Massiel Diez and Jamie Elrod are on a mission to change the conversation about the oil and gas industry. Through their podcast Flipping the Barrel, they’re shining a light on the stories of women in the sector and the ongoing efforts to build inclusion.
“We need groups with diversity to make this happen,” they say. “The younger generation has different drivers, different ways of thinking. We need to be aware of the environment as well."
"As employees in oil and gas, we need to be part of the solution, not the problem. Our industry can create the change.”
We spoke with Jamie and Massiel about the new podcast and their experiences building careers in the energy sector.
What does the title Flipping the Barrel signify?
Massie: We were trying to find different titles that represented the meaning behind our podcast and this one fit the best! Jamie came up with it. It signifies us talking about the industry from a woman's perspective. It’s our turn to talk -- flipping to the other side of the story.
Jamie: There always seems to be a dark cloud when it comes to talking about diversity in oil and gas, but we wanted to shine a light on the industry in a positive way.
What made you want to launch it?
Massie: We realized there are very few resources out there for both men and women in oil and gas. Not many people talk about the industry in general, and there’s even less talk about how supportive the industry has been in creating inclusion. Personally, I wanted to share my story about my oilfield career to try to encourage younger girls to join.
I wanted to show that it isn’t as bad as people portray it to be and that I’ve had a great career and would hope other girls could too. I also felt there weren't enough role models in the industry to look up to. By finding those key women and sharing their oilfield stories, we would be able to motivate and inspire more young girls and boys to see that they too can have this success.
Jamie: We also wanted to highlight how men have played an important role in our development within the industry -- how supportive and influential they have been. Hearing other people’s stories and views highlights how welcoming the industry is to not only women but all types of diversity.
As ALLY Energy founder Katie Mehnert often says, the energy sector has not done enough to attract women employees. How did each of you get into this field and why?
Jamie: I started my career in midstream working for a company called Vopak. I was found on LinkedIn right after college. I knew I wanted to go into the industry but wasn’t sure how. Once I got a taste of it I tailored my resume to showcase what I wanted to do, which was sales. Then, Schlumberger reached out to me via Rigzone. I was hired within a week and they threw me headfirst into Diamond Training, which was basically an engineering course focused on drill bits. I thrived in the class and it has been history ever since.
The industry excited me. It reminded me of my childhood growing up on a ranch. I have always been a tomboy and loved the outdoors. I didn’t want to have to sit behind a desk, I wanted to be out in the field. The industry gave me the opportunity to do all the things I love.
Massie: I had no idea I wanted to join the oilfield. I didn’t know anyone in the industry and had very little knowledge about it. However, Schlumberger gave me the opportunity to discover it on my own during a summer internship.
I started with Schlumberger as a wireline field engineer. They were recruiting women engineers in 2012 because bringing more women into the company was and still is a big focus for them.
From there it’s all history! I knew I wanted to be part of the energy world!