Stephanie Lickrish is a 21-year old apprentice mechanical engineer. She is in her final year of the Schlumberger Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship scheme which is run in partnership with OPITO.
“When I left school, I really didn’t know what type of career I wanted. I’d seen a lot of advertising in the local press with opportunities for women in the oil and gas industry and I thought if they’re going to give me the chance to pursue this then I thought I should just go for it.
“I started studying an electrical engineering evening course at college but I felt I needed more experience on the practical side of things. I’d heard about the Schlumberger scheme while I was at school so decided I would apply and get the hands on experience I wanted.
I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity and am thoroughly enjoying the process.
“Knowing I was going to be the only female in my year was initially pretty nerve wracking. Then my worries shifted to whether I would fit in with the males on the course and whether they would accept me. It didn’t take long for this worry to disappear and I realised it was more of a stereotype that I’d grown up with, thinking that mechanical engineers are all male when this is actually not the case at all.
“I definitely think there are fewer barriers for women across all jobs in the oil and gas industry and that has been my experience at Schlumberger. At least half of the engineers I meet are women, and it’s really encouraging that both my segment boss who is the wireline president, is a woman as is the European and African president of the company. The opportunities are amazing and you don’t feel as though you somehow stand out for being a woman or are looked at differently for wanting to work in what was once considered a male-dominated career.
“My supervisor Iain Robertson is my mentor. He makes me feel comfortable and is incredibly encouraging, helping me grow in confidence and making me feel part of the Schlumberger family. He has really made me and my colleagues feel part of the team.
“I would like to see myself progressing to becoming a maintenance technician in the short term and then possibly pursuing the route to becoming a supervisor or manager. The opportunities are there, it’s just a case of working hard, taking on board every experience and learning as much as you can.
Taking the Schlumberger Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship route has certainly benefited me this far as have the great women - and men - I’ve met along the way.”