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00:00:00 Jordan Yates
This episode of The Energy Pipeline is sponsored by Caterpillar Oil and Gas. Since the 1930s, Caterpillar's manufactured engines for drilling production, well service and gas compression. With more than 2100 dealer locations worldwide, Caterpillar offers customers a dedicated support team to assist with their premier power solutions.
00:00:26 Speaker 2
The energy pipeline is your lifeline to all things oil and gas. To drill down deep into the issues impacting our industry. From the frack site to the future of sustainability, hear more about industry issues, tools, and resources to streamline and modernize the future of oil and gas. Welcome to The Energy Pipeline.
00:00:49 Jordan Yates
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Energy Pipeline. It's me, your host, Jordan Yates. Today I am joined by my co- host, Lizzie. Lizzie, say hi.
Hey, everyone. Good to be back.
00:01:01 Jordan Yates
It is good to have you back, Lizzie, we have missed you. We have also brought on another guest who happens to be a Caterpillar employee as well. Miss Brandi English. Brandi, it is so good to have you on. Say hi to everybody.
00:01:15 Brandi English
00:01:17 Jordan Yates
Isn't it so weird when you're talking to people who aren't actually there?
00:01:21 Brandi English
It feels a little strange.
00:01:24 Jordan Yates
I just imagine there's an audience sitting out there and I'm speaking out to them, and then it feels a little bit less weird. Welcome to podcasting.
00:01:34 Brandi English
Thank you. Thank you everyone listening.
00:01:36 Jordan Yates
Yeah, there will be people hearing this, so it'll play well. Lizzie, can you just get us started with some questions so we can get to know Brandi?
Yeah. Hey Brandi, why don't you introduce yourself a little bit, and can you share a bit about your journey in the oil and gas industry? Like what motivated you to enter this field?
00:01:56 Brandi English
Oh, because you can make a lot of money.
00:01:59 Jordan Yates
Girl yeah, yeah. That's why I did it. I was literally so broke, I wanted to make money and I was like, " Petroleum engineers make a lot of money." I want to make money. It's not a bad reason.
00:02:12 Brandi English
That's my big reason. Transitioning from hospitality into oil and gas, I found my nook, and I actually just really grew to like oil and gas, in addition to the benefits of having a nice size check.
00:02:28 Jordan Yates
Yeah, I think that's completely valid because as much as we like to pretend otherwise, money does matter and oil and gas very much so rewards the people who are in it, and a lot of people see that as a huge plus to the industry. It's absolutely no secret. That's why a lot of people like doing it. Besides from that, would you say that having your siblings be in the industry, did they speak highly of it? Did it make you excited to be a part of it?
00:02:56 Brandi English
Absolutely. Seeing the benefits and the opportunities more or less that arose, and their respective careers was just really attractive. They never seemed boxed in to what they could or couldn't do. There was always an open door for them to expand on their own curiosities, and the company really backed them on it. It was really cool to see that as a nice little perk. That's something that I wanted. Yeah.
00:03:26 Jordan Yates
Yeah, I know. Who could blame you for wanting that? I guess then you came into this career later after you'd already started in hospitality, like you said. It wasn't like you grew up and you're like, " This is what I want, this is where I'm going." It was more just like, " Hey, that looks like a pretty good idea. I'm interested." Would you say that you've been pretty happy so far?
00:03:49 Brandi English
Absolutely. It's been really a fun little journey that I've been on I think.
00:03:54 Jordan Yates
I love to hear it. Now that you've been in this industry for a bit, I think you may have noticed, how long has it been since you started?
00:04:03 Brandi English
2015, so eight years.
00:04:06 Jordan Yates
Okay. You've probably noticed when you got in here that it's a bit more of a male- dominated field, and I think we're not shocking anybody by saying this, but throughout the years it has become more popular for women to get into this industry. Obviously, look at the three of us ladies right here, right now on an industry podcast. What would you say is the benefit to having this diversity grow in the industry? Have you ever put much thought into that or is it something that maybe not crosses your mind as much?
