For Melvina Stacey the oil and gas industry represented opportunity. It meant moving away from her native Newfoundland, but it also meant opportunities for a young woman interested in the health and safety field.
“Positions in the field that I had chosen and was passionate about were limited in my home province,” she said.
Melvina studied occupational health and safety at the University of New Brunswick.
Her first job in the industry was with ConocoPhillips Canada in Fort McMurray.
Since then Melvina has been involved in multiple high-profile projects.
She has been with Fluor Canada for six years, where she is deputy director of health, safety and environment (HSE).
In that role she was instrumental in launching Fluor’s Culture Building Program, aimed at creating the right environment to enhance the firm’s HSE programs.
“I’m passionate about my role as a safety and environment leader,” she said.
She credits her success at Fluor to several mentors who have influenced her at the company, one of the world’s largest construction firms.
“Anybody who comes into your life is a mentor of some kind as long as you’re open enough to see it that way,” said Melvina.
Although the last five years have been very challenging for the energy industry, she said the importance of the role of HSE continues to grow, in a world where the environment and social issues are paramount.
“HSE is as important as ever,” she said.
After 15 years in the industry she thought she had seen it all – then came COVID-19.
“I’ve seen a lot of change in the last 15 years, but COVID presented some new challenges,” she said.
Although Fluor, like many other firms intricately involved in the energy sector, faced some unexpected hurdles in the pandemic, the company quickly found its footing and moved into a ‘new normal’ that enabled the continued and safe delivery of project commitments, she said.
“Our top leaders were hyper-focused, which created a sense of community,” she said.
She has remained optimistic about the future by remaining focused and flexible herself, she said.
Melvina has continued to be engaged in supporting the communities she has worked in by remaining involved in fundraising and efforts for food banks.
“It’s amazing how many people (in Canada) rely on food banks,” she said.
Fluor is very committed to giving back to the community here in Calgary and in all our project locations.
Over the next decade, she sees the industry going through even more changes than it has already had to deal with, with a shift more to the downstream sector and an emphasis on sustaining capital investments.
She hopes that will mean there will be career opportunities available for those who want to enter the energy sector.
“There are still a lot of people out of work,” she said.
Although she sees herself still being with Fluor five years into the future, she has large ambitions within the company.
“I’d like to see myself executing a large project in another country,” she said.
However, Melvina, who loves her job, added that “I’ll go anywhere the company believes I can be of value.”