Meet Barbara Matos, one of our Subsea Senior Operators, based in Broussard. Onshore, she is responsible for the full maintenance and pressure tests of subsea valves, and whilst offshore, will rig up, operate, and control the subsea package.
Barbara has worked with Expro for nine years, starting her career as a trainee in our Macae base in Brazil after she graduated as an electromechanical technician when she was 17 years old. In 2012, Barbara started working offshore, supporting operations in Canada, US, and Trinidad and Tobago. Today she’s sharing her story all the way from offshore Canada, telling us why she loves her job and the challenges she’s faced.
Why is International Women’s Day important to you?
Women’s day is every day for me when I get up out of bed for my 12 hour shift, knowing that I got so far in my career and there is still more to go; that this will be a new day for learning something new and knowing that I work in such a good company that has always trusted in me, sometimes more than I have myself.
But the specific day is to confirm that we are as good as we want to be, no matter our role.
Our industry has typically been dominated by men. Have you faced any challenges coming into the industry and how did you overcome them?
Yes I have. Sometimes when I get to a new rig, people don’t really trust what I’m doing just because I’m a young woman in the oilfield. But I try to show that I’m not the fragile sex, talking with new people and interacting on operations and safety meetings, showing that I’m confident and knowledgeable on what I’m doing.
When I worked in Trinidad, that was a big challenge. It was more of a cultural challenge as they are not used to seeing women in the field at all, and it took me and them a little while to get used to the situation. In the end, everything worked out fine and they respected me.
Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?
It’s important because each of us thinks in different ways, we have different ideas and that leads to increasing innovation and delivering better results.
What advice do you have for young women looking to get into your field/oil and gas industry?
Trust in yourself, us women can do way more than we sometimes think we can. Learn as much as you can because that what is going to make you stand out from the others.