Blog & News

From Gender Balance to Managing Petro-Technical Professionals in the Current Climate!

Thu 03 November 2016

Category: Petex

PETEX 2016 will host an “Explore your Career” Zone, aimed at anyone from graduates to experienced E&P professionals, the employed and the currently unemployed, those wishing to set up a business and those running a business. It is intended to be a feedstock of ideas and resources for individuals and companies to make the most of the current economic conditions.

As part of this career theme, PETEX will host from 3:00pm on Wednesday 16th of November talks from the following:

  • Maria Irvin (VP HR Talent & Development at Shell) on “Gender Balance at Shell – Myths, Dilemmas and Opportunities”. This paper will take an overall look at business case for diversity in the work force, the talent pipeline and challenge of maintaining and improving gender diversity and explore some of the myths around why we still struggle with gender diversity and finally examine the levers we can pull to significantly improve (gender) diversity in the workforce.
  • Henry Edmundson (Consultant at R9 Energy Consultants) on “Managing Petro-Technical Professionals in a Conservative Business Environment”. With slowing energy demand and uncertain pricing, the nurturing of technical talent in the E&P industry faces fresh challenges. With recent massive lay-offs and lower recruiting levels, companies must maximize return from a smaller reservoir of expertise. This paper will review some key dynamics between management and technical professionals to ensure a continuation of the industry’s excellent record of technical innovation.

Talks will be followed by a Question and Answer Session, and no doubt will generate a lively discussion.


Notes on Speakers:

Maria Irvin (VP HR Talent and Development, Upstream). With an honours degree in Chemical Engineering, she joined Shell in 2004 after engineering and project management roles in the oil and gas and mining industries.  Her first role in Shell was supporting the set up of the renowned Project Academy. Following this she moved into HR related roles; including HR business partnering and leading a team of internal business consultants working across the breadth of the Shell Upstream International portfolio. In 2015 she took on her current role, where she leads the talent management agenda for the global Upstream business, including senior resourcing and succession, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Development and graduate and experienced recruitment.

Henry Edmundson recently retired from a 47-year career with Schlumberger. During his last 15 years, Henry was worldwide Director of Petro-Technical Expertise, responsible for the knowledge management, technical career ladder, competency management, and training platforms for Schlumberger’s several thousand technical staff worldwide. He was also responsible for the company’s relationships with universities worldwide. He is currently a director of R9 Energy Consultants. Last year he co-wrote and published the first ever history of technical innovation in the oilfield, entitled “Groundbreakers”.

The talks will take place immediately after the Exploration Managers lunch and can be found at the rear of the Exhibition Floor, with access through the International Pavilion.

As space is limited, please register your interest in attending under Free Events at as soon as possible. Don’t forget to register for Petex if you have not done so We look forward to seeing you.


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