00:04:41 Brandi English
I don't think as far as your actual question has ever crossed my mind, but I think I've recognized several times and in several meetings when I am the only woman in the room, but I also recognize that I'm given a voice. I'm given an opportunity to express and contribute to whatever the project may be, and it's been a nice welcome. At the same time, there are opportunities or not opportunities, there are just instances where you find yourself being asked to do maybe some stereotypical things like arranging for a shuttle service or very administrative. I think that goes into people just don't understand what it is that you do and how you fit into the project or whatever collaboration that you may be a part of.
00:05:48 Jordan Yates
I really hate the stereotype that women are good at admin because I'm so bad at admin. I'm like, " Don't put a calendar in front of me. Don't ask me to schedule something. I don't know what's happening." These are the stereotypes that need to be broken. I do not like that.
00:06:02 Brandi English
Yeah. Well, I think all of us are working our way to break those stereotypes too. It's not as heavy as I've experienced before, but it's something to recognize and something to come with your A game every day to know you are just as valued to yourself and to the collaborative project and so forth.
Brandi, here's another question for you. What advice do you have for emerging professionals? This is something I always like to seek out. What do people recommend? What have they learned? I have a notebook of compiled advice over the years. What would you say to young women entering this industry?
00:06:44 Brandi English
I would say take initiative and don't be scared to insert yourself and to learn beyond the scope of the department that you're in. I think this industry values people who know more than just what their job description is, so to speak. In my role, I have had a lot of experience and considered an extension to some project management teams. I think because of that closeness, I was able to learn, speak the same language as them, and it's really valued and been able to enhance the work that I am able to execute and have them bring me in because they recognize the support that I give them. Definitely stay outside of the box all the time, would be some advice that I would give someone. Yeah.
No that's good advice. I think being able to do more and take more on, and like you said, project management that's awesome.
00:07:57 Brandi English
00:08:00 Jordan Yates
Yeah, I like that. I guess something that it just came to my mind as you were saying that, as you're doing things outside of your job description, going from being in an industry like hospitality to oil and gas manufacturing, what you're doing, even though it's marketing, it's so much more technical because the product is just so very different. How has that been adapting to a more technical product rather than something that may be more straightforward?
00:08:27 Brandi English
Well, I think that one of the difference is you know that that product can do so much for the industry and you're just not focused on one hotel, one sales goal revenue, you know the benefit of what it is that you're doing. I'm still learning and I'm still able to grow my mind, and that just has stimulated so much creativity in the work that I do as a market oil and gas professional to really just enhance and find creative avenues to discuss the technicalities of products and going about it in that way. It's really fun because you're like, " Oh, that's what that meant", or, " that's what that does". They are relatable because it's in your everyday life too. That's pretty cool.
Brandi, what does a typical day in the life of Brandi look like?
00:09:31 Brandi English
00:09:35 Jordan Yates
Start with as soon you're out of bed, what do you do?
00:09:37 Brandi English
Well, I have a dog. No. I guess after I get to the office and settled, I really just reflect on that day's priorities, because one thing in the oil and gas industry and in marketing is no two days are the exact same. It's always making sure that you have the bandwidth and time management and that you always have the bandwidth to achieve those goals that you've set out for yourself for the week in addition to finding opportunities that you yourself can grow as well. A day in the life of Brandi as a marketer is different. For instance, today we had lots of our end of week collaboration calls, understanding what we accomplished, what the next week looks like, and we have a new member on our team that I'm helping transition into his role. Next week there'll probably be a lot of that involved in addition to some stakeholder reviews and potentially a photo shoot. It's always exciting, but Lizzie, there's no day that's the same. I can say that with lots of confidence.
It keeps it interesting that's for sure.
