Excerpts from K. Denise Rucker Krepp’s review of Breaking the Gas Ceiling in Sea History 170 (Spring 2020)
“I chuckled with familiarity when reading about some of the obstacles discussed in the book because they reminded me of the ones I encountered as a junior officer in the Coast Guard in the late 1990s. At that time, there were no female admirals and only a couple of female captains. We did not know what our future looked like, but collectively the female junior officers—JOs—knew that we’d have to forge it ourselves.”
Ponton’s book helps fill the pipeline. It should be shared with students at the US Coast Guard Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy, the six state maritime academies in the United States, and at similar schools around the world. It will help a job-searching 18-year-old woman realize that careers exist in oil and gas, and that people who look like her are already working in the industry.
“Ponton’s book is a rolodex of role models that can be called upon to provide this assistance. They can share how to negotiate salaries, ask for a bonus, and address sexual harassment. Women in the oil and gas industry have come a long way since the days of Mrs. Furniss’s “exploits,” but there are still challenges to be faced and obstacles to overcome. Doing so won’t be easy, but it can be done. We know it can be done because of the role models highlighted in Ponton’s book.”
K. Denise Rucker Krepp (Washington, DC) is a former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel and former Coast Guard officer. She is a trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society.