The oil and gas industry can be an extremely challenging environment for ambitious woman. Not only is there an obvious gender imbalance, but women also struggle with the “stay at home mum” dilemma which is fuelled by stigma and the costs of child care.
At Add Energy, Natalie MacRae has undergone extreme career growth and as a working mum at the age of 27, has been appointed as the Business Development Manager, and member of the leadership team for Add Energy’s Aberdeen office.In this blog post, Natalie shares some personal insights and advice for ambitious women who want to succeed in the energy sector.
Can you tell us about your journey at Add Energy?
"When I started at Add Energy 6 years ago, I was a technical assistant working with the operations team doing mainly administration type work. After 2 months on the job, I was asked if I could go to Offshore Europe to help generate leads for Add Energy. After a successful trip to that event, my manager offered me an opportunity to work in business development and marketing, which was something I was very keen to get involved in.
During my time in this team, I started as the BD and Marketing Coordinador, and held senior roles in Marketing and Sales management for Add Energy in Aberdeen, and also corporately across the globe.
Can you explain more about your current role as BD manager?
"In June 2018, I was offered the role as BD Manager for Europe and the Middle East. I instinctively said yes, without too much thought.
This was a massive step up in terms of responsibility and accountability. Not fully knowing what the journey ahead would be, I was keen to strive to do my best regardless of my experience and other people’s opinions.
The journey has been tough, I won’t lie, but now that I have found my feet, and the improvements that I wanted to make are being implemented, I throughly enjoy what I do and continue to stay motivated to develop and progress my career.
How do you balance being a mum with a senior role in a global organisation?
"Being a mum with a high pressure role, where so much responsibility lies on you can be difficult at times. Not only are you trying to ensure what you do at work is something that you are proud to put your name against, but there is an element of “working Mum guilt” that is faced when dropping your child off at nursery every day.
In saying this, the benefits of working, in my opinion far outweigh the drawbacks associated with “mum guilt”. The key is to make sure when you’re home, you are HOME. Meaning you dedicate all your time for family time, and leave work at the door.
I’m proud to be able to give my son a great life and at the same time assuring I provide for his emotional needs. In addition to this, I get to fulfil my career aspirations.
What are your top tips for woman looking To bolster Their career opportunities?
- "Say yes to everything and learn how to do it later. If you aren’t open to opportunities, how do you expect to challenge yourself and grow?
- "Be curious, ask as many questions as you can to continue improving your knowledge base. This is key for compelling conversations
- "Don’t allow people to hush your opinion, be bold and say what you believe is right
- "Be honest and transparent, this will not only help in forming better relationships with your peers, but it’s key to being a good leader
- "If you fall, get back up immediately, do not allow set backs to define who you are. Learn from them and apply it to your next task.
- "Always embrace “leadership type” behaviours in everything you do, no matter what your position in the organisation is. This will help you to manage your manager in a proactive manner and, in turn, create a healthier work environment.
- "Do not dwell on mistakes that you have made. This is wasted energy on something you cannot fix, instead put actions in place to make sure you don’t make them again
- "Always look for new and better ways of working. Collaborate with peers to understand pain points and what you can do to eliminate or reduce these
- "Form meaningful friendships at work, these are critical for when you need support or someone to speak to
- "Don’t be scared or embarrassed of your weaknesses, understand what they are and why you have them, then put a plan in place to address them"