When Joanne Martineau graduated from university, she had her heart set on working at Shell. She recalls driving to her family home by her local office, saying, “Someday I’m going to work there.” Four and a half years ago, that goal became a reality. 

Today, Joanne works at Shell as a Staff Reliability Engineer at Scotford near Fort Saskatchewan, making decisions every day that put her colleagues’ lives in her hands. “If you don’t do things right and you miss something, it could affect somebody’s safety,” she says. “Somebody might not go home safe at the end of the day.  So [my work] definitely has an impact.”

Needless to say, safety is of the utmost importance to Joanne. And the same goes for Shell. “It’s just a really good culture of care for doing the right thing,” she says. “Spending the money where they need to and making sure it’s good, it’s quality, it’s safe…I’ve worked in a lot of different places where that’s not the focus. It’s good to know that everybody’s looking out for one another [here at Shell].”

That spirit of “looking out for one another” goes beyond Joanne’s day-to-day operations. From the very beginning, she was greeted with overwhelming support from her colleagues—in a way that hit very close to home. 

Shortly after starting at Shell, her son fell ill and needed open heart surgery. “I was only here for a couple months and I needed to take some time off,” she said. “My manager said, ‘Absolutely. We’re here, we’re a team, we’re a family.’ And that was absolutely amazing.” With accrued vacations days and no questions asked, Joanne could focus on what mattered most: her son’s health. “It was an amazing relief,” she says.

It was this support system and work-life balance that allowed Joanne to continue pursuing her passion for “challenging the way that people do things.” One of her primary focuses has been helping to eliminate emissions while directing teams to design and execute construction projects.  With her previous assignment in projects, and an opportunity to work in Turnaround group as a field lead, and now moving to the Reliability department, Joanne has had the opportunity to grow and challenge herself. While it’s extremely challenging work, “there’s a lot of resources and a lot of very smart people here to draw from, to learn from.” And she’s proud to say they come from all walks of life.

“You can go into a meeting and if you pay close attention, you’ll see people from different backgrounds, different levels of experience, different countries, different languages, different branches of Shell…There’s representation of everybody,” she says. “One thing that I like is that everybody has a voice no matter if you’re just a brand new student or if you’ve been in this business for twenty some years. You still have an equal voice and people listen.”

In addition to Shell’s incredible diversity, Joanne also raves about the many professional development courses available. She’s found no shortage of opportunities to take her career to the next level.  In fact, she says that Shell pushes you to grow “more than you want to sometimes.”

 “Shell’s the first company that actually says, ‘Okay, here’s your role now, this is what you’re doing, but let’s think about what your next role is going to be and your role after that.’ You need to have your career planned out somewhat so we can help you get there,” she says. “I talked to some people that I’ve worked with at some other companies and…they think, ‘Wow, you’re really fortunate.’ I agree, I am! It is fantastic.”

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