Gilberte Nouwezem is Wood Group PSN’s Cameroon country manager. Gilberte is fearless in her approach to life, and her quest for knowledge and education has led her to grasping life-changing opportunities with both hands.
Gilberte was the first Cameroonian recruited by us on the construction side of the Chad Cameroon pipeline more than 10 years ago and since then has been joined by more than 400 Cameroonian and Chadian colleagues. The project is now 100% nationalised. To this day she considers her mum as her inspiration.
Gilberte began her career with us in 2000 as finance and administration assistant and over the next 10 years, Gilberte fast-tracked her career, rising up through the ranks and taking on increased responsibilities.
Throughout that time she gained an MBA, undertook in-house formal and informal training, learning from the experience of her colleagues, managers and mentors until she was offered the position of Cameroon country manager in April 2013.
Throughout her career, Gilberte has sought inspiration on a global scale. She said: “What inspires me in life is a job well done. It is the desire to do as Michelangelo – to create something from nothing. Iconic figures such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama inspire me, not by their origins, but by the positive, quenching characters that they have. They have taught me to stop at nothing. I do not fear challenges.
“As a woman I have always looked with eyes full of envy at Margaret Thatcher and for your information, it's a nickname that my friends have given me. I am proud to be likened to this woman among men, this woman who gave a meaning to the political life of the world, and this woman who was able to say, "No, no, no." My favourite quote from Mrs. Thatcher is, ‘If you want something said, ask a man, if you want something done, ask a woman.’”
On a personal note, Gilberte is proud of her success in finding that elusive work life balance. “It hasn’t been easy,” she says, “to balance a demanding full-time job, a family life with three kids, a husband and my studies. I have to really discipline myself.” What advice does Gilbert have for aspiring women in the oil & gas industry? She says: “Do not shrink from anything. Do not underestimate yourself. Be proud of being a woman, it is a privilege. Your woman’s instinct will guide you. Your woman’s courage will sustain you. Stay diehard ...”