00:11:03 Brandi English
00:11:04 Jordan Yates
We had a silly question, which honestly, I guess I thought this being a women in the industry podcast that it would be all depressing and like, " Oh, it's so hard being a woman." I had a question that said, " on a lighter note", but honestly we don't need to be on a lighter note. The note is light. I feel like you've had a good experience and I love that for you, but nonetheless, the question is fun so I have to ask it. If you could compare your experience in the oil and gas industry to any famous movie or fictional character, who or what would it be and why?
00:11:44 Brandi English
This is the one question that I was hoping wasn't going to be asked.
00:11:49 Jordan Yates
Girl, it's a fun question.
00:11:52 Brandi English
There's so many, I don't know. I like in Devil Wears Prada, there's Anne Hathaway who rises and shows her capability and skills and being a woman in fashion and kicking butt. That's actually a really cool movie to compare being specifically a woman in to when you reach your accomplishments and your goals, it just feels like you're on top of the world. I don't know if men feel like that, but I know I feel like that for sure. I think it may be a shared feeling amongst the ladies. I'm going to go with that one.
00:12:32 Jordan Yates
That's a really good comparison actually, because it's so realistic in the sense that it's literally somebody doing their job, accomplishing it. It's not like, " Yeah, I'm Hulk and I love smashing things, and that's what oil and gas feels like."
00:12:50 Brandi English
00:12:50 Jordan Yates
Yeah, your answer was awesome. Lizzie, what do you want to build on from there? I know I'm teeing us up for any direction possible.
You talked about Brandi you have a dog.
00:13:06 Brandi English
I want to know about work- life balance because all I have are dogs now as well. I'm just wondering if you have any tips for me. The energy sector is very demanding both professionally and your personal life, and you see a lot of people working a lot of long hours. How do you find balance between work and life?
00:13:28 Brandi English
Yeah. I think it's important to know work- life balance is customizable to anyone. If you choose to engulf yourself in the news every night and then wake up in the morning and take that information to apply it to what today's objectives are, that's one example. My work- life balance I think is to always be open when I see opportunities outside of the office to learn about oil and gas, keep up with it. I think this is an easy industry to keep up with because it affects your day- to- day life, whether it's gas prices or what's going on in some Permian Basin and there's a job surge there. I also take the time to hang out with my dog and my friends to rejuvenate and recharge. That's also a big thing for me, understanding how I recharge when I need it. I am a big list person, so when I am in doubt, make a list, figure it out, do your own matrix just to get back on track. I don't know if that was very clear, Lizzie, to help you in your own, but I think it's hang out with your dogs as much as you need to. If there is a time where there was a bring your dog to work day, I would be one of those people.
I love it.
00:15:13 Jordan Yates
That's why I'm happy to work from home because every day is a bring your dog to work day and we encourage it. It is fun though hearing you go through this because something that's going through my head through this episode is just the idea of we assume who our listener base is. Maybe it's men, maybe they're in the industry, maybe it's young people in college. A lot of times I try to think, who are we speaking to when we're saying this? What message are we trying to get across? I think right now the cool thing is is say young women are listening, say women who've been in it a while are listening, I think a takeaway so far is just that Brandi, you're just doing your job. You're just living your life and it's a very normal existence you have within this industry. Being a woman in this industry is so much less profound than people make it out to be. I feel like you're such a good example of you get up, you do your job, you are excited about it, you play with your dog, you're just doing the thing. I love that. I think it's cool that you're just showing us that it's just a normal thing for women to work in this industry, and I think you're doing a really good job at showcasing it so far. I just want to say thank you for that.
00:16:31 Brandi English
You're more than welcome. Yeah, I'm not saying it's not something that you don't recognize from the, you could call it lack of diversity in the office or acknowledging yourself sometimes that you are the only woman in the room. There have been times when I've put pressure on myself, " If I'm going to be in this room, I will represent the women of the industry to the best of my capabilities."
