Hart Energy’s Oil and Gas Investor kicked off its inaugural Women in Energy program earlier this year, showcasing the accomplishments of 25 distinguished women who have influenced all aspects of the oil and gas industry, rising to the top of a male-dominated business.

One of those women—Deborah Byers, the U.S. oil and gas leader and Americas industry leader for Ernst & Young LLP—joined hosts Jessica Morales and Emily Patsy for our first Women in Energy podcast to discuss how successful women in the industry can stand out despite challenges they might face.

Byers, who is a 30-year veteran of EY, spoke with us about how she got her start in oil and gas (2-minute mark) and talked about the challenges she faced while launching a new group at the start of the shale revolution (3:10).

She also discussed the importance of confidence (5:50) and speaking up for yourself to progress your career (7:00) and why it’s vital to have a sponsor as well as a mentor (9:40).

And later in the program, we are joined by Peggy Williams, vice president and editorial director of Hart Energy (16:04). She shared her own experiences as the first female geologist at a company that had been in business since the 1880s and what she did to advance her career (20:30).

Williams also spoke about the progress the industry has made regarding gender and diversity in the workplace (21:25) and gave us insight into how the Women in Energy program got started (22:34).

You can comment on this podcast in the comments section or by tweeting our hosts @JessicaMNews or @EmilyPatsy.

This and all episodes of Women In Energy are available via Soundcloud, the podcast app and iTunes.

Featured on this episode:

Deborah Byers is the U.S. oil and gas leader and Americas industry leader for Ernst & Young LLP. She is also the managing partner of the firm's Houston office.

Byers is a transaction tax partner with more than 26 years of experience serving both U.S. and non-U.S. based multinationals with in-depth knowledge of structuring and financing corporate expansions and joint ventures.

She also served as the oil and gas sector leader for EY Americas tax services and continues to be a part of the Energy Center of Excellence in Houston.

Peggy Williams is vice president and editorial director for Hart Energy. She is a certified petroleum geologist and worked in the operations side of the industry prior to joining Hart Energy in 1992. During a 16-year career in petroleum geology, Williams was an exploration and development geologist, and an equity partner in an independent devoted to natural gas prospect generation. Williams holds a BA in geology from the University of Rhode Island, a Master's in Energy Resources from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MS in Technical Communications from the University of Colorado.


Jessica Morales is the video reporter for Hart Energy. Jessica’s 10 years of news reporting experience has carried her from a political journalism internship in Washington, D.C. to a professional career in television news. She joined Hart Energy in August 2017 after serving as the main evening news anchor for the FOX affiliates in Tyler and Waco, Texas. She previously worked as a news producer in Knoxville, Tenn., and as an anchor, reporter and producer at the FOX affiliate in Beaumont.

In 2010, Jessica traveled to Haiti to cover the earthquake-ravaged capital of Port Au Prince. She garnered awards from the Press Club of Southeast Texas for Documentary and Series recognition for her reports titled “Healing Haiti.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/broadcast journalism from Lamar University and studied at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Jessica can be reached at jmorales@hartenergy.com.

Emily Patsy is the associate managing editor for Hart Energy’s digital news group. She’s responsible for the daily news flow and also manages the A&D Watch weekly newsletter. She joined Hart Energy in November 2012 and previously worked as a reporter for Houston Community Newspapers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in editorial journalism from Texas Tech University. Emily can be reached at epatsy@hartenergy.com.