Women In Energy Seminar…”Having It All”

I attended an amazing seminar last week organized by the SPE(Society of Petroleum Engineers)

Event: Women in Energy Seminar – “Having it All”
Venue: Imperial College School of Mines. London
Date: Thursday May 19th 2011

..Our industry is not the most “female friendly”. I was very inspired and learnt a lot from the experiences of others and just had to share

Session One: “Wonder Woman: Fairy Tale or Urban Reality”?

There is no such thing as Wonder woman..It is a myth…

The first speaker has 18 yrs experience in Shell…has worked in different countries and one of the assignment that touched her life was China. She said her pearls of wisdom with a picture story..(she has a passion for photography)

The 5 pearls of Wisdom
1) Be Clear about what is important to you (Pictures: Of her Family). You will need to make choices and compromises. Unless you are passionate you will not be happy. She is now in the UK because of her old mother and has requested not to be given an assignment outside the UK. Her husband moved with her to China..tradeoff deal for him..because she made a previous trade off in her career because of his!!

2) Always be open to new experiences (Pictures of her stay in China). Take every opportunity to learn – personal or professional

3) Make sujre you have the right support – personnally and professionally. Mindset and attitude are Key!Your sucess is contigent on the teams you build.

4) Treat people how you want to be treated – give respect, gain respect!. Be clear about the person you want to be in difficult situations. Stay calm step outside the situations!

5) Dare To Win. Push yourself to the point where you can see yourself doing it. Look for new things and opportunities (Picture of her team in China and some words in Chinese..)

Also… do not channel your energy only within your company. Have activities outside work. This will help provide the balance that you need.

Conclusion: Be yourself, take risks, surround yourself with the right people!

I thought I was in awe by the first speaker…..The second speaker just wowed me..Over 20 years in the industry.Former Senior Executive of an Oil Major. The first lady to head a Shell business unit in Egypt. She worked offshore in the 80s which was unheard off for women.Mother of Five..I was like..mennn..How did she do it? Her words of wisdom

– There is no such thing as a “Wonder woman”..It is a myth

– Set Clear boundary conditions and Be direct. She gave an example about a boss who made it a point of duty to call her after working hours..One day she told him that she would appreciate if she doesn’t call him between 6 and 8 pm because she spends the time with her kids. The reaction was not what she expected. She respected her time boundaries and the number of calls reduced.

– Focus on execution of priority all day.

– Reliability, Accountability and Credibility are Key. This will help create the working style that works for you. Get trust and deliver on your promisses and help to create the balance that you want to have.

– Strive to have a healthy balnce between Life and Work.

– Clarify your values. You have to make trade offs. Give yourself the permission to be perfect. She gave an example about how she went to a business trip leaving her whole family sick..She felt so guilty.She should have said NO to the trip and nothing will have happened but she chose to go because of how it will look to her bosses if she did not!!

– Ask for help. Find a mentor/coach (clearly define the expectations of mentoring). Build a network and support system. You need an amazing support system that will always be there as you through your career!Your Spouse, Family etc…

– Always have Plan B

Pitfalls: Always feeling you have to proof yourself. You are a woman so stop making excuses about it!

When asked how she knew it was time to move from one company to the next. Her response..You just have this feeling..where you don’t have the drive and passion to go to work..You just know!!

Conclusion: Listen, Learn and Adapt!!

Honestly..I was very inspired by these women to say the least..

Another Highlight: Leveraging Social Media to Build Your career..

There was a lot of reaction from the audience about this..Which was very much expected..People are not comfortable sharing their lives on the internet

The message according to Thomas Power of http://www.ecademy.com/ : We need to go from “Institutional Thinking” which is very closed and selective to “Network Thinking” which is “Open, Accepting and Everything is Random”.

Apparently this is the direction in which the world is moving to..People check your facebook page before an interview to know the kind of person you are. Your twitter and linked in pages are on a radar!!Lots of mumur after he said this…lol

How do you make Social Networking work for you?

– Understand what you stand for.. You will fall for everything if you don’t stand for something. Q: Who follows You?

– Identify how you can serve others as in individual (Servant Leadership). Support, Help, Advice, Guidance?

– Why do people “Follow” You?

You need to answer these questions before you start to build your personal brand on the internet

– What is your social score? ie. How good you are online. Min score: 50. I no be know this one.I just shiddon tire.. Sites like Empire Avenue and Peer Index determine this based on the information you enter about yourself.

– Connect Your Platform. Connect all your profiles: google, linkedin,facebook, yahoomail, blogger..etc…and recheck your score…Honestly this is a bit scary..I thought to myself..I want to keep my profles “disconnected”..lol

– Learn by noticing and sharing. Learn by following the best people.

– Commit to habits..eg. blogging weekly, video monthly etc.

– Know what you want to share. Share the right things about you. You decide your “Social Identity”

Bottomline: Be in Control of your personal online brand!!

One message I got from a panel discussion about “Why Nice Girls” don’t get the corner office”: Women down play their skills and abilities. Most often than not when a woman is offered a position she asks “Do you think I am ready for this”?
So…Recognize your strengths, create depth in your skill and discipline. Do not underestimate yourself

OK people..I just had to share..It was awesome Event..Lots of Learning and Networking!!



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1 Comment

  1. Love love love it. This just stamped the final print on my legal papers. Thanks a lot Yef…you have got a very inspirational ways of putting things in writing, wish I had half your skills.

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