When an opportunity to serve presents itself, Jaime Butler seizes it. That approach has helped her rise from her first job as an inventory coordinator for Baker Hughes Co. to the company’s vice president of the Permian Basin.
“If you serve others, then everything will come naturally. Focusing on others around you and their success is important,” she says. “It’s the one big piece of advice that I offer young professionals. That, and be a ‘learn-it-all’ rather than a ‘know-it-all.’ I tell my team to make sure they listen to understand, not to respond.”
Butler began her career in 2001 at Baker Hughes while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix. It was at Baker Hughes that she came to discover her true learning style after years of struggle.
“I wasn’t what you’d call your typical student. Growing up, I had a learning disability that made studying and comprehending content difficult. It continued until I started working here at Baker Hughes,” she says. “I could touch and hold things. I discovered that by experiencing something in a real way, I am a better learner.”
It is an experience that Butler believes shaped her into the person she is today.
“Everything defines who we are,” she says. “I don’t know if I would be who I am now if I had not gone through that experience then,” she says. “Here I am 19 years later, still learning and growing.”
In that time, Butler has held various supply chain, manufacturing, finance, technology, field operations and commercial roles within the company, became a wife and mother of two sons, and earned a master’s in supply chain management from Penn State University in 2011.
In July 2018, she was promoted to vice president of the Permian Basin for the company. Moving to the Permian was a pivotal moment in her career.
“Leading our Permian business has been one of the most challenging roles in my career, as this basin is very dynamic and fastpaced. Being at the epicenter of oil and gas, this basin offers limitless opportunities to learn as well as the potential to develop new technologies to drive our future growth.”
In addition to her work role, additional points of pride and focus for Butler are her roles as wife and mother. “Most of what I do outside of work is centered around my family. If it is not participating in a civic or charitable event, then I’m spending time with family. We love being outdoors and playing sports,” she says.
One activity Butler is highly involved with is the Permian chapter of the Women’s Energy Network, where she serves on the advisory board. Another is the Young Women Energized program that raises money and provides scholarships for local high school women here in the Permian Basin. Last year the program raised and provided $40,000 in scholarships, according to Butler.
The energy transition underway and its future keeps Butler motivated about the oil and gas industry today.
“Baker Hughes recently announced that we’re an energy technology company, and last year we announced our goal to achieve net-zero CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050,” she says. “Meeting that goal while also changing the mindset about our industry and reducing our carbon footprint is what motivates me. There are so many technologies out there that already exist. It is the technologies that we will create and innovate over the next decade or more that will transform the industry.”
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