As part of our Women's Energy Council, we are conducting interviews with our members to find out what their experiences are of working in the energy sector.
We sat down with Callie Hamilton, Vice President, Prudential Capital Group. Here are her thoughts.
Do you believe that it is harder to have a career in the energy sector as a woman?
Yes and no. Being a woman in energy finance is a bit of an anomaly. Just like anything else in life, being unique can have its pluses and minuses. Business development comprises a significant part of my position, and through that, I conduct a lot of cold calls throughout the year. I have found that being different and being a woman may sometimes help to get a foot in the door but at times there can be somewhat of a gender barrier when it comes to traditional business development activities. Let’s just say my golf game is not up to par!
What obstacle/s did you come across in your career?
The greatest challenge I have encountered in my career is no different than what many women will encounter in their lives and that is how to manage a career once a baby comes along. Inevitably you will want to pull back, particularly in the first year when the baby feels like an appendage to your body. After pushing through that first year and enduring the unavoidable “mommy guilt”, I am now confident I am in the right place for our family and more fulfilled than I would have been if I had made the decision to move to a less challenging job. The key is to look at the positives since it is so easy to get lost in the negative points of working in a demanding job with young children. For example, when I have to travel overnight, I see the benefit of the bonding time that my daughter would not otherwise get with my husband since she is such a momma’s girl. My time on the road is also the only time I can find during the week to actually have “me” time, which everyone who has small children knows is so important yet so difficult to obtain regardless of your circumstances.
What do you believe to be the biggest challenge with regards to diversity/equality in the energy industry?
It is my belief that the energy industry is just not something that women are naturally drawn to. It is a gross generalization, but I have a view that men just get more excited about the idea of getting hydrocarbons out of the ground than women do, myself included. What I have grown to love about the industry, however, is how dynamic and challenging it is. With the constantly changing technologies, regulations and macroeconomic trends, there is never a dull moment. I read a quote recently that I think sums up well my decision to stay the course in this career and this industry. The quote is from female astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and it says “If you have to choose between an easy thing and a hard one, the hard one’s usually a lot more fun.”
About Women's Energy Council
Women’s Energy Council is the most international diversity and equality network for energy executives in the world. It actively promotes and advises on tangible, positive and commercially beneficial changes in the energy industry through bias awareness, policy education and safety at work.
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