Women in oil and gas: Career advice from director, Nancy Laird

Nancy Laird

Originally from central Canada, Nancy Laird knew when she moved to Calgary, Alberta after grad school, she wanted to be part of what made the city tick. In the early 80’s, oil and gas was the “it” industry.

Today, with more than 30 years’ experience in senior positions at major energy companies, Nancy serves on a number of public and not-for-profit boards both provincially and nationally. She joined Trinidad’s Board of Directors in June 2016, which, prior to her addition, had always been an all-male team.

“There’s so much value in workplace diversity,” said Nancy.

“In the oilfield services sector, Trinidad really is leading in that regard; both with the number of women in senior management positions, and now introducing women onto the board of directors.”

We asked Nancy about her role as a director and the evolving ‘women in oil and gas’ environment. Read on as she offers insights and advice to those considering a career in energy.

A well-earned seat at Trinidad’s Board of Directors’ table

Nancy, along with five other board members, are responsible for tasks that, in her experience, are positively influenced by diversity.

“Everyone brings their own respective perspective; whether that’s unique or different is situation-specific. I’m simply relaying professional experience from my walk of life.”

An evolving ‘women in oil and gas’ environment

When Nancy first started in the industry, women with senior experience were far and few between, making it tough to find mentors for young female professionals. Today, that theme’s evolving, as women are earning their place on boards from experience.

“We’ve come a long way as an industry with more and more women achieving senior executive positions and finding themselves qualified for board positions. The depth of capability out there is much greater today than it was when I started.”

Nancy noted that, like anyone, she’s had to establish credibility, understand when to use her voice, and how best to use it.

The future of oil and gas: exciting opportunities for young professionals

Like many of us in the industry, Nancy sees the years to come as an exciting opportunity for young professionals to be part of continuing to make resource development a more responsible and valuable sector.

“In many ways, the most rewarding work in oil and gas is in the sophistication of the industry, the importance of the industry, and the inherent challenges the industry is facing.”

She advises those beginning their careers in oil and gas to “be realistic about their expectations; work hard to align their strengths with the needs of the organization; and be open to any opportunity, even if though it may be challenging.”

“It’s so important for women to be positive role models for other women in the industry. After all, we’re all in this together.”

Leading workplace equality at Trinidad

We aim to lead the drilling industry. We strive to always have the best equipment, the best service for our customers, the best safety record…and the best people for the job, regardless of gender.

Get to know more of the women behind Trinidad’s success with these posts in our “Women in oil and gas” series:

To learn more about Nancy’s career history, visit our Board of Directors’ page on our website.

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