Tanaquil Chantrill

Sr. Manager for Tax-Research and Development and Government Incentives, Deloitte

Describe a typical day

My job is to help clients with funding and tax incentive opportunities for their technology driven projects. There are so many programs and grants available and many companies do not have the time or the dedicated resources to ensure their organization is maximizing the benefits.   I spend a typical day conducting technical interviews with clients, writing technical briefs and researching the innovative work being done by companies in Alberta.  The majority of my clients are in the energy sector, including producers, oilfield services, utilities and renewable energy companies. I often meet with government agencies and think tanks in order to stay on top of leading technologies and learn about opportunities that may be relevant to my clients.
I also wear a second hat — I am part of the leadership team providing Deloitte Training Services.  We offer deep technical knowledge and business acumen for organizations to increase their workforce skills.

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

I have been part of the Deloitte organization for 11 years and I love the freedom and entrepreneurial mindset our firm encourages.  It feels like I am a small business owner helping lead our practice, with the ability to tap into the vast experience and support our firm offers. We have engineers, accountants and lawyers working together in the tax practice.  My team has had very little turnover; most of us having worked together for 10 years.  We can play to each other’s strengths because we know each other so well … sometimes too well!

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

I am most proud of how my husband and I raise our young family with the pressures of demanding careers with long hours.  We work well as a team and support each other across all facets - he has his nights out with his buddies for a beer and I have my wine and girlfriend nights out and we share in the chores we dread doing, i.e. making the kid’s lunches! I hope we are setting a good example for our son and daughter.
My greatest accomplishment at work is knowing the key role I have played in building our practice’s strong reputation in the marketplace over the past 10 years.  Right now the professional services sector is facing some challenging times, with companies looking to save costs by keeping work in-house.  We offer high value, subject matter expert services that often cannot be taken in-house.  Many of our clients come to us through referrals — the utmost compliment. Hopefully if you ask me next year, my proudest achievement will have been becoming a partner with Deloitte!

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

I am cautiously optimistic.  I work with incredibly smart and innovative clients with both academic and field/operation backgrounds in the energy sector.  I believe as part of the energy industry, we need to continue to provide support to their initiatives and projects.  To advance our industry, you need collaboration on all fronts, from government and research institutions to businesses big and small.  We are seeing more of the mindset that we are all in this together.

Current community involvement efforts.

I belong to the 100 Women Who Care Calgary chapter. It is an opportunity to provide financial support and learn about the amazing local charities that are helping our community. The concept suits women who are busy but want to give back.  I have had the chance to nominate an organization that is close to my heart, Dare to Care, which runs bully prevention programs in schools, workplaces and communities.

I also coach my kids’ soccer teams. Although I love soccer and have been playing since I was 6, I never thought coaching kids would be so challenging and rewarding at the same time.  I have a new respect for teachers!

Why YWE?

I am an engineer working in the energy sector, I am a woman, and I am (relatively) young … but the real reason I belong and support YWE is because I believe we need organizations like YWE to attract more women into the energy sector, provide mentorship and reduce the gender imbalance.  Fifteen years ago I worked on the rigs in the US and Gulf of Mexico.  Typically on location I was the only female, and on the offshore rigs, one female amongst fifty plus males.  It is changing, but too slowly.  The more women we have on the front lines, the more women we will have advancing into leadership, bringing their expertise to the table and contributing to the success of our industry.

What are you reading?

I belong to a book club and always have a book on the go.  Although I enjoy non-fiction and business books, my true passion is award-winning fiction by Canadian authors. Currently I am reading Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis, last year’s Giller Prize winner, which is written from the perspective of dogs.  I am a few chapters in and not sure how I feel about it yet.