Although the masculine gender predominates in the Colombian energy sector, in this edition Colombia Energía wanted to highlight the important work of four professional women who with their knowledge contribute to the development of the industry. This is Lida Álvarez, Yasmin Merchán, Tatiana Martínez and Claudia Páez (Baker Hughes).
Their passion, effort and experience position them as women referents. With their skills they demonstrate the great potential they have when it comes to achieving each of the objectives they set. Their stories are an example that limits do not exist when excellence prevails.
** The following narratives, opinions and responses are merely in the personal capacity of some Baker Hughes employees and in no way commit or compel Baker Hughes of Colombia.
Lida Álvarez, a freehand woman
The engineer Lida Álvarez is a dedicated, passionate woman who with effort has achieved everything that has been proposed in life. At 29, he holds the position of Electromechanical Maintenance Technician II at Baker Hughes, a world-class company with local knowledge that operates in more than 80 countries worldwide.
Born in Paz de Ariporo, Casanare, Lida is the seventh daughter of a family of nine brothers. He enthusiastically tells how since childhood he has felt an affinity for the industry, especially with regard to the handling of machinery, which is why he graduated from the school as a technical bachelor with an emphasis on electricity and also made a technician in electrical installations.
Once the school was completed and in search of continuing to prepare academically, in 2010 Álvarez moved to Yopal where he studied industrial automation in the Seine. Two years later, after finishing the technology, Lida began the job search to carry out her internship, however, she comments that at that time it was more difficult to get a job, because in the sector they were requesting more men than women.
Despite this, Baker Hughes opened the doors as an apprentice and began his professional career there. In 2013, when she finished her internship period, she was hired by the company that, in her commitment to foster an inclusive and collaborative culture helping her employees, supported her so that in 2014 she traveled to Mexico, in order to train in maintenance of tools
After four years at Baker Hughes, Lida graduated as an industrial engineer. Satisfied by this achievement, she affirms that “although things sometimes seem impossible, when one wants to achieve what is proposed, one can achieve it”. In the workshop the only women so far are her and her partner Yasmin; With their work they seek to continue opening spaces of inclusion for women day after day, because for them or for Baker Hughes gender is an impediment to carry out their work with excellence.
In the medium term, Lida hopes to continue growing professionally in the company, she would like to take care of the direction of the tools in the wells. He also dreams of traveling and knowing the world. When asked what he advises future generations, with encouragement, the engineer says that “it is important that young people be trained in what they love so that in the future they contribute to society and contribute to the environment.”
Yasmin Merchán, an example of sacrifice and effort
Yasmin Merchán is the only daughter of María Fanny Merchán, the woman who has managed to push her forward, supporting her and being a great example for her life. He was born in Boyacá, but grew up in Yopal, Casanare, where he finished his studies as a technical bachelor.
Her interest in the industry motivated her to study Technology in electronic maintenance and industrial instruments in the Seine. When he finished his studies, like his partner Lida, he was in search of a company that would allow him to do his internship. In this way, he arrived at Baker Hughes, where he put his knowledge and skills at the service of the company, which allowed him to stand out and be hired later.
Baker Hughes has given Yasmin multiple opportunities, such as the possibility of traveling to Brazil for training in Workmanship standards. “As time goes by I see how my personal and professional goals have been built. Today I continue working in this great company as an Electromechanical Maintenance Technician II in activities that I love, ”says Yasmin with satisfaction.
To date, Yasmin is in the seventh semester of electronic engineering and his desire, in the short term, is to become a professional, a dream in which his mother has played a fundamental role, since he has been the architect of his successes. When he talks about her, Yasmin gets excited and with tears of emotion, he says that, “thanks to her I am the person I am, I thank her for all her sacrifice and I hope she feels proud of me,” she said.
With the example of his mother, head of household, Yasmin is sure of the power that women have to achieve what they set out to do. He considers that the feminine gender should not fear for being supposedly “weak”, but on the contrary, take risks, try and, with confidence, demonstrate how strong women can become when they are empowered.
