeks away from the Experience Energy GRIT Awards celebration (register today so you won’t miss the festivities Oct. 3!), and we wanted to share with you all some exciting updates.
First, a HUGE shoutout to Marathon Oil and NES Global Talent, who have signed on as sponsors for the event. We are so grateful for your support. The GRIT Awards are dedicated to honoring energy’s unsung heroes — the women who lead and the men who advocate for their progress in energy. We love that the major players in our industry get that and want to do whatever they can to support it.
We’ve got less than two weeks left before nominations close on July 20, and we have been overwhelmed by your response so far. To date, we’ve collected more than 50 nominations for energy leaders from Kenya, Pakistan, Australia and the U.S., and from companies such as ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, Schlumberger, KPMG, Aera Energy and Weatherford, to name a few. It is an eclectic, powerful and humbling group so far, and we can’t wait to see who else joins the mix.
Submit your nominations now until July 20, and remember: We aren’t just honoring women in energy; we are also looking for the men who champion inclusion and the teams that work hard to support diversity in the workplace.
We’ve got TWO incredible speakers lined up for the GRIT Awards experience on Oct. 3.
Geeta Thakorlal is the president of INTECSEA, a Worley Parsons company. Geeta began her career in Auckland, New Zealand, as a production technologist working in the manufacturing and chemicals industries before joining an engineering consulting and project delivery organization servicing the hydrocarbon sector, starting in Australia and transferring to the UK. She started in technical consulting and progressed to an operations director role and was promoted to regional director for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region. She joined WorleyParsons in 2011 and has held a succession of senior roles with WorleyParsons before her appointment as president of INTECSEA, a leading global business with expertise in design and engineering of subsea systems, pipelines and floating production systems.
Crystal Washington is a futurist, technology strategist, techie and author. She’s known for her ability to take complex web and social media topics and make them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. Crystal also hosts a weekly technology segment on Houston’s Fox television affiliate and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence and CareerBuilder.com. She has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Associated Press, and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe as a social media expert.
It’s also the brand we developed to unite more qualified, driven, diverse candidates with companies that champion inclusion in our industry — leveraging the power of our network and the expertise of our internal recruitment specialist, Kathy Wagner. (You can read more about Kathy here.)
Energy may be undergoing a massive transformation, but it’s not going away. We need it more now than ever. It’s not just about powering our cars and keeping the lights on. It’s about maintaining our modern lives. Think about it: Without energy, there is no Internet. Scary, right? WE KNOW.
If energy isn’t going anywhere, then neither are energy jobs. The industry is hiring again, and we can help companies ensure they are building inclusive teams that will allow them to becomestronger, safer, more innovative and more profitable.
How do we do that? In three key ways:
First, we created our dedicated careers site, Experience.energy, to help companies tap a diverse pool of talent as they build their teams. Companies can post jobs, search resumes and reach a targeted audience of thousands of highly qualified candidates.
Second, we work with companies to develop campaign strategies around their recruitment efforts, including email, organic and paid social, advertising and content marketing. Companies can also create detailed employer profiles so candidates can build connection with organizations from the moment they see an opportunity online.
And most importantly, we offer targeted recruitment and placement services to take the hard work out of the recruitment process. We research and screen candidates. We conduct first-level interviews, and we work with companies to develop a slate of candidates to choose from.
Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in it’s ranks.
This week, we meet Julie Foster, a technical sales adviser at Halliburton. Julie majored in engineering and geosystems at the University of Texas and started with Halliburton right out of college as a field engineer. Now, her role as a technical sales adviser keeps her working on production enhancement. Her advice to young women is to dare to venture outside your comfort zone.
”I think it’s important for women to choose engineering as a career because women make great leaders,” she says.
For more on how you can join the team at Halliburton, explore open opportunities at Experience Energy!