The bias against women in leadership roles is strong, especially in male-dominated fields. Here’s how Mary Van Domelen triumphed in spite of it.Continue reading
This week in Profiles in GRIT — our opportunity to highlight the winners of our first-ever GRIT Awards earlier this year — we introduce you to Jamie Glas (at left in the photo), owner and managing director of HauteWork(formerly Hot Stuff Safetywear).Continue reading
This week in our series Profiles in GRIT, we’re introducing you to Jerri Babin, the vice president of reliability and sales operational strategy for National Oilwell Varco (NOV).Continue reading
At Experience Energy, we are committed to fostering conversations around inclusion and diversity at all levels.
When we ran across a recent survey by McKinsey about the number of women of color in executive roles being less than a quarter than those of white women, we thought we would share the results.
According to McKinsey, white women currently hold only 19% of c-suite positions. For women of color, the number plunges to 4%. In the Fortune 500, there are currently no Indian, African-American or Latina women at the helm of a top company.
The question the survey raises is, will the systemic barriers to gender equality be crashed if mainly white women are perceived to benefit disproportionately?
One example of a policy that concerns some women is a casual dress code.
It’s normally a great perk for employees. But according to another survey, people of color have raised the issue that they can be mistaken for janitorial or administrative staff more often.
So what to do?
One academic has advocated an intersectional approach, as coined by academic Kimberlé Crenshaw, to identify barriers that women of color face. It considers both race and gender.
This approach suggests the following actions.
1. Examine pay data by gender and race.
A wide body of research shows women of color have more variation in pay than white women. Few look at both race and gender in pay rates. PayScale’s latest report on the gender pay gap uncovered that women of color start at a lower salary scale, which can widen over time.
Citigroup was recently praised for publicly releasing their raw pay data, showing that globally men made 29% more than women. There was no such data for women of color. So many stories aren’t being told.
2. Take a pulse test on employee sentiment by both race and gender.
Employee engagement surveys generally are analyzed by race or gender. Yet these don’t address specific and pervasive stereotypes for each ethnic group. Considering women of color in diversity programs will better meet the needs of all women, for example.
3. Commit to resourcing and supporting employee resource groups, particularly for specific groups.
The study say that larger groups for just women don’t necessarily satisfy or meet the needs of women of color. A strong trend, say proponents, is when you address the most marginalized groups in any organization, there is a better track record of creating an overall more inclusive environment.
Another suggestion: don’t ask ERG leaders to take on there commitments on top of a full-time role. Carve out time for them to succeed – up to two days a week. The organization would reap the benefits.
4. Implicit bias or diversity training needs to address both gender and race.
The proponents say that bringing in any presenters, trainers, or facilitators to address your organization about diversity and inclusion also need to address the unique challenges that people of color face.
5. Ensure that any organizational goals to improve gender inclusion also include racial representation.
Some studies have shown that women of color haven’t always benefited from gender advancement initiatives.
This approach might be summarized as, ‘no woman left behind.’ Equal pay and access to opportunities should be a priority for all women.
Halliburton has published a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in its ranks.
Meet Misty Rowe, Halliburton cementing technology portfolio manager and Pink Petro advisory board member.
“As a woman at Halliburton and in the STEM field, I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to do so many things.”
Watch the video to learn more about Misty and the opportunities she’s had at Halliburton.
For more on how you can join the team at Halliburton, explore open opportunities.
It’s time to make equal opportunity a part of the culture of how big oil operates.We’ve seen that this can work. When the industry put a new focus on safety and made that a part of our culture, real change followed. It’s time for us to make that same commitment to diversity of all kinds, including gender equity. Across the energy sector, leaders can and must do a better job of appealing to and engaging with women. Currently, the industry does not communicate well enough about possibilities for women to have flourishing careers. It doesn’t do enough reach out to universities to build a pipeline of talent, attracting women in STEM. And there aren’t adequate resources inside many companies to help ensure women receive equal opportunities to work their way up the ranks. Oil companies must also do more to highlight the stories of women at all levels. Rather than just honoring certain women executives at ceremonies with rubber chicken dinners, organizations should provide women with more open forums to be heard. (On this front, see Bloomberg’s coverage of HERWorld here.)
At company and industry events, as well as in media, we should all be learning about the obstacles women face in the industry and how those obstacles can be removed.
This will help empower women and girls to forge paths in this sector. When my daughter sees representations of the people in the energy sector, she should see people like her.
And it will help empower everyone who cares about this issue to work together.
