Better the balance, better the world. #Balanceforbetter #IWD2019
On 8th March the world celebrates International Women’s Day. This year, the campaign is ‘Balance for Better’. International Women’s Day believes in an exciting future and building a gender-balanced world where everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. The offshore energy industry is no different.
One of our Asset Operators, Amanda Reid, is flying the flag for the latest generation of women leading in the offshore energy sector. We’ve spoken to her about her career, the industry and how gender roles are changing for the better.
How did you come to work in the offshore energy sector?
I started off my career in a subsea company as a temporary logistics coordinator where I experienced the challenges of mobilising personnel both offshore and overseas. I liked the variety of the sector, and when I was given the opportunity for a permanent role, I jumped at the chance and have never looked back. Daily operations can throw up lots of issues, some expected and some not! However, pulling everything together and delivering is hugely rewarding.
My career path then took me onto one of the major service providers, overseeing the recruitment and logistics for offshore engineering, construction, production and maintenance.
There are some fantastic opportunities in offshore energy for those who are willing to join the industry and take advantage.
What had been your original career plan?
I originally wanted to work in HR, but I found over time that it wasn’t the career path I wanted to pursue. I enjoyed the dynamism and un-predictability whilst working in the offshore industry and did not want to give that up. However, working in operational positions, I still use my HR skills daily while interacting with the crews, and it’s a part of my job I really enjoy.
What is your current role at Attollo and what does it involve?
My current role at Attollo Offshore is in the position of Asset Operator. I provide the primary operational link to my assets in order to direct, monitor and continuously improve operational efficiency.
This entails overseeing the daily running of operations of the assets. Which varies from rig moves, recruitment and logistics, planned maintenance and monitoring data. I also have had the opportunity to travel worldwide with Attollo, visiting assets and yards.
In previous roles, I had mainly been focused on the North Sea but with Attollo I have explored new places and cultures. The energy industry is a truly global industry and is a great way to see the world.
What is it about your current role that you love?
It’s the variety really, and the fact that the company allows you and expects you to make a real impact. No day is the same and I have never felt that I have been ‘pigeon holed’.
We have a great team here and if you have a good idea it’s welcomed and executed regardless of gender or experience. I have been exposed to things that I would not have been elsewhere, and we are trying to solve some of the largest challenges currently facing the offshore industry.
You’ve been in the industry a long time. What’s been your experience of being a woman in the field?
It’s changed quite a bit over the years. Historically, the offshore industry has been a male dominated area due to the types of positions available and the working environment. But that’s all changing now. When I first started working, I was often the only woman that attended operational meetings with onshore management and offshore supervision. Now we have women working in a whole variety of roles from OIM’s, to engineering and production. Women are now recognised more for their qualities and achievements in all areas of the business. In the UK the CEO of Oil & Gas UK is Deirdre Michie and CEO of OGTC is Colette Cohen. This is a great illustration of women achieving success at any level in this industry.
Having far greater female representation in the workforce in recent times has created a positive effect on the working environment for everyone, and women now believe they can be what they want to be and succeed, whether that’s as a lorry driver or a board member and that’s fantastic.
What kind of support have you found helpful when advancing your career?
Throughout my career I have been encouraged by some great mentors – both male and female. Having that support is critical for job satisfaction and career progression alike. It is now important for me and other people currently in the industry to provide that same leadership and encouragement to the new generation entering the sector. I have always found most people both on and offshore are willing spend time to help and guide people, it’s just making sure you ask for help if you need it and be willing to continuously learn. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the industry, you can always broaden your knowledge.
Have you ever felt disadvantaged?
No. I have always been given the same opportunity to progress in my career as males have. The issue of diversity has dominated headlines for the past few years, where women in the offshore energy industry have been underrepresented. Female underrepresentation is not an issue at Attollo. Nevertheless, a survey showed that only around 13% of jobs in the energy sector were filled by women. So I would like to encourage more females to enter the sector in order to provide more role models for the next generation.
What advice would you give to aspiring women in the offshore energy sector?
Don’t hold yourself back. Whether you are following a traditional STEM education or straight out of school, there are some fantastic career opportunities for women in the offshore energy sector, both on and offshore. I would highly recommend it to any females considering it, the sector provides a varied and exciting career with the opportunity to travel the world. So, if you’re interested in the industry, don’t let anything stop you.
International Women’s Day.
The 2019 campaign isn’t just for one day but is a year-long campaign. It’s expected that the theme will provide a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year round. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, and the offshore industry is no different. #we can do this.
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