Jill Massonne is Director, Global Off-Highway Sales, Allison Transmission and an Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member. She recently shared her thoughts on women in oil and gas.
Energy Workforce: Why did you get involved in oil and gas?
Jill Massonne: I joined the oil and gas industry through Allison Transmission, who supplies to the industry. I was hesitant to move into this market. However, my unique skill sets suited me to the challenges that are unique to this industry. I have found this industry to be a delightful challenge with people who have commitment that I’ve seen in no other industry. Being a newcomer to the industry and living outside the typical oil and gas regions, Energy Workforce & Technology Council has been instrumental in helping me make connections to others in the industry.
EW: What are the major changes you’ve seen during your time in the industry?
JM: Oil and gas is an industry of change. The people in the industry have the resiliency to manage the deepest of issues that would cause folks in other industries to jump ship. I think many of the issues faced in the industry haven’t changed, but some have greater intensity. For example, the vilification of the industry is intense currently, but negative reactions to the industry have always been lurking. Capital discipline has ebbed and flowed however, currently it has more staying power. Labor issues have always been a struggle, but this was deeply intensified with the pandemic combined with cultural and political forces that changed the face of labor. The industry is more unified in working to address major challenges.
EW: What do you think companies could do to retain female employees?
JM: Of course, it starts with recruiting women into key roles! Then it is important to provide developmental opportunities that provide challenge and opportunity to grow. With any employee — male or female — companies must assist in providing the tools necessary for employees to succeed in stretch, developmental assignments. It requires a long-term commitment to employee development with focus on identifying and mitigating diversity gaps.
EW: Do you have a mentor, and if so, how has mentorship helped you towards your career goals?
JM: I have had a few mentors in my career. My most memorable was a harsh individual who gently pushed me to do things I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. This mentor helped me see a bigger picture for myself and helped round out gaps in my business knowledge. Mentors have helped me see alternatives to my own way of thinking that have helped me grow over the years. I think mentoring, whether formal or informal is a key enabler for success.
EW: What advice would you give women thinking about a career in oil and gas?
JM: Opportunities for women abound. Work hard, be flexible, be a positive force and find enjoyment in what you do!
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