This is why we hold the GRIT Awards — to share the powerful stories of women. It’s why we’ve launched Experience Energy to help women build careers and advance in the industry.
What do you think we need to do to make gender parity happen now — and not leave it to future generations?
This week on Profiles in GRIT, we are featuring Lindsay Sander, one of the winners from the 2018 GRIT Awards on October 3rd. Lindsay is the Principal of Sander Resources, L.L.C. in Austin, TX.
Sander Resources is a consulting firm that helps its clients address developments in state and federal policies that impact their businesses, and implement programs to comply with them. Sander Resources uses innovation and information to influence policy, drive business, manage risk, and ensure compliance.
Lindsay is originally from Edina, Minnesota. Moving to Texas and entering this industry has had its share of challenges for her, but she’s loving every minute of it. Here’s more of Lindsay’s story:
Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
LS: Being underestimated, and there is nothing that I enjoy more. This occurs on a regular basis and has been the greatest challenge. It has likely benefitted me more than whatever specific challenge was facing our client or team. It has provided me with opportunities to demonstrate dedication, determination, hard work, problem-solving, and resolve. And it has resulted in great partnerships, wonderful friends, and a network of people who want to make a difference in moving issues and our industry forward. I truly hope people continue to underestimate me as it will only drive me to accomplish even greater things in the future.
Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
LS: We took on a client with a CEO who had an oversized ego for the purpose of accomplishing a VERY difficult assignment. Despite successfully delivering what the client requested (a miraculous accomplishment with potentially fantastic outcomes), the CEO was uncooperative, unappreciative, and, ultimately, disrespectful to our team. The company is my life and the people who work for me are family. I will never tolerate poor treatment of either. It was a good, but hard lesson to learn: I realized that we are not looking to work with just “any” client; we are looking to partner with clients with whom we can do our best work.
Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?
LS: When clients are appreciative of the hard work and efforts of our team to accomplish their goals and make a difference.
Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?
LS: I have been incredibly blessed to have a number of incredible people guide and mentor me. One of those is Alice Ratcliffe. She is a client who became a close friend. Alice pushes me to be a better person, take the higher road, and helps me navigate through some of the stickier issues – personally and professionally. Alice puts everything she has into what she does, loves her family, helps others and does it all with a smile on her face regardless of what has just happened in her world.
Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?DA: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced both personally and professionally was moving from the UK to Australia. Not only was it a challenging personal transition, but I also had to learn the WA market, major projects and the technical aspects required for working in resources. When I made this move, I was about to turn 30. I was broke and trying to make a new life for myself away from my family and friends. The self-doubt I had during this time period was like nothing I had experienced before. I wanted to run away and go back home to my comfort zone. Fortunately, the thought of failing gave me the drive I needed to kickstart a new life and career. I knew I had to learn the market quickly so I began networking with professionals in the industry. I asked candidates and clients for their feedback and I looked after those who believed in me. In return, I was able to build a reputable personal brand in a competitive market.
What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?DA: One of the biggest mistakes I made was underestimating how hard the move would be. I moved without much planning. It was very stressful, but I did it. I believed in myself and I worked hard to achieve success. I also had support from sponsors and mentors who I still seek advice from today.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?DA: I love being a people manager and enjoy seeing success in others. One project that sticks out in my mind is the indigenous drive we did for a large LNG operator in Darwin. Their indigenous workforce was 0 and they wanted us to assist them in employing some indigenous candidates in their business. Darwin is a very remote location and it is difficult to source local candidates. However, we were able to provide a shortlist of 22 candidates of which 16 were from an indigenous background. The client put 12 of our candidates through their assessment day and employed 6, of which 3 were indigenous and 1 was female. This was an incredibly rewarding opportunity for me and NES Global Talent.
Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?DA: Oprah Winfrey is one of my all-time role models. I come from a diverse background myself. My father was born in the Caribbean and my mother is from Scotland. So I can relate to some of the challenges Oprah has faced throughout her career. The strength which Oprah has shown to the world is phenomenal. She has touched the hearts of thousands of people and has not been afraid to bare her soul, emotions and imperfections. It has been inspiring to follow her career and what she has achieved.
Which community service activities/organizations have you been associated with and in what capacity?
- DA: Women in Oil and Gas Australia – This is a Lean In circle lead by Veena Mendaz who is a category manager for Chevron. I have been part of the membership since Veena founded the organization 5 years ago and I am now honored to be part of their mentoring program. I am currently mentoring a female project controls engineer.
