For International Women’s Day, we approached several senior women in the commodities industry to discuss some of the barriers to women entering leadership roles and the commodities market.
Below, we speak to Kelly Murray, Manager of Asset Trading at NextEra
Kelly has worked in the commodity industry since graduating in 2003. She has experience across trading, risk and compliance having worked at Shell and currently NextEra where she has been since 2008. Kelly led a regional team and actually built the trade compliance program that NextEra uses today. She is currently responsible for the hedging activities of NextEra’s merchant assets.
Kelly has a supportive husband, two boys (12 and 10), and two American Bulldogs. She enjoys spending time with her family and competing in local CrossFit competitions.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I think a significant barrier to female leadership is feeling we have to give up in other areas of our lives in order to be successful in our careers. Learning that we can’t do it all and we don’t need to do it all is the key to success. Women wear plenty of different hats, and we sometimes feel that we have to do it all in order to be successful. Prioritizing and delegating appropriately can allow you to focus on things both at work and at home that are the most important. This not only assists in the pursuit of success, but also helps you to maintain a healthy balance in life which allows you to continue climbing the corporate ladder without feeling you have to give up other important aspects of your life.
What advice would you give to women entering the commodity market?
Know your stuff and be confident. The commodities markets can be complicated at times so you have to know what you are talking about in order to gain respect. There are also some strong personalities in the industry, so you have to be confident or your abilities will be questioned. If you know what you are talking about and you show confidence, you will do very well in this industry.
What qualities do you look for in individuals you hire?
Besides job specific qualifications, I am interested in an individual that is hungry to learn, a team player, and always striving to improve. If you have these qualities, you should be successful at just about anything that you do. I can teach an employee about the commodities markets and the specifics of a job, but I can’t teach him/her work ethic so it’s important to me that a potential hire has these qualities.
Read more about how Proco is supporting the #BalanceforBetter campaign here.
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