Celebrating the Women of Oil and Gas

By: Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President and CEO

Today is International Women’s Day and this month is Women’s History Month, two great opportunities to come together to celebrate women’s contributions to our world, industry, and history. Throughout the month of March, we’ll be sharing videos highlighting the hard-working, problem-solving women of oil and gas who work every day to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy for all.  From refinery safety process managers in Wilmington to electrical engineers in Bakersfield, women play an essential role in the energy industry’s operational, technological, scientific, and engineering innovations. They are key in putting us on the path to a sustainable energy future.

For myself and for WSPA, this is a day where we reflect on our commitment to empower women across the oil and gas industry and ensure all women in our industry have access to equal opportunity, representation, and respect. I was so very proud when I became President of WSPA in 2010. Today I’m equally proud to support women within our own organization and across our member companies. We aren’t done and we’ve got a ways to go, but we are committed to doing our part.

Throughout my 31 years at WSPA, I’ve seen the oil and gas industry’s gender demographics change significantly. Today, women make up approximately one-fifth of the total oil and gas workforce. That is a big shift from when I first started in oil and gas, but I know we must continue to do what we can to change these statistics. I’m committed to it.

Furthermore, The WSPA staff is 57% women, with 20 women on our leadership and regional teams across California and Washington. In 2018, we created the Women of WSPA Initiative (WOWI), a group made up of a network of women connected to WSPA, to help mentor and support women in the industry and ensure their access to equal opportunities. In addition to our internal work with WOWI, WSPA has donated $10,000 across our five western states to Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization that inspires girls to be confident, healthy, and joyful through creative physical activity.

WSPA is dedicated to empowering and supporting women in the oil and gas industry, today and every day. And to women in the oil and gas industry and across the globe – we see you and we celebrate your contributions to our present and future. Thank you.

Meet Ashley, electrical engineer at Aera Energy

Ashley Davis is an electrical engineer at Aera Energy in Bakersfield, CA. Knowing that she has an impact on people’s daily lives is what motivates her to work in the oil and gas industry. Learn more about Ashley’s story.

Meet Nishal, refinery process safety manager at Valero

Nishal Patel works for Valero at the Wilmington Refinery in California. She fell in love with the industry for its dynamic nature, depth and ability to solve problems. She wants to change the mindset around having a ceiling for younger women and minorities. Learn how being in oil and gas has empowered Nishal.

Meet Alexis, process engineer at Torrance Refining Company

Alexis Oyetibo, a process engineer at the Torrance Refining Company, talks about equal opportunity in the oil and gas industry and mentoring a new generation of Black women pursuing STEM careers. Learn more about Alexis’ story.

Meet Christina Sistrunk, Retired CEO, Aera Energy

Christina Sistrunk shares why the capabilities of the oil and gas industry will be absolutely fundamental in solving today’s global issues. Hear more about Christina’s story.

Read about Christina’s incredible legacy at Aera Energy.

Meet Jerry Tardivo Alcoser, general manager of operations, San Joaquin Valley, Chevron

Jerry Tardivo Alcoser shares how Chevron is solving today’s problems with facts and data. She focuses on what can be controlled and how they can make it better. Hear more about Jerry’s story.

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