00:17:04 Jordan Yates
00:17:04 Brandi English
You do set an example and sometimes you may be the only outlet if people want to have that mindset of men versus women or whatever the case may be. You do in a sense have that responsibility to show your best foot and to represent for all of us. That's what I think we all try and do.
No, absolutely Brandi. You touched on about how sometimes we are the only woman in the room, it can be hard, but in this industry, how do you think that will change, let's say in the next 10 years? How do you think the oil and gas industry will evolve in terms of gender diversity in the next decade?
00:17:44 Brandi English
It will go from one woman to two. I'm just kidding.
00:17:49 Jordan Yates
It's a great statistic.
00:17:52 Brandi English
I just think naturally there will be more of a leadership position influence coming from women, and that's just because they're doing their job and they're kicking ass and they are on their next phase of their growth and their career. If you look at the history of the oil and gas industry, it has been male dominated. It's only recently that women have really started to emerge, and I don't see that slowing down.
00:18:27 Jordan Yates
Absolutely. Something I just had a thought about, which is a question for you, Lizzie and Brandi is Lizzie, you did mechanical engineering in school, right?
00:18:38 Jordan Yates
Okay, so I was used to being the only woman in the room for four and a half years. When I went to the industry I was like, " Okay, this is no different. I get it, it's normal." Lizzie, I'm sure you experienced that too, but Brandi, was it shocking when you showed up and realized that because I guess doing marketing, hospitality, all that, you probably weren't as conditioned to that. How did that feel when you showed up and you're like, " Where are my girls at?"
00:19:08 Brandi English
To add to it, when I first started, I was on a team of women, and then my next job I was on a team where it was just myself and my director who was a woman as well. I think I had mentally prepared for it, just having that insight with my siblings. I was also part of the National Society of Black Engineers, which reflected the diversity. There were a lot of women in it, but there were also more men, so it wasn't as shocking. Every once in a while I would be taken back to say it's just me or I walk into a room and it's just us. Sometimes you can't help but notice the marketing department or my team that I'm on has majority women on it. When we have a guy on the team it's like, " Whoa, welcome to the Ladies Club." I don't know if it's like that for y'all, opposite welcome to the Boys Club, but it's fun to acknowledge. It's also important to acknowledge I think as well.
00:20:26 Jordan Yates
Absolutely. Yeah, I guess we got to get the guy from marketing on and see what it's like being a man in marketing and how we can empower him.
00:20:33 Brandi English
He just started so give him some time.
00:20:37 Jordan Yates
We'll leave him be for a bit. We don't want to harass him just yet.
00:20:41 Brandi English
Save those questions.
00:20:43 Jordan Yates
Yeah, absolutely. Since you've started at Caterpillar, which is a very impressive company to be at, would you have any projects or things you've been a part of that you could tell us about that have been really exciting for you to be a part of?
00:20:59 Brandi English
Yeah, I think every project is exciting to be a part of. There's my blanket statement, but we are a team and I think that every project, to be quite frank, is really important. You find a bit of everyone's expertise contributing to it, and it just is a good reminder that you can't do it all. I think it goes back to my reason to even join the industry, the amount of resources that a company like this can offer you just to help you be good at what you like doing. Yeah, not necessarily specific project, we're still kind of getting our feet wet in some areas as a new team, but just wait. That's all I have to say.
Well, that's half the fun is I feel like when you have new projects and you get to figure it out, that's a different challenge and that's also a fun part of the workday.
00:21:58 Brandi English
Brandi, what do you think or what do you hope would be the most significant mark that you'd like to leave behind in terms of empowering the next generation of women in the energy sector?
00:22:15 Brandi English
I think leading by example, having women entering the industry, maybe pulling me in as an example or someone that they feel confident enough in to mentor would be a great way to leave a living legacy. I don't know if I'm a legacy, but that realm of that line of encouragement of continue to take initiative, not being scared to insert yourself and being able to just continue to share that and educate young ladies that are just as interested in joining this crazy world of oil and gas that we're in.
