AT ONE Gas, Inclusion & Diversity are key components of our core values and one that has driven the creation of Employee Resource Groups. Throughout 2022, these voluntary, employee-led groups based on shared characteristics, interests or life experiences, will be highlighted in a series called “Talent Talks”. With Talent Talks, members of our Employee Resource Groups will talk about what they’re reading, watching, and listening to while also covering what they think of ONE Gas as an employer that supports them on a professional and personal level.

Why did you want to work for ONE Gas, and how long have you worked with the company?

Gina (16 years at ONE Gas): I stumbled across Texas Gas Service by chance through a temp agency and began working at the Information Center. I quickly got an opportunity to move to the Service Center working my way up and developed a passion for natural gas and pipeline construction. Working for ONE Gas gave me a sense of stability that I didn’t have before, all the learning opportunities and the work culture helped with my personal growth, its values are aligned with what I believe in, and the benefits are a great plus.

Kayla (3 years at ONE Gas): A friend of mine, who worked for Kansas Gas Service at the time, suggested that I apply for an open position. I wasn’t looking to make a career change, but my friend had so many examples to illustrate why this is a great company that I knew I at least wanted to have a conversation with the interviewers. What struck me the most during that conversation was the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that effort.

Jason (5 years at ONE Gas): I’ve worked in energy for most of my adult life. My mom worked for an electric utility when I was growing up, and I was impressed with the community focus and service attitude that utility people have. Choosing to work for ONE Gas was based on working for a company where I could align my personal values and have a chance to make a positive impact.

What made you want to get involved with WE Lead?

Gina: I had been a member of WE Lead for many years, but when I was nominated to be part of the steering committee as vice chair of Communications, I knew WE Lead had a great mentoring program and professional development activities. I was really drawn to learning how it all comes to life, and I was not disappointed. I loved being part of WE Lead so much that I am now the vice chair and will be serving as chair next year. Other than that, I really did not know what else to expect. Now that I have gotten to know so many people from different areas, departments and backgrounds, and sharing each other’s ideas, it ended up being so fulfilling, and I am really excited to see what direction the new Steering Committee members will take.

Kayla: I have been involved with WE Lead since my first day on the job. Prior to my time at ONE Gas, I worked in industries that were very male-dominated. I was frequently one of the few women “in the room.” I experienced firsthand how a lack of female input and leadership can be detrimental to organizations. I wanted to join WE Lead to highlight opportunities for women and to highlight the value that women bring to the organization.

Jason: I got involved with WE Lead shortly after joining the company to get to know more people. I could have chosen from several ERGs, but WE Lead was a nod to my mom, who for much of my life was a single working mom with two kids.

What books/podcasts/movies/documentaries/articles would you recommend to someone that aligns with your Employee Resource Group’s mission?

Gina: I love pop culture a lot and would recommend The Last of Us (the video game or TV show). The female characters of the show are portrayed so beautifully even in a really messed up post-apocalyptic world. I like how this show did not limit women to traditional gender roles; they are strong and resourceful and yet make it ok to be vulnerable and complex. The Last of Us not only provides inclusion to strong women but also tells stories of characters that can be a part of any of ONE Gas ERGs in an organic and intentional way — that to me is the power of allyship. WE Lead’s mission is to raise cultural awareness, act as a bridge on cultural issues, collaborate and provide growth opportunities, and this show hits every box 10/10!

Kayla: Chris Voss authored a book titled “Never Split the Difference.” I love this as a resource for women (or anyone) who want to improve their negotiation skills. Voss was an FBI hostage negotiator who shares how to navigate negotiations using emotional intelligence tools. In our society, women are often not socialized to negotiate, or dare I say, argue. However, women ARE generally emotionally intelligent, so we can capitalize on Voss’ tools to compensate for what may not come as naturally to us and become highly effective negotiators.

Jason: One of my all-time favorite books is “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown. I know I chose a book with “boys” in the title, stick with me. It tells the story of the 1936 USA Olympic rowing team. A very entertaining book, but the big aha for me was how they experimented with the right people for the best outcome. They start by putting all the top individual performers in the boat, and that doesn’t work out as expected. Over many experiments, the most successful team is made up of a diverse group with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. When I think about diversity at work, I think about this story. Diversity is almost always the stronger strategy in the long run. WE Lead’s mission and presence help us recognize how women add to that diversity.

What would you tell a job seeker about our company and what advice would you give them?

Gina: ONE Gas cares for its employees and lives up to its Core Values. There are many opportunities for growth, but it is within you to believe in yourself, be passionate and get out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of all learning opportunities and go after a job that will bring you satisfaction. Taking pride in your work no matter what field you are in is never out of style.

Kayla: Many companies put their core values on their wall like a marketing slogan, and that is about the beginning and the end of it. That is not ONE Gas. ONE Gas leaders and employees live the Core Values and make critical decisions based on them. Familiarize yourself with our Core Values and look within yourself to decide if those values align with your own. If they do, there is potential for a great match and a promising career.

Jason: #1: Know yourself and what is important to you. #2: Make sure that the company fits #1. #3: Be thoughtful and honest with yourself when you make exceptions to #1 and #2.