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[Editor's note: Influential Women In Energy 2023 is a supplement to the February 2023 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Subscribe here.]

From the small town of Jones, Okla., where she grew up fishing with her father, Diane Montgomery took a circuitous route to the oil and gas industry. Instead of heading directly to college after high school, she worked as an accounting technician at Tinker Air Force Base for a couple of years before enrolling at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she earned a degree in accounting as an honor graduate and eventually became a certified public accountant.

Montgomery has logged more than 33 years in the oil and gas industry since her first job as a revenue accountant at Kerr-McGee Corp., where she spent 18 years, moving eventually into corporate planning before joining Chaparral Energy as the vice president of corporate finance and investor relations. In 2012, she left that role to take up her current position at Continental Resources, where she is treasurer and vice president of corporate finance, responsible for overseeing finance, treasury, internal audit, production services and corporate planning.

Montgomery serves as the treasurer for the Continental Political Action committee and the Continental Community Foundation, is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants and was the 2015 recipient of the Harold Hamm Continental Character Award.

Getting easier

“Early on in my career, as a woman, I do think I had to work longer hours and take on extra work to have my performance recognized. I have always worked long hours and juggled home and children’s activities by getting to the office very early so I could leave for kids activities and then work from home after that when necessary. Overall, I believe I have been very fortunate to have had great success in my career. I do believe it’s easier now for women than it was when I started my career 33 years ago.”

Blessed by great examples

“My parents are my greatest mentors. They taught me to always do the very best I can. It’s funny to think about how times have changed, but I distinctly remember my mother telling me that she could do anything that the men at work could do. She always told me I could do anything I wanted to do as well. I spent lots of time with my father when I was young (fishing, hunting, feeding cows). I suppose that also showed me I could do anything the boys could do.”

“I distinctly remember my mother telling me that she could do anything that the men at work could do. She always told me I could do anything I wanted to do as well.” – Diane Montgomery

The opportunity to grow

“I grew by leaps and bounds while I was at Chaparral Energy for a mere four and a half years. Being a smaller company afforded me the opportunity to grow into so many areas that I had not experienced before. That is where I obtained my experience in the finance side of energy. I was very quickly thrown into the fire to coordinate running acquisitions, potential mergers, equity deals, credit facilities and bond deals. I also was responsible for investor relations, writing scripts and press releases. It was quite the four and a half years, and it prepared me for my role at Continental, which now includes internal audit, treasury and production services in addition to corporate planning.”

‘Make yourself important’

“[My advice for young industry professionals is] to work hard and learn about the industry.  Early in my career (in accounting), I didn’t really know much (or care to know) about the operations side of the business. But learning what it takes to get a well drilled and producing is a very eye-opening experience. It is so impressive what the operations teams do. Make yourself important by learning as much as you can. Volunteer for additional projects (even if it means more hours), and make yourself that ‘go-to’ person.”

Three more things

1. I was a tomboy growing up. I spent numerous hours fishing and hunting with my father. (I live in the city now, but consider myself a country girl.)

2. I’ve apparently always been bossy, and I started working when I was 12. (How else could I have 33 years of industry experience?) Actually, I did start working at the Oklahoma City Zoo the summer before my 13th birthday. Have always loved working (especially with money). 

3. My admin, Brenda, always makes fun of me for apparently being a germaphobe.

25 Influential Women in Energy

View the full list of this year’s honorees at Hart Energy LIVE.