According to Janelle Harre, the key to a successful career in any field, including oil and gas, is having a positive attitude and embracing new challenges and opportunities as they come. As her company has continued to evolve since she began working there straight out of college, she has led her teams though each change with a confident demeanor.
With more than 20 years of experience with Caterpillar, Harre has held several different positions within the company. She currently leads the finance and IT organization SPM Oil & Gas, which was acquired in early 2021. In this leadership role, she has cultivated a safe and welcoming work environment for her team.
“Acquisitions at any time lead to lots of extra work. However, an acquisition during a pandemic has added a whole new level of challenge,” Harre said. “It has been rewarding seeing the team come together and form bonds allowing them to work together effectively when a large portion of the team has only met virtually.”
‘Making progress possible’
“For Caterpillar, oil and gas is a very important industry. My favorite tagline of Cat’s has been ‘making progress possible.’ In an accounting and finance role, you can feel far away from the product, but being part of a company that has the global impact of Caterpillar and SPM Oil & Gas is very fulfilling. We are part of progress.”
“Over the last 20-plus years, my goals have definitely changed. I am not sure I knew what taking a job at Caterpillar right out of college would offer me, but 20 years later, I am pleased with what I have achieved. Shortly after the birth of our second child, I moved from a technical accounting role back to a role supporting the business. It was truly the first time I felt like I had a seat at the table rather than a supporting role. It was also a team who had an adversarial relationship with accounting. I was able to lean on prior experiences and focused on communication to repair the relationships and moved toward a business advisory role based on trust. Looking back, the transformation of how our team supported the business is one of my proudest accomplishments.”
Success with sustainability
“Working with people who are looking to solve problems and innovate is very motivating. Sustainability is one of our values, and our team members are critical to our long-term success in achieving our ESG goals and helping our customers achieve their goals. Some might consider it a challenge, but our team focuses on the opportunity.”
Confidence and positivity
“As women, we can face challenges in any industry, whether it be a male-dominated industry like oil and gas or a more gender-balanced industry. Confidence is important, and being a positive voice for yourself in your head even on the days when you start to question yourself is very important. I remind myself of some of the statistics like men needing only 60% of qualifications to apply for a job when women feel like we need 100% of the qualifications. It’s OK to step into an uncomfortable situation, and it’s OK to do it confidently.
THREE MORE THINGS
Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.
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