McDermott providing the right environment for leaders to emergeJan 18, 2023 by Energy Connects
Shirlie Macatangay, Vice President of QHSES, McDermott spoke exclusively to Energy Connects about her new role and what she has learnt over her long career at McDermott, which started in the Dubai and has now taken her to Houston
Can you tell me a bit more about your new role as global head of QHSES?
I am the overall global functional leader for Quality, Health, Safety, Environment and Security (QHSES) and lead the development and implementation of the organization's QHSES policy and global QHSES strategy. I ensure that implementing the global QHSES plans underpins the company's vision and strategy and supports our project execution and delivery. I am responsible for maintaining competent QHSES professionals across the business and providing them with continuous access to learning and development.
What do you hope to do in the future with your new role?
McDermott has been and continues to be an industry leader in all areas of Quality, Health, Safety, Environment, and Security (QHSES). I want to expand our Taking the Lead (TTL) with QHSES initiative further by partnering with our customers and contractors to share McDermott's best practices that drive its QHSES culture and build a global culture in the industry where everyone leads by example in all areas of QHSES. At McDermott, Taking the Lead means we will proactively develop and support the behaviors and attitudes that lead to a robust QHSES culture and excellence in QHSES performance. This brings a single, united QHSES culture to our diverse workforce and organization, a culture where setting the right example in QHSES attitude and behavior is truly 'in our DNA'.
In addition to the above, technology is changing rapidly and should be embraced to keep the workplace safer and healthier. I want to continuously see McDermott embracing technology when deciding upon what is 'reasonably practicable' and include it when undertaking risk assessments and developing QHSES procedures. I would also focus on optimizing our QHSES processes using technology, with effective implementation and management of change as a significant part of the strategy.
How long have you been with McDermott?
I have been with McDermott for over 20 years now. I joined McDermott in March 2002 at our Jebel Ali Fabrication Yard in Dubai and in 2018 I moved to our corporate office in Houston.
How much did you learn from your time in Dubai?
Our facility in Jebel Ali is my second home and significantly contributed and brought me to where I am. The diversity in that office and fabrication yard has transformed me dramatically from a caterpillar to a butterfly during my exciting metamorphosis and professional journey in McDermott – from being tiny and invisible to being visible and heard.
You have had quite a remarkable rise through your career – why do you think this is?
I never stop learning and developing my skills and continually seek to improve. It was hard work and not always glamorous. I always try not to skip a learning process as this strengthens and nourishes me to sustain my career growth. Whenever an opportunity comes, I open my doors, take risks and action. I focus on the path where I want to be. I keep my focus, especially during the most discouraging setbacks.
What is the importance of mentoring throughout your career?
I would not be where I am right now if I didn’t have mentors who believed in me, especially when I doubted myself. Without of my mentors, I would still be a woman who thinks that her race, gender and color could not bring her to the career path that she wants to take. My mentors throughout my career helped me and have been supporting me in realising my full potential.
Why is safety so important for McDermott?
The safety and well-being of our workforce are core values at McDermott. We place the highest priority on the health and safety of our employees through our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) management system, which is reinforced at all levels of the organisation. Our employees are our most valuable assets. Their abilities, knowledge, and experience cannot be replaced. Our passion is to protect them from harm and illness and ensure they return to their family and loved ones, safe and sound, after work.
What current campaigns are you focusing on around the issue of safety in the industry?
As a significant element of our Taking the Lead with QHSES program, we are evolving to a culture where employees have the duty and obligation to take action when they see an unsafe situation or think a colleague may get injured. We continuously build a culture where everyone, not only our employees but also our partners, subcontractors and customers, becomes engaged in looking out for each other.
Training and competency play a vital role in maintaining a safer workplace. We also focus on continuous learning and development for our craft workforce, including our frontline supervision and investing in our training facilities to support the overall program.