Equinor is an international energy company with a proud history. Formerly Statoil, it develops oil, gas, wind, and solar energy in more than 30 countries worldwide. The company is dedicated to safety, equality, and sustainability, building a global business based on its values and the energy needs of the future.
Rebecca Hofmann’s 18 years of experience in the oil and gas industry (including the last eight with Equinor) coupled with her willingness to focus on making positive change within the industry, have culminated in her current role as Founder & Chairman of the OOC Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium.
The energy industry has faced its own challenges in the last few years and this has necessitated a workforce that is willing to embrace transformational change, something Rebecca says most people resist. To effectively bring about change, she says,
“It needs to come from the very top of an organization and be adopted culturally.”
She encountered that resistance when she began exploring the emerging technology, Blockchain, which can be used to establish a common digital ledger, and what it could do for the oil and gas industry and, specifically, Equinor. While she is captivated by the potential Blockchain holds, it has been a challenge to be at the forefront of this emerging technology when the people around her may not always have appreciated her vision.
“There was a lot of opposition and it made me doubt myself sometimes,” Rebecca admits, but the words of her mentor, retired engineer Mark Schaaf, kept coming to her.
“If I went to him with a challenge, I always got the same answers, ‘So what?’ or ‘Does it really matter?’ It was very frustrating at first, but I finally understood the point. Change and challenges are a part of everyday life, so [we have to] stop focusing on the change and the challenges [themselves], and focus on what [we] can do instead. Even though he is enjoying retirement overlooking a lake in Tennessee, his words are forever in my head when change and challenges come my way.”
By continuously learning and constantly communicating the potential and possibilities of how this emerging technology could add value not just to the company, but to the industry as a whole, Rebecca ultimately found gratification in people’s reactions when “they finally got it and became advocates.”
Taking an idea, starting an industry-led forum, and watching it grow over the year to an average of 100 people representing 80 companies – this culminated into her starting a separate consortium of 10 energy operators all working together to develop value-added digital solutions for the energy industry – this has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career.
When Rebecca says, “There is a lot of excitement when you are part of something bigger than yourself on an industry [and] world level,” she could just as easily be referring to her work as Director of the Advisory Board of Pathways for Little Feet, which gives interest-free loans to help families with the adoption process, as she is to bringing the value of emerging technology to Equinor.