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Three SPE Talent Council Surveys and a Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) survey provide valuable insights into how to enhance employee retention. The “big crew change” has altered the workforce in both visible and invisible ways. While it is obvious that more women are working in the petroleum industry, the transition from a workforce largely composed of “dominant earners” to a workforce with many dual career couples has also occurred.
Most women are part of a dual career couple, so better management of dual career couples will enhance retention and advancement of women. Meanwhile, women and dual career couples are under-represented in executive management, most of which continues to be comprised of people who are the “dominant earner” in their family.
The surveys suggest that the lifestyle differences between dominant earners and dual career workers introduce misunderstandings about career dedication and work ethic that can lead to attrition. The members of this new workforce are career-focused, hard-workers, but the new lifestyle means that they are living with different constraints. Modifications to career planning that better balance specific opportunities with flexibility and leverage the 24/7 technology-enabled work-styles can build and retain a more diverse, highly motivated workforce.
Eve Sprunt, Ph.D.
Now a consultant, Eve for Chevron from 2000 through 2013 serving in a wide range of roles most recently as the Advisor, Geological R&D. From 2009 through mid 2012, she was the Business Development Manager, for Chevron Energy Technology Company. From 2006 through 2008, as University Partnership and Recruitment Manager, she managed Chevron’s worldwide recruiting and university philanthropy. Before that as the Senior Technical Advisor for Chevron Technology Ventures and Manager of the Advanced Energy Focus Area, she managed strategic research in non-hydrocarbon energy sources. Earlier, she served as Venture Executive in Chevron Technology Ventures for the Venture Equities and Energy and Power Funds. Her first role with Chevron was as Senior Science and Technology Coordinator, Health, Environment, and Safety, managing the corporation’s global climate change policy.
Before joining Chevron, Sprunt worked for 21 years for Mobil Corp., including positions in upstream new business development. For the first 15 years of her career, Eve worked in research and development in a wide range of technologies, including formation evaluation, formation damage, and hydraulic fracturing, authoring 23 patents and having a significant impact on the assessment and development of major fields.
In 2013, Eve was selected as the recipient of the highest award given by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The SWE Achievement Award is “Bestowed for an outstanding contribution over a SIGNIFICANT period of time in a field of engineering.” She was honored for “game-changing contributions to the petroleum industry, to the science and practice of geosciences and petroleum engineering, and to the advancement of women engineers.”
A member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) since 1980, Sprunt was the 2006 President of SPE. In 2010, she was selected as the recipient of the highest honor that SPE presents to an individual, Honorary Membership. She was recognized as a prolific contributor to the dissemination of technology, as an author, speaker and as a tireless SPE leader, including serving as SPE President. Sprunt is a 2000 SPE Distinguished Member and served as a member of the SPE Board of Directors during 1991–94. She also served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during 1998–99. Sprunt served as Program Committee Chairperson of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in 1988.
She holds 23 patents and has authored 28 technical articles, edited two books, and has written over 120 editorials for petroleum industry publications including SPE’s member publication, Journal of Petroleum Technology and Hart’s E&P. She is a founder of the Society of Core Analysts and has served on visiting committees for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Colorado School of Mines. Sprunt holds BS and MS degrees from MIT in earth and planetary sciences and a PhD degree from Stanford University in geophysics.