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SPE Java Section Hosts Women in STEM Leadership Talk

Gender diversity and inclusion in the oil and gas industry has been widely promoted in the last decade to advance women in leadership roles. Following this, the SPE Java Section launched an initiative to encourage and empower women in the industry.

The section held a webinar in November, which was moderated by Niesharsa Triaswari from BP Indonesia. In the webinar four high-profile women discussed and shared their leadership and experience in the oil and industry: Shauna Noonan, 2020 SPE president and director of artificial lift engineering at Oxy; Evita H. Legowo, general director of Oil and Gas Government of Indonesia (2008-2012) and professor at Swiss German University; Melanie Cook, president of ExxonMobil Indonesia; and Dian Andyasuri, president of Shell Indonesia.

The opening session was led by Shauna Noonan, who shared her experience and first steps in the industry when she first came to Indonesia working for Chevron. Noonan highlighted the importance that SPE played in her career. Her closing advice was well received by the audience, especially young professionals: “Always have confidence in yourselves; practice your values and promote a strong communication channel with your management.”

Legowo summarized her career experience in becoming the first woman research director at the Development Center for Oil and Gas Technology (LEMIGAS), and later the first woman acting as general director for Oil and Gas Government of Indonesia.  One of her advices to young women was to focus on leadership: “Being a good leader means always to stay focused, committed, be an active listener, and most importantly, to build trust among your peers.”

Cook was the third speaker of the event. She based her presentation on leadership principles that allowed her to become the leader of today:

  1. Be authentic and honest at every single aspect of your personal and professional life
  2. Always do what is right even if it is unpopular
  3. As a leader, your job is to support your colleagues so they can be the best at their role
  4. Leaders need to realize that diversity helps us in learning and making better decisions

The closing speaker, Andyasuri, shared her experience in the downstream side of the industry. According to her, leaders need to focus on priorities, seek improvements, and engage and inspire others to be the best version of themselves. She based her speech on how the company she works for promotes gender diversity and encourages women to apply for leadership roles within the organization.

The event ended with a question and answer roundtable session.


Sri Konsep Harum Wicaksono is a member of the TWA editorial committee.

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