For Yasmin, in this regard, Baker Hughes has undoubtedly been essential, considering that the company supports its employees without any discrimination to grow in all areas. Therefore, the future engineer concludes by saying that, “we must project ourselves towards what we want and gradually go looking for that objective. Knock on all doors until we find the place where we should be, ”he shared.
Tatiana Martínez, making a difference
Petroleum Engineer from Universidad América and current Engineering and Applications Manager in Colombia for Baker Hughes, Tatiana Martínez leads a team in which for now 80 percent are men. Although this, of course, implies a great challenge, for the engineer the most important thing is to generate a good working environment where harmony, communication and joint work prevail for the achievement of optimal results.
Since I was in school I dreamed of working in a profession that made a difference, that’s why I studied petroleum engineering at a time when the presence of male students prevailed in the classroom. However, he always had the support of his parents, his twin sister and his older brother. In this way, Tatiana began her career doing internships in a drill company, which allowed her to learn about the work in a well in Piedemonte where she learned about drilling operations. Subsequently, he worked in other companies in areas such as drilling engineering, engineering applications, technical support in operations and commercial areas, carrying out multiple projects with equipment from different product lines.
Some time later, the engineer arrived at Baker Hughes to work as a drilling engineer. From now on, she started her career as an application engineer, a position in which she has led groups and that, after a while, allowed her to ascend to her current position.
It recognizes that in the industry it is rare to see a woman leading a group, however, she highlights Baker Hughes as a company that strives to include more and more women, which is reflected in its current Women’s empowerment campaign. “They are giving us the opportunity to demonstrate our skills and the great potential we have to contribute to an organization like this,” Martínez said.
For Tatiana, the inclusion of one or several women in the work teams makes a difference and this is clearly appreciated with the current Baker Hughes Line Manager for Colombia, a woman who, according to her, “has sought for union and interaction of the group, thus achieving success ”.
At 35, the engineer Martínez is planning to direct her career towards the technical and commercial part, especially in the area of operations, which allows her to interact with both technical and commercial teams. Another of his professional goals is to leave the country, cover areas of influence and gain experience in that area. “I would like to lead a region,” he concludes.
Claudia Páez, balance and wisdom
Petroleum engineer Claudia Páez Manager of the Baker Hughes Directional Drilling line in Colombia, among the Product Line Managers, Claudia is the only Woman. “I feel the responsibility of fulfilling each of the objectives proposed by the company, I want to demonstrate, together with my team, that all the initiatives that we are carrying out are differentiating and have an impact on the other service lines,” said Páez.
For this entrepreneur, the family plays a fundamental role in her life, because they are the engine to continue growing personally and professionally. That is why she appreciates the unconditional support of her husband and wishes to be a role model for her daughters. “With my husband we have always had our home as a priority, every day we see the fruits of building together what we are today as a couple, parents and professionals,” said the engineer.
However, she has not always been with them, work circumstances have made her stay away from her loved ones for several years. Working outside the country in offshore deep water operations was perhaps one of the biggest challenges that the engineer has assumed, because, although she managed to gain experience in operations other than conventional ones, she was deprived of sharing unique and special moments with her husband and daughters. “For my family, I made the decision to return to Colombia to look for a job that would allow me to be with him,” Claudia shared.
That is why, for her, the limits do not exist, they are a construction that people make about themselves, hence inviting future petroleum engineers to reach their expectations. For the engineer Páez, the financial acumen makes a difference and positions women. “We must venture into these industries that lack diversity to become leaders,” he says.
ree firmly in the power of women, does not think that motherhood is an impediment to professional development and considers that the so-called “weak sex” does not exist and is nothing more than a social construction that has stigmatized the female gender throughout the history. Our leaders in the Organization have demonstrated the balance of family and work and that is why they have positioned themselves in High Leadership positions and are our role models for those of us in the process of growth within the Company. I have been privileged to belong to Baker Hughes, and to give me the opportunity to grow and allow me to challenge myself in this position.