Suggested Readings

Quest of the Derrickman’s Daughter
J.W. Jolet (Author)
Angelina Leger (Illustrator)

This inspiring business biography traces the life story of legendary oilfield executive Bonnie Maillet and the highly successful company she founded in south Louisiana. The book deals with the adventures of Ms. Maillet a third-generation oil industry professional and her Saudi Arabian business partner, and their considerable efforts to land a contract to sell products to the biggest oil company in the world.

Energy & the City
by Joan T. Eischen,

Women are critical for the future success of the energy industry. Talent scarcity has gained new relevance now that energy is such a hot topic in international politics. “Energy and the City” profiles thirty-one senior executive women in the energy industry. The women interviewed talked about the changes to both the workplace and home front, which brought for those who followed better work environments and personal choices. The book focuses on the challenges women faced as a minority in a room full of men and how they overcame obstacles. In the interviews that were conducted, three overarching themes emerged.

  • Visibility leads the discussion on the first major areas: creating your own personal brand and finding your voice in the shift from team player to leader.
  • Sponsorship is required for advancement. Mentoring is valuable for personal development and networking is essential, but women need sponsors to get ahead.
  • Work/life balance is the largest obstacle for career advancement and the women interviewed share their experiences on how they managed career and family. Embarking on a new career can be daunting.

If you are uncertain about your place in an organization or industry, you can find yourself wondering, “Is it just me?” While this tendency is not unique to women, the guidance of women who have come before gives you the confidence to move forward in your career from entry level to executive level. Energy and the City helps readers to climb the corporate ladder and avoid missteps along the way.

The Boom
by Russell Gold

Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of “fracking.” Recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for his work, Gold has traveled along the pipelines and into the hubs of this country’s energy infrastructure; he has visited frack sites from Texas to North Dakota; and he has conducted thousands of interviews with engineers and wildcatters, CEOs and roughnecks, environmentalists and politicians. He has also sifted through reams of engineering reports, lawsuit transcripts, and financial filings. The result is an essential book—a commanding piece of journalism, an astounding study of human ingenuity, and an epic work of storytelling.

Queen of the Oil Club:The Intrepid Wanda Jablonski and the Power of Information
by Anna Rubino

Wanda Jablonski was an investigative reporter, publisher, and power broker who came to wield exceptional influence on twentieth-century geopolitics by shedding light on the secretive world of oil from the 1950s through the 1980s . . . Tenacious and glamorous, Wanda – as she was known in the oil world – coaxed her way into exploration sites in Middle Eastern deserts, drilling camps in the Venezuelan jungle, male-only boardrooms in New York and London, and the king’s harem in Saudi Arabia. She survived threats, boycotts, and suspicions of espionage as she elicited information and insight from CEOs of the oil giants and political leaders, including the Shah of Iran . . .

The American Shales
by Nissa Darbonne

The history of the U.S. shale plays, their founders and their leaders—from rich rock, unconventional ideas and unwavering determination to a renewed world energy future.

From the Author
Writing what was to be a three- or four-page feature in September 2011 of how Petrohawk Energy Corp. was launched with $60 million in 2004 and sold for $15.1 billion, the article became an eight-pager for all of the events–small, big and bigger–that led up to that.

“You should write a book!” Steve Herod, a Petrohawk executive vice president at the time, said, when asked to help fact-check it. The article was pared to four or five pages upon layout, of course, but the long version made it online.
A few weeks later, I ran into Jim Parkman, co-founder of energy investment-banking firms Petrie Parkman & Co. and, currently, Parkman Whaling LLC, as I often do on Texas Avenue alongside the Chase office tower downtown Houston. Jim had read the Petrohawk article. “You should write a book!” he said. “You should write a book about all of these guys!” I admitted that, while working on the Petrohawk story, I had thought about it . . . –Nissa Darbonne, April 2014

Yassmin’s Story
by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was the only woman and certainly the only Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian background Muslim woman. With her hijab quickly christened a ‘tea cosy’ there could not be a more unlikely place on earth for a young Muslim woman to want to be. This is the story of how she got there, where she is going, and how she wants the world to change.

Have you read any good books about women in the oil and gas industry?  If so, send us the title and your thoughts.

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