- Wirrapanda Foundation – This foundation is an indigenous non-profit organization. We work with the foundation to assist them in placing suitable candidates within the resources industry who have gone through their mentor program.
- SCLAA – I have had a relationship with this organization for about 5 year. We regularly reach out to them when we are seeking young professionals within the supply chain industry who have completed their degrees and looking for their first full-time position in mining and oil and gas.
- Leadership – I am the internal diversity rep for APAC at NES Global Talent and run our lean in circles across the region.
- Pat Thomas Women’s Refuge – I regularly donate clothes, cosmetics and other items to this women’s refuge.
- Women in Mining – I am currently a member of this organization and am in conversations with them to present at their sundowner later in the year.
- Brightwater- I am a volunteer as part of their “Music Pharmacy Program” the program works with Dementia patients to engage them in music programs such as personal playlists, group sessions and harp playing.
There’s a Buddhist proverb that says If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your own path. Take a moment to ruminate in that truth. There is boundless potential in our industry. There is no lack for professionals with years of experience who are bursting with expertise, passion, and stories of grit. These individuals have the power to ignite a bright industry future. And you are these individuals.
It is likely that at some point in your professional career, you were mentored. And it can be said that mentoring is an imperative ingredient in the recipe to drive a successful workforce future.
However, there is a major disconnect happening in our industry. According to the Women in the Workplace research data that was recently released, women still feel like it is harder for them to advance in their careers. This data also revealed that women get less access to senior leaders than men do, and they receive less support from managers.
For every one hundred men promoted into manager-level jobs, seventy-nine women are.
It’s time to take action! Senior leaders and managers need to become champions of diversity.
However, the value of being a mentor is often overlooked. Sure, being a mentor requires time, effort, and commitment. And understandably, as a busy professional, those things are in short supply. But what many fail to realize is that mentoring someone actually brings a lot of value to your own career.
Mentoring improves your communication and supervisory skills. It’s no secret that effective managers and leaders need to be able to establish positive and trusted relationships. Working with a mentee offers you the opportunity to hone the skills necessary to develop those relationships such as active listening and empathy.
You expand your network. A critical part of mentoring is helping your mentee establish important connections. As you support your mentee in this, you have the opportunity to continue to build your own.
You stay current on industry trends and continue to learn. Working with a mentee allows you to have conversations that keep you up-to-date on your industry. Mentees often bring great questions, new ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. These conversations offer you the opportunity for growth in your own career.
You actively contribute to industry change. The data doesn’t lie; women are still getting left behind in the workplace. But as a mentor, you have the opportunity to actively contribute to the change in industry by sharing your expertise and empowering future leaders.
Getting involved as a mentor is easy. There are mentorship programs, like the one from Lean In Energy, that are designed to match you with the right mentee.
Lean In Energy, a 501c3 non-profit, is on a mission to empower women in energy through mentorship. The program connects women and men with peers who can challenge and encourage them to charge forward in their careers, counteracting any gender bias that they may meet along the way.
At launch, Lean In Energy has three components:
- Small Group Mentoring
- Flash Mentoring
Membership enrollment is now open, and the program is accepting applications for those interested in being mentors. Lean In Energy is an independent organization, affiliated with LeanIn.Org, which works closely with LeanIn.Org to further its mission and is licensed by LeanIn.Org to use the ‘Lean In’ name.
To sponsor, contact the organization at www.leaninenergy.org.
This week in our series Profiles In GRIT, we introduce you to Sarah Walker, Senior Manager M&A Integration (Mergers and Acquisitions) at Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE).
Sarah, who we honored with a GRIT Award earlier this month, has had quite an impressive career journey so far. She navigated through her dual-degree MBA program on multiple continents while managing intense merger and acquisition activity with a “bring it on” attitude.
She encourages others with her personal motto: “Say yes to unique opportunities and trust your own creativity to implement the how.”
And Sarah has done just that by employing novel approaches to challenges and demonstrating unwavering persistence.
Read below for more from our conversation with Sarah.
Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
Sarah Walker: In the fourth quarter of 2016, I received a text message from GE Oil & Gas leadership that read, “Sarah, how would you like to work on a merger?” Immediately, I replied “thank you, yes!“. The details soon followed: GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes $23 billion merger created the world’s first and only “full stream” provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions (NYSE: BHGE). At that time, I was a Senior Commercial Manager based in London leading a multi-million-dollar oilfield equipment deal in West Africa. I was also six-months into my two-year Executive MBA – a dual degree global program between Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York and London Business School (LBS) including international studies at Hong Kong University, LBS Dubai campus, IAE Business School Argentina and CBS Chile. Yet, when the text message arrived, I didn’t even flinch. My answer was “yes” – and then I would figure out “how.”
