Keynote speakers address strategies for career success during WGLC's opening day

By EMILY QUERUBIN, News Editor on 11/1/2016

Following opening remarks by Melissa Smith, events director at Gulf Publishing Company (GPC), Schlumberger's public relations manager, Susan Ganz--who also served as the conference chair--took the stage at the 2016 Women's Global Leadership Conference (WGLC) on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Acknowledging the more than 600 women in attendance, as well as the men attendees, Ganz welcomed the crowd to the first day of the two-day leadership event.

This year, the theme of the conference is "Changing the Landscape of Leadership in the Energy Industry," which was selected by GPC's advisory board to encourage industry women, and to offer a forum for the sharing of leadership ideas in support of women moving into leadership positions within the oil and gas industry.

Eva Archer-Smith served as the first keynote speaker at the 2016 Women's Global Leadership Conference in Houston.

Eva Archer-Smith, an experienced executive coach and facilitator, served as the keynote speaker. With an executive background in corporate, governmental and public service work, Smith now devotes her time to full-time executive coaching for emerging and senior executives.

Smith discussed the five strategies for career success and satisfaction, which included a variety of personal choices, as well as professional choices, made every day. Those strategic choices included choosing to embrace change and ambiguity in the world we live in, and the importance of flexibility in a changing environment; focusing on the impact of our thoughts and decisions, and the questions we ask ourselves; using frustration and curiousity as a catalyst for change; observing rather than judging, and recognizing behaviors that will help build more effective relationships; and focusing on strengths. Smith said, "Find that thing that you love, and make it a mastery."

While there was still plenty of time for networking among industry professionals, the 2016 WGLC implemented a new lunchtime scheme. Following registration, attendees were given the opportunity to choose between several topical lunches, tailored to thier own professional circumstances.

Later, Chris Barnesby, general manager of the Shale Gas Performance Unit at BHP Billiton, served as the afternoon keynote. She shared personal experiences and lessons-learned during her career, principally those that followed her transition from registered nurse to engineer. She discussed the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, as well as the value of overcoming our own bias.

In addition to the keynotes, there were a multitude of guest speakers and panel discussions throughout the day. Some of the guest speakers included Dr. Kenneth B. Medlock, senior director at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, Center for Energy Studies; Stephanie Cox, president of Schlumberger, North America; Ingrid Williams-Robinson, president and CEO at Houston Minority Supplier Development Council; and Sabrin Chowdhury, engagement manager at McKinsey & Co., Inc.

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