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Meet Amy Bowe, a director at Wood Mackenzie, Ltd., a research and consultancy business for the energy, chemicals and extractive industries.
Amy, who received a GRIT Awards at our inaugural ceremony back in March, serves on Wood Mackenzie’s consulting team, working with clients to deliver bespoke solutions to their strategic challenges. Over the past two years, Amy has spearheaded an initiative to develop a new offering that will help the oil and gas industry transition to a lower carbon future by providing standardized, forward-looking, asset-level data on carbon risk exposure.
One of the most important lessons she’s learned throughout her career is the importance of gathering insight from multiple stakeholders to come to the best solution, no matter what the challenge at hand.
“Collective action is necessary to bring about the required change. One or a few cannot dictate the solution for all,” she says.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
AMY BOWE: Like many women with whom I’ve spoken to, I struggle with self-confidence. There are days I could conquer the world and other days where I question why anyone would listen to me. I often feel inadequate to the task — even in cases when I have set expectations myself.
Yet I somehow always manage to achieve what initially seemed unachievable. Cumulatively, these experiences have helped to grow my confidence. Now, each time that doubt creeps in, I think back on these previous experiences and tell myself that, I will overcome.
What’s the worst that could happen even if I do fail? Quite often our fears are greater than the actual consequences. Both these tactics have helped build my self-confidence. Still, overcoming my insecurities is an ongoing challenge that requires constant reinforcement and diligence. Maybe one day I will overcome them for good!
What’s one mistake you made, and what did you learn from it?
AB: I have made many mistakes over the course of my career. Some have been more instructive than others. One mistake I made was on one of the first large consulting projects I ever managed. I took on responsibility of my project director.
He was traveling, which made it easier for me to take the lead in his absence. I never specifically sought his input or guidance. When I sent him the final presentation for review, he had very different ideas about the approach..
We ended up reworking the final analysis together, as a team. The result was a better product. If I had input earlier in the process, we could have avoided the stress of reworking the material at the last minute.
I have learned that even if I can do something myself, it’s important to seek input from all stakeholders to ensure the decision is as strong as possible.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?
AB: The past two years’ effort to develop and promote the upstream oil and gas carbon benchmarking study was rewarding. Also, the work I have done to develop Hess’ corporate climate change strategy has also been an extremely rewarding part of my career.
Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?
AB: Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She put the foundation in place for the Paris Agreement reached in 2015.
She stepped into the role after an attempt to reach a global climate agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen ended in disappointment. Over the next six years, Figueres worked to re-establish trust among UNFCCC member states, while building needed financial support within the private sector. One of the primary reasons for her success was that she abandoned previous top-down solutions for a bottom-up approach.
One or a few cannot dictate the solution for all. I try to remember these lessons in my own efforts to bring transparency to oil and gas sector emissions risk.