Lindsay Stephens

Lindsay Stephens

Environmental Engineer, Government Relations at Encana Corporation

Describe a typical day

A “typical day” for me involves waking up, making breakfast and watching some morning news. I live close to downtown, so am able to walk to the office. I love starting and ending my day with a bit of fresh air and a chance to clear my head (provided it isn’t -40C). I often start my workday as I am walking by checking emails to get a sense of what is waiting for me when I get in.

A good portion of the work that I do is reliant on collaboration. I often will draw on internal subject matter experts to inform a company policy position. We then typically work with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to tailor our company policy position into an industry position. A consensus industry position can be hard to come by and is often the result of numerous meetings around CAPP tables. Our team has joked that our flex dollars should cover the cost of new shoes, given how many times we walk back and forth to CAPP!

The Government Relations team at Encana is focused on improving the bottom line. We are engaged in all stages of policy development in order to assess potential impacts to our business. While there is an understanding that we are driven to seek out efficiencies and mitigate potential cost impacts, our goal is to also look for innovative solutions that could work for industry, government and stakeholders.

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

I enjoy working for Encana as part of a team of dynamic and intelligent young professionals. In the almost four years I have worked here, I have gained experience and as a result have been given increased responsibilities. I am encouraged to interact with industry peers and stakeholders, whether it is sitting on steering committees or on the Board of Directors for Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils. An important “perk” of this role that I have come to greatly appreciate is the exposure to Sr. and Executive Management. I have had some insightful and pointed coaching moments as a result of these interactions that will no doubt serve me well through my career.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

It is easy to turn to formal recognition when talking to proud accomplishments and I do have a couple of examples of formal recognition I am quite proud of. Inside of the work environment I was very proud to be presented the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada’s (PTAC) 2014 Water Innovation Leadership Award. Outside of work my teammates and I successfully completed an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the longest game of Netball (I’d be happy to tell you about what Netball is over coffee!). However, when I truly reflect on the things I am consistently proud of, I keep coming back to the relationships I have formed. I am so proud and fortunate to have such strong relationships with family, friends and colleagues old and new.

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

The political landscapes we are working in, both provincially and federally, have changed drastically over the past six months. This is extremely exciting and somewhat nerve wracking; both feelings that tend to be conjured up in times of change. I am optimistic that these dramatic political changes in our province and country could result in opportunities for advancement of the Oil and Gas industry, specifically when it comes to environmental performance and public acceptance.

Current community involvement efforts.

I currently sit on the Encana Women’s Network Event’s Committee and assist with planning and execution of internal events. Outside of work, I am part of the United Way Gen Next Team involved in planning an upcoming event, called Rouge. I also have recently started volunteering with Green Calgary, assisting with events such as their AGM or green cleaning products workshops. I am passionate about minimizing our footprint, if and when possible, and think that Green Calgary is a great local organization that helps bring tools to the community to be able to do this.

Last, but certainly not least, I am currently volunteering with YWE, organizing the Peer Circle initiative. This has been an incredible endeavor that provides an informal forum for members to engage in discussion on a variety of relevant topics. I hope the success of these circle continues and can be expanded upon.

Why YWE?

From the first YWE event that I attended, I knew this was going to be something special. There is a common message that keeps getting re-iterated by panelists and speakers and that is, “I wish we had something like this when I was navigating through my career.” As a millennial now doing the same, the importance of having access to a community of ambitious, intelligent young women is not lost on me. I encourage those who have not fully taken advantage of what YWE has to offer to do so; try a golf boot camp, join us at a peer circle, ask someone for coffee. It could be the key to building the network that is integral to your success.

What are you reading?

I recently read The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil by Christine Bader. This was recommended to me by a friend and colleague. The content certainly resonated with me and I am sure it would with a number of YWE members.

I am now onto a less work-related book (I like to go back and forth) and am reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers – Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity written by Katherine Boo. So far it is excellent.