With more than 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Emily McClain is passionate about elevating women in the workplace. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be in charge of big picture projects, and the positions she has held within the energy sector have helped her develop her leadership skills.
In her roles with IHS Markit and Rystad Energy, she has seen that young women in the industry have the tools and advice necessary to tackle a male-dominated field.
“In general, being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be a challenge,” McClain said. “At times, I have felt out of place because I am the only woman in the room, but I have learned to embrace it. We, as women, should be proud in situations like that.”
Love of geology
“The shale gas boom back in the early 2010s occurred while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in geology in Appalachia, so it certainly sparked my interest with the number of opportunities available in the area and the ability to accelerate my career right out of school. Throughout my undergraduate, my passion for geology grew, but I wasn’t quite sure where my career would take me. It was really the shale industry revolution that solidified my decision to go into the oil and gas industry in the first place because it provided me with plenty of opportunities upon graduation.”
Fostering growth and skills
“I have never worked for a company that has believed in me like Rystad. Our company and people are passionate about the work we do and not only trust in your existing capabilities but truly believe in your ability to grow and strengthen your skills, so the opportunities are endless. If you are willing to go for it, Rystad Energy will help you pave the way.”
Importance of shale
“This industry literally fuels the world. Where would we be without it? I grew up in coal country, so I have always been aware of fossil fuels and the reputations that come with them, both good and bad. I never felt like going into oil and gas was turning my back on the region, because when I got into the industry, the shale boom was creating jobs and resurrecting our economy. I was and still am proud to be part of that—knowing that I am contributing to a true necessity for our current way and quality of life.”
Outside the comfort zone
“I would encourage other women to begin or continue to take on challenges, get outside of your comfort zone. I presented at a few conferences last year, and it was extremely rewarding to have one or two women come up to me after these talks and basically say ‘Thank you! That was impressive,’ or ‘you made us proud to see a woman present in-depth knowledge here.’ My favorite comment one woman said was ‘I love your brain.’ It’s really encouraging and makes me want to continue showing up. But I recognize this will look different for everyone. I’m not saying you have to get up on stage and present to hundreds of people; just start by stepping outside of your comfort zone, whatever that might be. You just have to go for it.”
THREE MORE THINGS
Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.
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