Courtney Hanley

Senior Advisor, EIS Business Planning, Cenovus Energy Inc.

Describe a typical day

I generally don’t have a ‘typical’ day, which is one of the things that keeps my job exciting!  I start my mornings by listening to the news while I get ready so that I can stay plugged into what’s happening in the industry as well as emerging business or technology trends.  Once I’m in the office there may be a scrum with my peers to hear leadership direction, or a meeting with my team to set and balance their priorities for the week. Beyond that, what I’m doing can vary greatly from day to day – I may be presenting a business plan or scorecard performance review to our IT Leadership team, facilitating investment planning workshops, or participating in process design sessions to create or change our planning processes.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

In my role I have a lot of opportunity to learn and try new things.  I work on a team that is willing to think outside the box and challenge the status quo, which makes the office an exciting place to come to each day.  The past several years have been very challenging for the energy industry but I think that’s provided an important impetus to innovate and become more focused on challenging cost structures and inefficiencies. There are a lot of exciting opportunities at Cenovus to drive change.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

At work, I’m most proud of taking on a leadership role at a (relatively) young age.  I was converted from a contractor to an employee last year and started leading a group whose scope continues to grow. I work with a fantastic team and we’ve been able to make great progress in improving previously heavy and disconnected processes.

Outside of work, I’m proud that I’ve still been able to dedicate time to my number one priority: my family and friends.  I had a lot of professional and volunteer commitments in 2016 but was able to be the maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding, get away to New York for a conference and holiday, and host Christmas with my partner for our families, among other things that were very important to me.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

The energy industry is being forced to change to tackle changing supply and demand factors, political uncertainty, demographic shifts, and environmental challenges.  Innovative technologies will play a large role in propelling companies to succeed in the face of uncertainty, and the efficient operations of information technology functions will help support optimized cost structures at those companies.  Groups such as the one I work help set ambitious targets, plan how best to reach those targets, and continually measure performance against them.

Current community involvement efforts.

One program that I’m involved in is In The Lead at Cenovus. Volunteers are trained to act as a coach for a vulnerable young person in the community who has leadership potential, but may not realize it yet.  The approach behind the program is to seek strengths in the young leader, and help them understand how they can maximize the value of those strengths. It’s a rewarding program and enables both the coach and the young leader to give back to their community.

I also recently took on the role of Communications Lead for Young Women in Energy, after having joined as the Blog Coordinator last year.  YWE benefits from an incredibly passionate and dedicated group of volunteers who really care about making a difference, who I get to collaborate with to set direction for how we communicate and engage with our members.

Why YWE?

I initially decided to volunteer with YWE because I was so impressed with the quality of their programming, and the network of women who they brought together.  Each event I attended delivered very high quality and relevant content, and as I became more involved, I became more and more impressed by the thought and effort that goes into curating relevant and meaningful offerings to our members.  The network that YWE attracts also include some of the most ambitious, hardworking and interesting women I’ve met.

What are you reading?

I have too many books on the go at one time, but two that I’m reading are Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, which applies a very logical approach to many decisions we make on a regular basis.  I’m also reading Goop Clean Beauty, which provides some interesting insight into toxins and environmental influences, and the impact they have on our health.