Breaking Barriers: Executive Q&A with Paula Harris on Diversity in Energy

Energy consultant and former longtime Schlumberger executive Paula Harris talks about making history and pushing for diversity, equity and inclusion.


It’s just before 3 p.m. on a weekday and Paula Harris is finally breaking for lunch—still working.

Despite retiring from Schlumberger in 2020 after 34 years, last serving as global director responsible for developing ESG programming among other duties, Harris’ calendar stays full.

She started her own company, DPM Alliance Energy Group, which specializes in consulting on renewable energy, months before landing a new job with the Astros Foundation. Add to this board member for Chart Industries Inc., The Vessel Group, Houston Children’s Museum and Energized for STEM Academy. Plus, this year Harris became the first black president and second woman president of the Petroleum Club of Houston’s board of directors. It was one in a number of history-making firsts for this petroleum engineer with a passion for encouraging young people to embrace STEM.

“I keep a pretty busy schedule and that’s by design,” Harris said. “I’m always afraid that once you slow down, your mind slows down and your body slows down.”

Hart Energy recently sat down with Harris, whose comments have been edited for length and clarity, to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the energy sector, her new role at the Petroleum Club and how she continues to inspire future generations.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers energy with a focus on renewables.