Within less than a year, we prepared two companies with commercial operations in more than 120 countries to list on the New York Stock Exchange as a new combined company. The M&A activity didn’t stop there. In July 2017, with the transaction now complete, the new challenge of commercial integration moved forward with intensity and required focus. My role was to lead the global sales efforts to achieve incremental revenue for the new company by helping to identify opportunities to demonstrate the value and innovation of BHGE’s expanded offering to customers.
Many people have asked me, “How did you combine intense M&A activity with an MBA on multiple continents?” My quick answer: meticulous personal and professional planning, dedication and a lot of coffee. However, behind every challenge is an opportunity. For instance, beyond overcoming planning and logistical challenges required to help execute a merger of equals, I seized the opportunity to bring our diverse cultures and professional disciplines together to collaborate cross-functionally and identify synergies to deliver additional revenue through increased customer engagement.
The challenge was real, but the opportunity once-in-a-lifetime. I am so fortunate to have been able to combine a global MBA with a market-changing M&A transaction.
SW: The most rewarding part of my career to date was when I launched the Commercial Women Network in the UK & Ireland on behalf of all General Electric businesses in 2016.
The aim: to grow and develop GE’s +500-person pipeline of female talent in client-facing roles in the country.
Having participated in many Women’s Networks, I felt there was something different about working in client-facing roles in industrial businesses:
- We’re on stage with customers every day. As a result, we are the default ambassadors for women in our company and industry.
- We’re often operating outside of our own company’s culture and HR systems. A wide and dense network is required for support and success.
- We tend to be underrepresented on industry panels at conferences, technical paper submissions, and features in industry mainstream media.
With those challenges in mind, I took a grassroots approach. I created a draft vision statement and then cold-called 60 women across the country to ask if they wanted to be part of that vision. With the first 10 ladies on board, we designed a program for 2016 – focused on training and developing commercial women as thought leaders to drive innovation in industry and today we lead virtual training reaching ~200 employees each month.
I am personally passionate about creating space for other’s voices to be heard and the network was a platform to do so.
PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?
SW: My mother. Her hallmarks: open-minded, driven, creative, passionate and a constant re-inventor. Her career has spanned public sector, banking, innovation and, now, cryptocurrency. Constantly at the forefront, she has exemplified the characteristics she wanted my sister and me to embrace as future female leaders. Pivotal to my own development, she very tactically included me in her career journey from an early age. For example, when she led emerging markets strategy for a major bank, she took me out of high school to spend a month with her in China. She brought me as her “date” at age 9 to the launch of her firm’s first branch in Hungary. At 12 years old, she had me speak on stage in front of ~100 potential Business School recruits about what it was like to be the daughter of an international banker. She’d prioritize flying back from client meetings in Asia just-in-time to see our concerts and sports matches – I now realize how exhausted she must have been! From my mother, I learned that anything is possible if you are passionate, create a plan, execute it meticulously and build a solid support team.
PP: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
SW: During my undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University (North Carolina, USA), I was very active in our student government. My aim was to make an impact on the student experience at the university. In my first two years, I was elected by a few thousand students to the office of Student Government Treasurer. My job (I was paid!) was to manage a one-million-dollar student activity budget. I created a 9-person budget committee, had a classmate code an audit platform for student club accounts, and was responsible for presenting our fund allocation recommendations to the university board each year. On the back of two years of positive student opinion polls, I decided to run for Student Government President in my final year and was unsuccessful. This was deeply disappointing. At the time, I felt that my fellow students had rejected me personally when, in reality, they had simply selected another qualified candidate for the job.
What I learned from the experience can be applied to any professional challenge:
- Know your audience. Before you begin any customer engagement, strategic project or political campaign, you must methodically landscape and understand your stakeholders. Who are they? What are their biggest needs and challenges? How can your background and expertise help them succeed?
- Continue performing & reinventing yourself. Just because you performed well in your last role does not mean people will extrapolate that to their predictions for your future performance – especially if the scope of work changes. You need to constantly keep your performance high and brand fresh, whilst maintaining authenticity and integrity. When you tackle something new, you will likely need to re-train and re-brand.
- Keep going for it. Even if you don’t win the deal, secure the project or get that next promotion – still give it a shot. The worst that can happen is often nothing, so go for it!