As Husky’s Senior Vice President of Human and Corporate Resources, Nancy Foster is an experienced human resources practitioner with extensive oil and gas experience, both domestically and internationally. She is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, and has served on numerous committees and is dedicated to giving back to her community of Calgary, such as the YWCA of Calgary. Yet despite her current success, Nancy’s journey hasn’t always been upward and linear. Find out more below.
Want to hear more from Nancy and two other power-house female energy executives? Join us in Calgary on October 4 for our luncheon event Women In Power: Calgary’s Senior Executives Weigh In.
My first job ever was… As a cook in a diner — I was 15. My first professional job was working at Home Oil. I worked in special projects accounting and my role was to gather all the necessary information/documentation to submit claims for both the provincial and Federal Petroleum Incentive Program which was brought in as part of the National Energy Program in late 1980.
I chose my career path because… I knew it would offer me exciting opportunities to learn and grow in my career. Most of my roles have required me to influence vs. dictate, which has led me to being able to influence culture to be more diverse and inclusive.
My proudest accomplishment is… That’s easy — my four kids and now grandkids too.
My boldest move to date was… Moving to Norway to take over as Country Manager. I had never been there and didn’t speak the language. My husband took a leave of absence from his busy career so that I could accept the opportunity.
I surprise people when I tell them… By the time I was 28, I had four children and a growing career.
My best advice to people starting their career is… Put your hand up. Although there has been no formula to my career, there has been one constant: a willingness to put myself forward for work.
My best advice from a mentor was… To accept that while I could have it all — a family and a great career as a leader where I continued to learn and grow — I couldn’t necessarily have it all at once.
My biggest setback was… Beyond the numerous downturns that I have worked through, personally, shutting down the Norway office.
I overcame it by… I always tell people that it’s so important — no matter what your job is — to surround yourself with people who give you authentic feedback and a boost of confidence. Many of our traditional support systems — such as extended family members — are less available to provide support because of their own busy schedules. So we need to continue to build our community of mentors to embrace and empower us. And it’s important to remember that you don’t have to hang your hat on just one mentor. I like to think of mentoring in moments.
Work/life balance is… About choices. I think you have to value quality over quantity. You have to embrace the imbalance because the work/life equilibrium will never be a 50/50 endeavor. Kids get sick on work days. Work projects blow up during hockey playoffs. Life happens and you need to forgive yourself and do what you can.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I have two dogs — big ones who are a great source of enjoyment to me and my husband.
I stay inspired by… Continuing to learn. Asking questions, reading — by staying involved in a not for profit which helps keep me connected to the larger Community.
The future excites me because I see so many opportunities for Husky, our city, our province and our country.
My next step is… To keep learning — through my work at Husky, through my volunteering and eventually through Board work at a for profit company.