Breaking the Gas Ceiling: Women in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Breaking the Gas Ceiling: Women in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry


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The international petroleum industry has long been known the world over as a “good old boys’ club” and nowhere is the oil and gas industry’s gender imbalance more apparent than offshore. The untold story, shared in these pages, is about the women who have been among the first to inhabit this world, and whose stories previously have been a missing part of the history of the industry.

"As a CEO, I believe it is imperative for today’s generation of young women to realize there is a seat for them in the boards of oil & gas companies as the “gas ceiling” can be broken quicker and easier than before. Reading this book, they will think about these women who have gone before them and broken down those barriers in order to give them new opportunities."

-- Maria Moræus Hanssen, CEO, DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG

"My belief is that diversity is key to both creativity and solid long-term business results. Even in a country like Norway, where professional gender diversity is greater than in any other country I have had interactions with, we have an underrepresentation of women in top management positions. I would therefore like to express my appreciation to Rebecca Ponton for keeping this important subject on the agenda by presenting to us positive, impressive and, at the same time, obtainable role models."

-- Grethe K. Moen, CEO and President, Petoro AS

"As the industry now is more complex and faces more uncertainty, women will be more important contributors, especially in management and communication. Women could be just what is needed!"

-- Karen Sund, Founder Sund Energy AS

"Everyone needs role models – and role models that look like you are even better. For women, the oil and gas industry has historically been pretty thin on role models for young women to look up to. Rebecca Ponton has provided an outstanding compilation of role models for all women who aspire to success in one of the most important industries of modern times."

-- Dave Payne, Chevron VP Drilling & Completions

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From the World Voices Series at Modern History Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615994441
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Publication date: 04/25/2019
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Ponton is an American journalist. Her work has appeared in numerous American and international publications, such as National Geographic Traveler, CNN Traveller, Texas Monthly, AAA Texas Journey, MORE, Ms. Magazine, Arabian Woman, Emirates Woman, Dubai Airport Magazine, Gulf Air, and others. She is also a petroleum land¬man and obtained her certification through the University of Texas Petroleum Extension (PETEX). As an expatriate from 1992 - 2006, she lived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Baku, Azerbaijan, and Almaty, Kazakhstan. During her time in Azerbaijan, she wrote two booklets for the United Nations. This is her first book and the first in the Breaking the GAS Ceiling™ series. She received her Bachelor of Arts English from the University of Texas - San Antonio (UTSA). A native Texan, originally from Corpus Christi, she currently lives in San Antonio.
Rebecca can be reached at Further details about the book can be found at

Table of Contents

Foreword by Marie-José Nadeau, C.M7. iii

Preface v

Chapter 1: WOW – Women on Water: A Brief History of Women Offshore 1

Chapter 2: Margaret McMillan – Water Safety Pioneer 17

Chapter 3: Yassmin Abdel-Magied – Mechanical Engineer 25

Chapter 4: Sara Akbar – Co-founder & CEO Kuwait Energy 37

Chapter 5: Jerry Tardivo Alcoser – Petroleum Engineer 47

Chapter 6: Ann Cairns – President International Markets MasterCard Worldwide 55

Chapter 7: In Memoriam – Sarah Helen Darnley (1968 –2013) 67

Chapter 8: Myrtle Dawes – Chemical Engineer 73

Chapter 9: Anne Grete Ellingsen – CEO GCE NODE 85

Chapter 10: Arlete Fastudo – Sonagol's First Female Marine Engineer 99

Chapter 11: Abigail Ross Hopper – Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) 2015 – 2017 107

Chapter 12: Eve Howell – First Woman Head of Australia's North West Shelf 117

Chapter 13: Dr. Amy Jadesimi – Managing Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) 129

Chapter 14: In Memoriam – Zara Ibrahim Khatib, PhD (1953 – 2014) 143

Chapter 15: Las Mujeres en las Plataformas de Pemex (The Women on the Platforms of Pemex) 153

Chapter 16 Mieko Mahi – Photographer/Videographer 159

Chapter 17: Deirdre Michie – First Female CEO Oil & Gas UK 171

Chapter 18: Scarlett Mummery – Geotechnical Engineer 177

Chapter 19: Jennifer DiGeso Norwood – First Female Offshore Installation Manager Maersk Drilling 185

Chapter 20: Sue Jane Taylor – Fine Artist & Visual Documenter 195

Chapter 21: Pat Thomson – Materials and Logistics Superintendent 205

Chapter 22: Nina Vorderwülbecke – Helicopter Pilot 213

Chapter 23 Marni Zabarsky – First Female Saturation Diver, Gulf of Mexico 223

Chapter 24: Alyssa Michalke – First female commander Texas A & M Corps of Cadets 233

Afterword 241

Acknowledgements 243

Bibliography 245

About the Author 255

Index 257

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