Women wear many hats, both in their careers and in their lives. In my current role at Shell, I concentrate on motivating employees, influencing and driving organizational culture and serving as the public face for a global company in a specific country. Helping people feel empowered while helping Shell meet its business goals is an exciting job. Influencing broader energy and environmental strategies through the exploration of resources essential to sustain our lives is also part of my job.
A number of significant events put me on the path to executive leadership. After 10 years as a geophysicist working on projects around the world, I realized I wanted to make a bigger impact. Opportunities that allowed me to expand my horizons globally presented themselves and allowed me to have an impact on the future exploration strategy. Later, I took another new direction when I decided to get my MBA. I found that business was my passion and when I joined Shell Canada, I also found a company that matched my values and principles. The working environment and my past experiences brought out the leader in me. I have had many obstacles in my career, but I look back on them as my best learning experiences. It is not easy being a woman in a world where you are usually a minority. Never lose sight of who you are and you will always prevail. Having children, as I have, can present significant challenges, but there are ways to make it work. I wouldn’t be a happy mom if I didn’t have a rewarding job outside the home. So, I’m strategic in how I use my time and engage my colleagues. I take all holidays and book family events into my calendar. I sometimes incorporate my family into my work, such as business trips. I often work from home and maximize the use of technology to balance the mom hat and the career hat. You don’t have to be superhuman because there are many people willing to help.
Many people have given me valuable advice or were simply good friends when I needed support and encouragement. Some of the best advice has been: keep your feet on the ground and your eye on the horizon while considering long-term goals; find the part of your role you love and you’ll excel in it; and be yourself and have fun.