On The Front Lines

Moms are an impressive lot. Whether juggling a dirty diaper in one hand and a latte in the other or helping to solve the world's energy crisis, mothers are uniquely qualified to make a mark on the world around them. Case in point: The Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada.

(page 6 of 6)

Jessica Willemsen

Jessica Willemsen is the Mine Shop manager at Shell’s Jackpine Mine and mother of two. With no previous knowledge of mechanics, she heads up a team of 89 mechanics, of which all but two are men. She oversees repairs on some of the biggest trucks in the world.

"I’m a big proponent of balance. That means different things to different women. For me, it means putting my family first, but also having a career which inspires and challenges me, while making sure I still have my own downtime to recharge. Whenever I start to feel stressed or worn out, I know something is out of balance and I need to re-evaluate my priorities. Right now, things feel pretty good. My boys are proud of me, running the truck shop. They think it’s pretty cool. Not so much because I’m a woman, but more because ‘Mom gets to fix the big trucks.’"

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Comments on "Moms tackling the energy crisis"

Andre October 20, 2012 | 8:52 AM

Well said Joe. I do work for Shell and with 4 of the women featured here as well as many more in all areas of the plant and mines. In spite of the incessant regurgitating of misinformation and innuendo by some, I can attest to the fine work that they do and the veracity of the stories told here. Those that are disparaging the claims, the company and the resource along with the women whos' stories are told,should perhaps consider that there are other sources of so called "propaganda" in play. I went to work for Shell because they impressed me with the care and commitment they took in development of the resource and their people. I've never had reason to regret it. And by the way...They pay me to do my job whether I say nice things about them or not. Some of you do yourselves and others a grave diservice with your lack of objectivity and badly informed opinions.

Alex October 18, 2012 | 2:58 AM

This is either another brilliant prank by the yes men, or one of the most blatantly stupid and Ill conceived public relations screw ups of all time. Sometimes the line between parody and reality is blurred, especially when big business is involved

Rosey Goodman October 17, 2012 | 6:44 PM

When are women going to be defined as professionals FIRST, and mothers LAST? This tripe is utterly ist, dated and CONDESCENDING. Crap. Total crap. What is this, 1950?

Jon Aston October 17, 2012 | 3:53 AM

I just want to publicly thank SHELL for SHAMELESSLY SPAMMING my Facebook news feed with this story.

Joe October 16, 2012 | 12:13 PM

As someone who has worked in the oil and gas industry for almost 40 years (and not ever for Shell in case you think I'm some sort of apologist for them), it disgusts me to read these stupid and frankly, completely mis-informed comments from people who read a few articles and decide they are "experts" about the environmental impact from our "dirty oil"....while they go about their daily lives using products of the oil industry every minute of every day....hypocritical clowns!! BEFORE you start chirping with your holier than thou attitude, get an education about what we do and find out that in most cases, once we are finished, the land and water is in better shape than we found it. Do some research idiots! And not just the research published by environmental lunatics such as yourselves!!

Andrew October 16, 2012 | 1:46 AM

How much did Shell pay you to publish this greenwashing nonsense. Here are more realistic images of the "Athabasca Oil Sands Project": http://flic.kr/s/aHsjs6KxWS

Mpietro October 15, 2012 | 5:38 PM

Gotta say I love this article. As a man in the industry I see how difficult it is and can be for these amazing women to showcase their indisputable abilities. It's sad to see a comment like one of the above, devaluing and degrading the important and influential role these ladies play. Hats off to all the mothers, especially single mothers excelling in any industry. It's time we recognize,commend, and welcome them more openly in every male dominated industry. Just because you don't always see it doesn't mean that they are not the backbone holding everything all together. I'm lucky enough to have witnessed firsthand how an amazing single mother, not only managed to raise a great daughter, but also to excel to the top of her field. Salute!

Kae S October 15, 2012 | 3:40 PM

WOW, I'd so love a job like that!!!

Edward DiMaio October 15, 2012 | 2:39 PM

Better title, "Moms Fowling the Land and Water for Generations To Come" Sorry kids I gave you life not a future!

kris October 15, 2012 | 9:17 AM

Greenwashing is not paying off for Shell so now they are trying to "mom-wash" their dirty energy extraction practices? Who wrote this article? Some oil-funded think-tank. The opening line says it all: "Alberta sits upon proven reserves of 170 billion barrels of oil and Shell is working to responsibly extract these reserves" When has Shell ever done anything responsibly. These companies will always do the bare minimum when it comes to environmental protection, often breaking the laws because they know that paying the pathetically small fines that most governments will impose will be less costly then actually conducing themselves in a responsible fashion. When Shell operates in third world countries it doesn't even pretend to be "ethical" or "responsible" anyone ever hear of the toxic wasteland that is now Sudan? And lastly, I worked 3 winters in Alberta's oilfields. Not in the tarsands area which is quite far north but in the Grande Prairie/Edmontonn region. Let me tell you, as someone who as been in the thick of it, there is almost NO women actually working in the field out there. The oil-patch is bastion to misogyny. It is a hierarchical male dominated relic from the 40's. Don't let Shell try and tell you otherwise.

f.lampert October 06, 2012 | 5:27 AM

tanya gray is my favorite

trishk September 23, 2012 | 9:51 PM

Great role models!! Thanks for sharing their stories.

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