Claxton uncovered: a Q&A with Laura Claxton
When we win a key contract or complete a project within a difficult deadline, it’s really rewarding, and I still get a buzz from every project we work on. Business is always a challenge as there are so many stakeholders and dynamics to manage, but you have to understand your strengths and use them to your advantage.
BEING A WOMAN IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY…
It’s always been viewed as a highly male-dominated industry. When I first joined, over 20 years ago, women were just being employed in support roles. Now, there are female drilling engineers, designers and project managers – probably still in the minority, but certainly an improved position to what it was.
As a female Managing Director, I definitely feel a sense of pressure and need to prove myself and gain recognition. However, being a woman maybe gives you the opportunity to be remembered a little more. When I was on-call many years ago, I was asked to help out on an offshore technical issue. After offering advice to the client and mobilising equipment for the project to happen, the client’s engineer was left so stunned he still continues to recount the project even today! I guess he was pleasantly surprised.
My belief is that every role needs to have the right person in terms of ability and attitude – regardless of gender. I certainly don’t think women want any special favours, but my commitment is to ensure that women are not overlooked and that we encourage females to reach their potential. We have female engineers already in the business, and I would love to see that increase in the future.
GETTING NOMINATED AS BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR…
It was really flattering to be nominated for Business Woman of the Year, especially when you see the number of high profile females that have won the award previously, such as Baroness Karren Brady and Hilary Devey CBE.
We’ve all worked hard as a team to grow Claxton’s annual turnover, workforce, international operations and brand over the past eight years, so to get recognition for our efforts was really pleasing. The actual event was much larger than I anticipated, but it was a great experience to meet so many other women achieving success and making a difference in so many fields… proper girl power!
WORKING WITH THE FAMILY…
In truth, I don’t really know anything different, so I find it odd when others say…”I couldn’t work with my family”. You just get used to it and learn to manage it. When at work it’s very much work focussed and about getting the job done, that’s not to say we don’t have the occasional crossed-word and probably say more than we would because of our relationship, but it’s not a big deal.
The tougher part is more trying not to talk shop when with the rest of the family and out of work! That’s really easy to slip into, so it takes more discipline.
LAURA’S PLAN FOR CLAXTON…
Continuing to understand our industry’s changing landscape and interpret our client’s needs to expand our technology, products and service offering is a tricky task, especially across varying regions.
Due to the industry going through a period of change where it is resetting itself, and the need to lower its operating costs, I believe Claxton will have a big role to play in the Decommissioning arena where a lot of parties are now interested, but we have a genuine and long-standing successful track record to draw upon already.
Ultimately, we are a service company, and my goal is to continue to increase the recognition of our brand and its association, so our clients know what they will get every time – a responsive, technically superior and quality service, always. We’re also targeting a drive in international growth and to create a company respected in the oil & gas industry that people want to be a part of.
Decommissioning Case Study Pack
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