No, those are great comments.
00:23:06 Jordan Yates
I like that. Given your experience between oil and gas, marketing and all of that, if you had to come up with a new, or not even come up with, if you were to notice in this industry a piece of marketing technology or tool that you wish was more normalized or used more often, what would that be?
00:23:33 Brandi English
I think probably it's on the digital side and COVID taught us that. I think embracing all of these digital technologies that are coming out. ChatGPT, it would be probably one that I would like to find a nice balance and being able to insert into a role like mine without taking away the fun and creativity that I have. I think there are lots of technologies coming out, but understanding how they could be balanced to where there's still that human touch and that thing that cannot be replaced, join your team as an additional resource would be where I would take my game- changing technology to implement.
00:24:32 Jordan Yates
Yeah, that's definitely been a hot topic of every industry lately, ChatGPT. I think it's pretty cool. I like it, like you said, as a tool as an additive and I think a lot of people are afraid to use it, and I'm still a little shocked when I meet people who don't know what it is like, " Well, where have you been? This thing is amazing." Anytime I meet someone who has not used it, I whip out my laptop and I'm like, " Let me show you something. This is very cool." Then the whole fear mongering, " Oh, it's going to take our jobs." I'm like, " If you've used it, you'll know it's not going to take your job, and if that could do your job, you're not doing a very good job. You got to do a little bit more." I think that's a super cool thing for you to point out is ChatGPT. I like it and I like all the integrations that they're creating with it as well. I think it'll be fun to see how that shows up in the oil and gas sector.
00:25:29 Brandi English
00:25:29 Jordan Yates
Lizzie, what about you? Any technologies that you think would be cool?
Well, so honestly, when it comes from a technological innovation side of things, just myself personally, I'm less of an ideas person. I know that that's not my strength. I think there's probably a lot of people that have a lot of better answers to that than me. I'm more of a, " Hey, you got an awesome idea, great, I'll run with it and I can execute it." The ideas aren't, that's not my strength. There's probably lots of new tools, just like ChatGPT such as virtual reality tools that can help out on the engineering front models, show your technology and things like that.
00:26:16 Jordan Yates
I love that answer. I have a very similar standpoint. I'm never going to be the person that invents something. I can take an idea and I can make it happen. I will get it done. If you're like, " Come up with something new." I'm like, " No, I'm not going to do that. I don't know how to do that." Yeah.
It's hard. It takes a certain person, I really think it does or a room of people with different backgrounds.
00:26:41 Jordan Yates
There it is. We've brought it all together. We didn't know how we were going to do it, but Lizzie just did it. This is why we need women in the industry because when it comes time for ideas, we want a room with diverse backgrounds and people in it. There you have it guys. We are empowering women in the industry one accidental idea at a time.
00:27:06 Brandi English
00:27:09 Jordan Yates
Yeah, and I'm okay with it. Brandi, as we are wrapping up, is there anything else that you want to tell the listeners while they are right here listening to you?
00:27:21 Brandi English
Just that now I have my wheels spinning on what could be the next game- changing technology that comes out and how we can use it. No, it's been a pleasure being on the podcast with you all. Thanks for giving me grace in having this be my first time on a podcast. I really appreciate it. It's been a lot of fun hanging out with y'all.
00:27:48 Jordan Yates
We've had such a good time. Lizzie, any remaining thoughts from you?
Nope. It was a good conversation. Thanks for joining us, Brandi.
00:27:55 Brandi English
00:27:56 Jordan Yates
Awesome guys. Well, thank you so much for listening to another episode of The Energy Pipeline. We had so much fun with you guys today. Yeah, so once again, I'm your host, Jordan Yates, and I'll see you next week. Bye- bye.
00:28:11 Speaker 2
Come back next week for another episode of The Energy Pipeline, a production of The Oil and Gas Global Network. To learn more go to oggn. com.