[Editor's note: Influential Women In Energy 2021 is a supplement to the May 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Subscribe to the magazine here.]
Jill Evanko started her career at Arthur Andersen at an auspicious time. It was the early 2000s and the firm was mired in the Enron scandal. Like many others at the time, she knew that the company was not going to survive because of it.
“So from there, I took a treasury role at Honeywell where I was able to see a variety of industries and knew that I loved manufacturing, regardless of function,” Evanko said. “After spending time in aerospace applications, oil and gas and energy was my next step.”
That next step was at Dover Corp., where she served in multiple positions related to energy.
“We cannot think that what has made the industry successful previously or in past cycles will work again. The world is evolving; we just spent the past year experiencing something that was unprecedented, so reacting and responding to the current and future expectations is critical.”
“Most impactful in terms of understanding the business was when I was CFO of Dover’s Artificial Lift Business (originally Norris Rods, then Apergy and now ChampionX) as I got to see the variety of ways oil and gas works across industries and applications,” she said.
“Every step in my career has been a milestone, but my favorite has been what some might consider the small stuff,” Evanko said.
For example, the entire commercial team at Chart wanted to give her orders for her birthday. “That shows they love the company and like to find ways to be creative,” she said. “It’s those types of moments that are milestones for me.”
She added that another milestone was when the company had its lowest total recordable incident rate for safety in 2020. “Keeping people safe is our number one priority, and as we continue to improve to our goal of zero, these are momentous occasions,” she said.
“I firmly believe that if you put your head down and work hard you will be rewarded for it. So that has been my philosophy. What I have found with my male counterparts is that they want to be supportive of females in the industry, and seeking them out for their input can help you navigate. While the oil and gas industry has a reputation of being an ‘old boys network,’ the reality is that every company and business is navigating into new fuels [and] new technologies, and so respecting and seeking out each other’s diverse views will help the industry as a whole ... and that is what I have seen and I expect to continue to see.”
View the full on-demand video interviews featuring this year’s honorees at HartEnergyConferences.com/Women-in-Energy
“One [memorable moment] was being in charge of relocating a manufacturing plant to Mexico but with only three other people knowing about it for nine months. It got done, but it sure is easier to complete projects with a team. Another [memorable moment]—and a lot of fun—has been some of the acquisitions we have done at Chart. You get to meet new people and experience creative ideas come together for synergies from different perspectives and angles. I also really enjoyed doing my executive MBA at Notre Dame. I was able to do it on the weekends while working, so having the ability to apply real-life experiences to academia and vice versa was interesting.”
“I think of everyone around me as mentors—mentors can be any age and any level of experience. It is about diversity of views, perspectives and experiences. Many are less in the traditional sense of sitting down and having a mentoring session, but rather watching, observing, asking questions and then taking what I think are the best of their approaches and qualities and trying to incorporate them into my style. Also worth noting is that mentors can be people that you don’t want to emulate too—learning by not doing.”
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