In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, LAGCOE is highlighting women who have been instrumental in the energy industry and supporters of our organization. Our intern, Meredith Privat, interviewed six women. Here is the sixth, Jade Leger. Jade's energy is contagious. Besides being the Economics and Planning Engineering at Delek Krotz Springs Refinery, she is a CrossFit Instructor and the Events Chair for the Professionals of LAGCOE.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
- Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)
Women have had the challenge of being overlooked in history, though there have been many great contributions towards society that would not have been possible without them. We all know about famous names in energy such as Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, but what about Edith Clarke, inventor of the Clarke Calculator, or Lise Meitner, the scientist discovered nuclear fission? Americans highlight the overlooked figures by celebrating Women’s History this month. To commemorate the month of March, LAGCOE will be looking at some modern women in the Energy Industry who have worked hard in their positions in various companies.
Name: Jade Leger
Company/Organization: Delek Krotz Springs Refinery
Position: Economics and Planning Engineer
Jade Leger graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. She started her career doing internships at Occidental Chemical Corp and Chevron. After that, she spent four years in petrochemical manufacturing. Jade currently works as an Economics and Planning Engineer at Delek Krotz Springs Refinery. Jade has been volunteering with LAGCOE for about three years, helping tremendously with the Conference and serving on the Professionals of LAGCOE Executive Committee. Jade is also active within Our Savior’s Church, serving as the Greater Team Lead, Arise Women’s Conference Fun-squad, and a Small Group leader for young women. She is constantly helping everyone around her, especially women, succeed in their careers, faith, and life.
When asked about how her life was affected by the energy industry, Jade replied, “I’m really grateful for the fulfilling career the energy industry has provided me. I grew up on a farm in rural Alabama so knowing where I started and seeing where I am now is incredibly humbling. I can comfortably provide for my family and future, am respected and valued in the workplace, and learn something new every day.” The energy industry in Louisiana and surrounding states has opened opportunities for people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Jade was able to create a great life for herself through the opportunity that the industry has opened for thousands of individuals.
Jade believes that young girls interested in STEM should pursue the careers found in this industry. “Do it! There are plenty of STEM career paths that provide education and advancement opportunities plus comprehensive benefits packages. You may not care about seemingly boring stuff like insurance and retirement accounts right now, but I promise it will matter one day! I am also a huge personal finance nerd and strongly advocate for women to seek financial education so they can confidently understand and manage their finances.” She brings up a good point; the industry is working to provide families the resources they need to be able to maintain good futures for themselves, their spouses, their children, and their families. Some advice that Jade has for women perusing this career path is: “Don’t feel like you have to act like ‘one of the guys’ to be accepted. I’ve found the most success in my career thus far in my current environment. I think this is because I am comfortable bringing my full self to the table. Women think and perceive differently than men, and that is a good thing.” She is right, femininity is a strength. The compassion, empathy, perseverance, and character that women possess make them different, but great in their own way.
Jade was asked if she ever felt that being a woman put her at a disadvantage. She said, “Definitely. I was a 23-year-old female starting out in operations support primarily working with men older than me. I found success by being humble, asking questions, seeking help and knowledge, building relationships, and establishing boundaries. Whether you’re ready for it or not, any time you’re a female in a manufacturing environment, you’re going to attract some unwarranted attention. We are still a minority in industry so people will naturally be curious. It is what you do with the attention that matters. Give respect and you will get it back (most of the time). Embrace challenges because that is when you learn the most. It was in the beginning of my career that I learned to effectively communicate and collaborate with people of many different backgrounds and education levels: a skill that continues to serve me professionally and personally.” In this industry, there are women like Jade who are normalizing the presence of women in energy and setting a good example for the next generation.
Jade gives some insightful statements about paving the way for women in this industry. “I try to be the person I wish I had when I was a young (and very naïve) engineer starting my career. I genuinely enjoy mentoring young women, especially engineers, and try to share lessons I’ve learned. I’ve also donated my time to both LSU and ULL by providing feedback on junior and senior design projects, reviewing resumes, and conducting mock interviews. There’s much about the working world that isn’t conveyed in the classroom, so I try to use these opportunities to prepare the next generation for post-grad life.” It is women like Jade are setting an example for women to achieve professional success.
Blog entry by Meredith Privat. Meredith is an intern with LAGCOE majoring in Visual arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.