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The Pace at which the Energy Sector is Able to Adapt is Critical, Says Nadia Simao da Costa

Nadia Simao da Costa is the HR People Analytics Supervisor at Chevron.

Nadia Simao da Costa is the HR People Analytics Supervisor at Chevron.

Nadia Simao da Costa is the youngest person to ever be selected for Human Resource (HR) leadership at global energy major Chevron in Angola. Currently serving as the HR People Analytics Supervisor, she brings a new level of expertise to the role, leveraging analytics to develop and manage the workforce of the future for the company. Featured on the 25 Under 40 Energy Women Rising Stars list, da Costa is an example of the central role HR plays in supporting the growth of Africa’s energy sector.

Please share a brief overview of your journey in the energy industry that led to your current role? What are some key achievements or milestones that you are particularly proud of?

I am currently the youngest person to be selected for the HR leadership team for Chevron in Angola. My proven track record as a strong performer and love for helping people grow beyond their comfort zones, has allowed me to seize the opportunities that have been offered to me.

My current role as the People Analytics Supervisor aims to leverage analytics and evidence to develop strategies to manage current and future workforce needs, as well as a strategic partner in the design of HR strategy and processes to support the business, always with a focus on adherence to compliance and safety. I am also an accredited Chevron coach, whereby I am a thought partner to professionals looking to unlock their potential and reach their personal or career objectives.

I have a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. In 2017, I completed my Global Remuneration Professional Certification, and with over 12 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry, specifically in HR, I have had the privilege to learn the different aspects of HR. Starting off as a Total Remuneration Analyst, I was responsible for defining and reviewing compensation and benefits of the company to ensure competitiveness with the market as well as defining performance management strategies in Angola. I have also occupied positions in Expatriate administration and Talent Management, with my first supervisor role being HR Pay & Benefits supervisor responsible for implementation and administration of employee benefit programs and overseeing monthly timely payroll execution for approximately 2,000 employees at the time.

In summary, over the years, these roles have developed a series of critical skills for the role I am in today, for example analytical skills, communication skills and project management to name a few.

The energy industry is known for its complexities. What were some significant challenges you faced along the way, and how did you navigate through them to achieve your goals?

The market conditions, changes in oil price and industry conditions have allowed me to represent HR in different projects within the company, such as reorganizations efforts. As the organization changed, I was part of the team that worked with employees who were leaving the company. Those exit sessions were often emotional, however being able to transmit information with empathy and remove possible barriers helped me to adjust my communication style for different work conditions.

As young professional, wife and mother of four amazing children, the competitive nature of the industry can be a challenge. I am a champion for hybrid work model. I believe that performance should be based on results obtained the right way. Therefore, the flexibility to work from home, when the need arises, is important. But I also believe in the productive connections created from being in the office.

What advice would you give to young females aspiring to excel in the energy sector? Are there any specific strategies or mindsets that helped you overcome obstacles and reach your current position?

As a young professional in a critical position, my competence is often questioned. To aspiring young females, I would say that it is important to continue to focus on your objectives. When you receive feedback, be it positive or constructive, always assume positive intent and learn as much as you can. Growth mindset is extremely important as change is constant, and the faster we adapt, the faster progress can occur.

I’m still growing, and I am sure that there are more challenges ahead. Whenever new challenges arise, I try to keep three things in mind: what have I learnt that I want to continue to demonstrate; what have I learnt that I want to stop doing; and what do I still need to learn?

This nomination is sufficient motivation to encourage me to continue to grow, be more intentional and impactful in the roles that I carry out, whether at a leadership level or not. My love for helping people grow and succeed in their own spaces is an anchor when I find myself questioning why I do what I do.

A career in energy can be demanding. Could you describe a typical day in your life?

Similar to most people in Angola, my day starts with early commute, which instills a sense of discipline and routine. My focus is to ensure my team’s deliverables are aligned with department and organizational goals. I also have the responsibility to ensure that my team is adequately resourced to deliver current and future objectives. I lead a team of strong analysts who are subject matter experts in their respective areas, and my daily role is to provide direction, remove obstacles, and enable their development. Through my engagements with different leaders across the organization, I provide valuable and actionable insight into their organizations and the culture they seek to create.

Looking ahead, what changes or advancements do you hope to see in the energy sector, and how do you envision your role in shaping that future?

As I mentioned, change is constant, the pace at which the energy sector is able to adapt, is critical. I would like to see a more diverse and inclusive energy sector. Recognitions such as 25 under 40 Energy Women Rising Stars highlight women in the industry. But we cannot stop there: who is looking at uplifting other competent professionals? For example, people with mental or physical disabilities in the industry? As a strategic partner, I hope to continue to champion a more diverse and inclusive industry.

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