Connecting

November 1, 2018
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Recent figures from the Office for Students show that women with first class degree classifications are less likely to be in highly skilled employment than their male counterparts, making it more important than ever to celebrate and value diversity within the workplace. 

NES is committed to building upon diversity in the industries we work within and to do so, we’re exploring women’s experience in engineering. We spoke to recent university graduate Mishal Hafeez who has overcome working full-time to fund her studying in order to start her career as an Assistant Scientist. She is working in the Bio Domain Department within Bio Engineering and BioSciences.

 1. What brought you into the oil and gas industry?

I had begun job searching during my last semester in University. When searching key words, I would search biological or medical related positions. When I read the job description for this position, it made me sit back and think "Oil and Gas, for a Biology Major, I don't see why not!" and decided to apply after determining that my qualifications matched the requirements. It was something I had never considered during my whole college career, but I am very grateful to be a part of it now. My insight and trained skills as a biology major directly contributes to our exploration in Oil and Gas, and so I'm glad I did it! 

2. What’s been your biggest challenge?

I come from a lower income household. My parents could not support me throughout college, and so I worked full-time hours all while receiving my degree. A huge challenge for me was being as good as the other students in my classes all the while being able to fund my own life. I made mistakes- a lot of mistakes – and made sure to learn from those mistakes. Going through those challenges as a young adult, time management was something that became second nature to me. Financial sense was instilled in me, and gave me a solid foundation to enter any career. I’m happy to say with the help of NES, I’ve been able to overcome those hurdles and find that my challenges are continuing to pay off in the long-run. 

3. Would you recommend your career choice to other women?

Oil and Gas, Corporate America, and Science fields are dominated by men. These fields are notorious for being controlled and acted out by a male presence in every executive position. However, being in the Bioengineering and Biosciences department at my company, I’ve come to find out that the majority of the Chemical Engineers on our staff are women. I am ashamed to say that I did not expect that, but it brought me to the reality that women can, and are, integrating themselves more in these industries and are flourishing while doing so. I would definitely recommend that a woman should do as she would do best, whether it’s being the Lead Scientist in a multimillion dollar project, or the assistant to that scientist. 

4. How have you found support from NES?

I began searching for my career the last semester of my undergraduate degree and was fortunate enough to “run into” NES two weeks after my graduation. Though I had previously been employed, a proper career in a multibillion dollar oil and gas company was something that was foreign territory to me. NES, particularly the Recruitment Consultant was able to give me the guidance that was necessary for success. From proper attire to follow up calls, NES took the time to guide me to success in landing this position, something I could be eternally grateful for as this could become a lifelong career. ​

NES and Diversity

With over 60 offices around the globe, NES has a diverse workforce and we recognise, respect and value the diverse nature of the wider society in which we operate. We are proud to partner with APSCO’s “Women in recruitment” action group and have committed to their Gender Equality Charter; we are a member of Pink Petro - an organisation dedicated to connecting and advancing women in Energy and last year we conducted a survey in partnership with Energy Jobline that asked over 1000 female engineers how they feel about working in the industry.


We are committed to increasing job opportunities for women and helping client to meet their diversity goals. If you're an employer looking for assistance with your staffing requirements, please contact us.

Looking for our previous editions? Read our interviews with Brenda MulrooneyVictoria WholNatasche CronjeLexi Meeke, and Rose Button.