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Marie Planckaert

Marie, Aiming to Inspire the next Generation of Female Engineers

Marie, Vice-President for Geosciences and Reservoir, shares her views on women’s under-representation in technical fields. Her objective is to encourage women to pursue careers in sciences, and to highlight the contribution and diversity that women engineers can bring to the table.

Better Representation in our Industry

I had a mentor a few years ago, who helped me define my career path, and more importantly, how to progress in it. He encouraged me to reflect on my past experiences, to seek future job prospects, and to form my own choices. This experience allowed me to conquer my self-doubts, and to open myself to different opportunities.

My aim is to offer that type of guidance to female engineers, and to help demonstrate that the industry in general, and the energy sector in particular, can offer an interesting career path. I hope to inspire female engineers to follow their passion and open up to new and challenging, yet rewarding work experiences.

Today, women around the world account for less than 30%* of those employed in STEM positions, and we need to work towards more gender diversity and inclusion.

First steps to Women Empowerment

At Total, the first step was for decision makers to recognize that our industry cannot fully advance without the involvement and aptitude of half its population.
With that realization, Total founded TWICE, Total’s Network for Women in 2007, to bridge its women employees and introduce them to professional and technical fields. I am proud to be a part of that network which offers tools to link newcomers with experts, through mentoring, meetings, talks, and training workshops.

I also joined the “Elles Bougent” (Girls move) association in which Total is a partner. It is a form of mentorship, which connects teenage girls who are passionate about science, with women who are experienced in their respective fields. It encourages dialogue between the two, and counselling for potential technical career paths.

 

Building a Network in Qatar

In Qatar, we are observing an increasing interest to study STEM subjects among female students, particularly in Qatar Foundation and Qatar University.
To support this, Total is building a network to help women advance their careers, by giving them the opportunity to network, discuss diversity-related issues and mutually support each other.

In July 2020, I participated in a panel session on ‘Women in Oil & Gas Technical Leadership’ organized by Qatar Society of Petroleum Engineers (Q-SPE), where alongside other amazing women leaders, I discussed my journey of learning, reflection and growth in my career. It was refreshing to see many young student engineers and professionals interact with us and ask for advice.

We hope that our collective efforts will prove fruitful with more community-building and better representation in female engineering academics and professionals in Qatar. Our ultimate goal will be fulfilled when women will be able to live up to their full potential.

 

"Your career is not going to be a straight line, but the journey will equip you with new skills, and new technical interests that will unlock your full potential."

SHORT RESUME

2019 - Present

Vice President, Geosciences and Reservoir, Total E&P Golfe

2017 - 2019

Head of Petrophysics Synthesis and Interpretation, Total Headquarters (Pau)

2015 - 2017

Senior Reservoir Engineer for Enhanced oil recovery, Total Headquarters (Pau)

2010 - 2015

Senior reservoir Engineer, Total E&P Canada (seconded to ConocoPhillips Canada)

2006 - 2010

Reservoir Engineer Ekofisk, Total E&P Norge AS