International Women in Engineering Day 2021 – Tracey Parkes

25th June, 2021

We spoke to Tracey Parkes, Group HR Manager for ODE Group, as part of our series for International Women in Engineering Day which seeks to raise the profile of women working in the engineering industry.

What is your role within ODE Group?

I am Group HR Manager, responsible for HR, Training and Competence across the organisation.

How did you enter the engineering industry?

I have worked in the private, public and charity sectors across a wide range of diverse industries including health, telecoms, media, education, oil and gas, theatre, and retail. I entered the engineering industry only a couple of years ago, starting as a part-time contractor supporting the HR Director in ODE. I enjoyed the variety, pace and people; I was very pleased to accept a staff offer as Group HR Manager in December last year.

Although my background is in HR, Workforce and Training, I get to work with engineers every day of the week; as a result, I have learnt a lot about the engineering business and would recommend a career in this field to anyone. There is no doubt we need to encourage more women engineers across the sector; within ODE Group, we offer engineers opportunities to join us from Graduate level through to Senior and Principal levels and to work on oil and gas and renewables projects around the world.

Has there been a project or piece of work you were involved in that you feel particularly proud of?

I was the Project Lead for the IR35 project which was successfully implemented across ODE Group in April this year. Although I was the lead, it was a real group effort and delivered by a great project team. This project was high on the board agenda for its importance and gave me an opportunity to work closely with members of my own team and with people at all levels across different departments. This project also increased my understanding of key aspects of the company.

Another key project I have been involved in is the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) which has been facilitated by Oil and Gas UK and involves a number of stakeholders all working in partnership. At the centre of the development of this agreement has been the priority of ensuring a safe, stable, and fair operating environment for employees and employers. Not only is the ESA a great initiative to be involved in as a company, but it has been really helpful in my own development to get to work with other organisations across the sector.

How does your work contribute to the running of the industry and wider society?

The HR, Training and Competence teams work very closely with our recruitment team and we all have a very important role to play in attracting, onboarding, training, developing, coaching, supporting, and retaining our talented staff.  I believe having a highly skilled and motivated workforce is key to any successful organisation and the teams I manage contribute greatly towards this.