The Women’s Energy Council is an informal networking group focused on education, and enhancing women’s careers by sharing experiences and lessons learned. We bring you this podcast series which focuses on lessons and advice on transformational leadership by some of the most senior energy executives globally. Subscribe today to be the first to access the new weekly podcast
Elisabeth Eljuri is an Independent Arbitrator and Energy Consultant. Until 2019, Ms. Eljuri was an executive with Sierra Oil & Gas, where she was the VP, Chief Negotiator and Chief Legal Counsel. Prior to that, she practiced law for nearly three decades in the areas of energy/natural resources and infrastructure in two major international law firms. She also held important industry positions such as President of the Texas-based Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN). Elisabeth taught me a lot in the years we have known each other, one of those things we discuss in this episode – that being risk averse will never make you happy or help you to grow to your full potential.
Whitney Wickes joins us from Rocking WW Minerals, a private minerals & royalties company focused on the Powder river Basin. Early on, Whitney was focused on competitive sports where she was a professional skier and competitive triathlete and marathon runner. After suffering some career ending knee injuries, Whitney pivoted her passion into oil & gas where she began building up her career in Petroleum Management. Throughout the episode, Whitney talks about the importance of taking risks, work ethic, and exploring new opportunities in order to help jumpstart your career. She also highlights the different perspectives, ideas, efficiencies, and technology innovation that can result from having different generations represented on your leadership team.
Stephanie Prior joins us from EY-Parthenon to discuss her unique career path and how her different experiences have given her an appreciation for diversity of thought and the importance of intangibles like trust & community for the long-term value creation of businesses.
Valentina Kretzschmar, Vice President Corporate Research
Julie Wilson, Research Director, Global Exploration
Amy Bowe, Head of Carbon Research
from Wood Mackenzie...
All three came from very different backgrounds and have very different stories to tell but what unites them is their passion for the future of energy. It is the geopolitics, the magnitude of it as well as a bit of luck that drove and kept them loyal to this industry. What Valentina, Julie and Amy also have in common is the knowledge and evidence that diversity has a significant positive impact on businesses and especially when it comes to sustainability and the energy transition. Is there a correlation between diversity and success? Why have women been more climate change conscious? And what are the biggest lessons they have to share from their personal challenges?
Listen to the episode to find out...
Maria Fernanda Suarez is a Minister of Energy of Colombia (from July 7th she no longer holds the post) but also held a CFO position at Ecopetrol (a National oil and gas company of Colombia) and a CIO of Porvenir, a Colombian pension fund. The 3 things I’ve learnt from our conversation:
1. Sometimes you can’t “have it all” and that’s ok, but you can take a break and come back even stronger which is what Maria proved with her decisions
2. Diversity requires an organised approach and a clear path. Maria’s goal is to have 50% in senior public sector filled by women in 10 years from the current 10% - an ambitious plan she discusses
3. We all have gender biases but we need to overcome them first as parents to achieve equality. Empowering girls is key to allow them join STEM jobs, become CEOs and entrepreneurs of the future
We also talked about an important leadership trait like being open-minded, an ability to listen respectfully and accept other people’s views, which is what helped Maria excel at her career. I hope you enjoy this episode...
Today I’m speaking to Emma Wild, the Upstream Lead for the UKI and Europe at Accenture. Emma is an industry leader with over 20 years of international experience within the energy sector, as well as financial services. Prior to Accenture, she was a Partner and Head of Upstream at KPMG in the UK. She began her career as a reservoir engineer with Santos, and then held positions with RISC Advisory, and Bank of Scotland.
Emma’s practical and pragmatic nature makes her a great adviser. But advice is not what people always need and I love Emma’s story about working to overcome this default position to fix problems but instead to coach and listen. Emma talked about what drove her to the next challenge as well as invaluable lessons on mentorship. Enjoy the episode…
Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani is currently a Managing Director and a Founder of EnergyInc Advisors. Rolake held several advisor, analyst and Head of Energy positions in West Africa for Control Risks, Eurasia Group, FBNQuest Merchant Bank and the IFU. The 3 things I’ve learnt from our conversation:
1. Don’t be afraid to take on the next challenge even if it makes you uncomfortable. This is how you will learn
2. Not knowing what you want in the beginning of your career is ok. Invest in self-reflection and follow your passion
3. What we post online is a bad reflection of who we are but this is what people will remember. Before acting with a keyboard in a public space, ask yourself: did you do everything in your power to resolve the situation?
I hope you enjoy her stories of humility and discovery as much as I did…
In this episode we will discuss how Tracy's passion for recycling as a child led her to the energy industry, her 22 year career in ExxonMobil consisting of 14 positions and opportunities across the value chain. This has taught her to always tap into other people’s talents, ask questions, cooperate and share knowledge. Finally, we will discuss the creation of Power Play, a platform to promote and celebrate diversity in the LNG sector. I really look forward to Women’s Energy Council and Power Play working closer in these tough times and beyond, exploring ways to cooperate and grow both networks. Nominations for the Power Play Awards are open until June 19th and can be found here https://www.exxonmobillng.com/Power-Play/Power-Play-Awards
Olivia Wassenaar is a Senior Partner at Apollo Private Equity having joined the firm in 2018, and is focused on the firm’s natural resources investing activities. She serves on the boards of several Apollo portfolio companies, including Apex Energy, American Petroleum Partners, LifePoint Health, Pegasus Optimization Managers, and Talos Energy (NYSE: TALO). Prior to joining Apollo, Ms. Wassenaar was a Managing Director at Riverstone Holdings, where she was a member of the investment team for ten years.
Previously, Ms. Wassenaar worked at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking Division focusing on natural resources and at The World Bank Group.
Dr Amy Jadesimi is a Managing Director of LADOL - West Africa's 100% indigenous sustainable economic zone and logistics hub for Nigerian and multinational companies. In one CNN interview in 2017 she said "The one thing that I definitely didn't want to do was work in oil and gas”. After graduating from Oxford University with Medicine and Physiological Sciences degrees she was ready to be a doctor. But Her career pivoted after working for Goldman Sachs and completing an MBA in Stanford. The return to Nigeria was a heart-warming experience that made her vision clear – Amy wanted to contribute to the development of her country and local communities, and execute her own decisions. She joined her father’s company LADOL. In this episode we talk about challenges working for a family business and how to minimise unhelpful stereotypes, how hard it is to be heard as a woman, and especially as a woman of colour, we talked about institutional racism and about her deep belief in people doing the right thing.
Iman Hill held Managing Director, President and Head of Development and Operations positions in companies including BP, Shell, BG Group, Sasol, Dana Gas in the Middle East and Energean. In this episode we explore lessons in leading teams with respect, not fear, the importance of having tough conversations and close teams, and balancing family (Iman has 5 children) and a successful career. She has also been through one of the most tragic events that I can imagine but came out even stronger. She is now my inspiration and I’m sure she will be yours too.
Geeta Sankappanavar is the Co-founder and President of Grafton Asset Management, a ~$1B energy investment firm based in Calgary Alberta. Geeta had a very clear career path planned in her head when she was at university but one dramatic event changed that trajectory completely. She turned towards the energy industry and stayed in the sector since. This podcast uncovers important ideas about unconscious bias, networking advice and how leadership is about people following you because they want to, not because they have to, and why it is harder for women...
In this episode, Marta describes her journey from Shell to becoming a President of ANCAP, the NOC of Uruguay. Juggling her family obligations, constant travel and ambitions wasn't easy but she developed a keen eye for excellence as a result, challenged traditional ways of thinking even in the public company and drove the energy transition for Uruguay.