If you were able to read my bio you know that I just recently defended my Master’s thesis and have left the student life to embrace the working adult life. It hasn’t been a *super* smooth transition, but it has definitely been a great learning experience.
I’ve been a student for ~6 -7 years and during those years I got used to the fast paced ever stressed lifestyle that studying just seems to bring with it. I treated my last year in grad school as my job and tried to keep my study/writing hours from 8-5 in order to get used to the adult work life. Well it turns out that adjusting to those work hours was the least of my problems.
Coming in as a new hire into a major oil and gas company is intimidating as heck. I had already interned with the company so I wasn’t a complete stranger to the system but somehow this felt more scary. Dealing with this intimidation is something that I struggle with on the daily and is one of those hurdles that I wasn’t expecting coming into work. In grad school I was a fairly confident student and was super comfortable speaking my mind. That person seems to have stayed in school and not transitioned to this new chapter of my life. I find myself struggling to speak up and put my two cents in meetings because of my new hire status but also because of my latina geoscientist status. I feel like a minority, I see it on the daily. It’s hard to not think about these things and just keep doing my day to day tasks.
I’m pretty sure that a lot of us have felt this way at some point of our lives whether in school or in our professional life. Being a female in such a male dominated science is hard and working in the oil and gas industry is no different. My struggles with imposter syndrome are ever present and more intense now as a professional geologist than as a graduate student. Now although I have been struggling with these issues, it hasn’t been all bad. I have a great support system at work and I can’t stress enough how important this is (Sisterhood above everything else). I’ve also found inspiration in female geologists that are kicking b*tt like Denise Cox (Former President of AAPG) and Robbie Gries (President of GSA) and ones that kicked b*tt way back when like Helen Skewes Plummer who was the first woman hired as a geologist by an oil company.
I have hope that these feelings will falter as time passes and I become more comfortable at work. I’d like to close this off by saying this: it’s not easy but we are strong, we took the task of being a lady geo and we will continue to break the barriers (and the rocks!) until we have to and more.
If you ladies (and hopefully dudes too?) are interested in reading about female geos in the petroleum industry here is a must read: Anomalies-Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology: 1917-2017
You can find this at the APPG Bookstore here: https://www.aapg.org/publications/special-publications/books/details/articleid/45896/anomalies-pioneering-women-in-petroleum-geology-1917-2017
Yours in LadyGeo Sisterhood,