5 Pieces of Advice for Women Looking to Grow Their Careers in Male-Dominated Fields

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Nyoca Davis

Photo courtesy of Eversource

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April 19, 2024 at 2:44PM UTC

Nyoca Davis, supervisor of Liquefied Natural Gas Compliance at Eversource, manages her team’s operational and compliance activities.

“One of the most rewarding [aspects of my job] is working with a team that believes in a shared vision and is open to and supportive of implementing programs that are geared toward the safety, reliability and success of our business,” Davis says.

Sure, challenges certainly arise. She works in a male-dominated field — and one that has seen an increase in regulatory oversight and requirements over the last few years, no less. But she finds her work fascinating and fulfilling. 

That’s why we caught up with Davis to talk more about her role, as well as her advice for other women who want to work in primarily male-dominated industries. Here’s what she had to say.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in male-dominated field, and how did you get your start?

I did not intentionally choose to pursue a career in a male-dominated field but, rather, I acted on where my passion was — and the doors of opportunity God provided.

From an early age, I was always intrigued by how everything is related. I later came to learn that as the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

However, my journey to engineering truly started at Café Blue, a coffee shop in Jamaica. There, I was speaking to a political science professor about what subjects I enjoyed, when a retired marketing manager, who overheard our conversation, interjected and recommended  the chemical engineering field.

Fast-forward two-and-a-half years later, and I was now enrolled in a Grand Challenges seminar, leading a team to design a biofuel system for a self-sustainable school in Paraguay as part of my Chemical Engineering Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. There, I was introduced to the world of Energy — and a more defined passion. 

Can you tell us more about your career journey in this field?  How did you grow and what resources/support systems helped you get where you are today?

Having conversations with alumni and utilizing the resources and services offered through my college’s Career Development Center, I was able to secure a Process Engineering internship at a biomedical Company, working at their biomass Plant. This experience made me realize that I favor working in a hybrid (office and processing facility) environment. During my senior year, I attended a career fair and had an insightful conversation with an Eversource employee, speaking about my passions and experiences. That person later recommended me for the Gas Management Trainee Program — to which I was accepted! 

Over the course of two years, I rotated throughout different areas of the Eversource gas business and took on roles in areas such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Meter Service, Gas Control, Instrumentation and Regulation, Gas Construction and Gas Distribution.

My growth in the business was propelled by the support of my managers and my fellow colleagues who have not only mentored and encouraged me, but who have also stood in the gap and advocated for me.

Could you tell us more about you and your current job? What does your current role involve?

I manage the operational and compliance activities at the Liquified Natural Gas Facilities. This includes:

  • Owning and maintaining the regulatory compliance programs.

  • Ensuring strategies, procedures and assurance processes are in place to address company, local, state and federal compliance activities and requirements.

  • Developing and implementing process-improvements measures within these programs, and ensuring that all plans are tailored to the current or adopted codes utilized by regulatory agencies to evaluate LNG facilities.

  • Developing and performing internal compliance assurance activities at the LNG facilities in preparation for federal and state audits.

  • Cooperating with LNG operations personnel, engineering and other stakeholders to share lessons learned, experiences and knowledge to ensure safe, reliable and efficient operations.

  • Coordinating the collection of compliance documents from LNG Plant Management and other stakeholders to provide for regulatory filing requirements and information requests.

  • Ensuring consistent policies are established and appropriate procedures are developed and implemented to monitor improper operational activities and to identify and report areas of potential risk.

What would you say to other women who are unsure if they have a place in a male-dominated industry?

You belong as your authentic self. Oftentimes, we can find ourselves at a place where we feel as though, in order for us to be in a male-dominated industry, we have to be like men. I have learned to show up to work as myself — using my God-given gifts, talents and strengths to thrive in an environment that needs me for me

What’s your best advice for other women who are considering starting or pivoting to a career in your industry?

  1. Have a variety of mentors, including men.

  2. Do not compete or compare yourself with others; challenge yourself to be better than the you you were yesterday.

  3. Strategize for your success.

  4. Embrace your natural leadership style, but be open to learning from others.

  5. Be an advocate for yourself.

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