Ashley Davis, an electrical engineer at Aera, was recently named to Bakersfield Life’s Top 20 under 40.
At Aera, we pride ourselves in being a great place to work but it’s really our team members who make us special. Four Aera employees were recently named to Bakersfield Life’s 20 under 40 to Watch list, and one employee was named to the Central Coast 40 under 40. These lists feature rising stars who are achieving greatness in their personal lives, careers, in the community or in academics. Each month, we will spotlight one of these employees as part of our “people behind the pump” series.
Ashley Davis, Electrical Engineer, Aera Energy
As an electrical engineer at Aera Energy, Ashley Davis is responsible for managing electrical capital projects at the Belridge field and serves as an implementation lead for the Belridge Photo Voltaic Solar project.
She also serves as the volunteer chair of Aera’s Black Employee Network (ABEN), where she helps shape the Black employee experience at Aera. She helps her colleagues feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and develop the skills they need to achieve their career goals. She has also developed and hosted workshops for Aera managers and employees – to equip them with the tools, knowledge and resources to have important discussions on race in America.
Davis is someone who lives her values through action. She has been a longtime advocate of the oil and gas industry in Kern County – as an Aera Ambassador, and a mentor to high school and college students in Kern County.
How is the honoree involved in the community and volunteerism outside of work?
Davis serves as a mentor for several sophomore and junior South High School students in its MS3 program, and mentors female African American students in the Umoja program at Bakersfield College. She helps students with career planning, soft skills, professional development and learning more about African/African American culture.
Through her role as the chair of the technology committee in her local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she helps introduce students to various STEM careers, college preparation, and serves as an advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She also hosts social media and technology workshops for sorority members and has helped them learn how to better utilize technology throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she serves on a sorority committee which presents scholarships to local high school students every year. She has also hosted STEM/college readiness workshops at local conferences, such as Project Next Step through the Kern High School District and the Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation.
How has the honoree demonstrated leadership?
As chair of ABEN, she helps Aera deliver on its value of embracing inclusion through the series of workshops she helped develop for Aera managers on having race conversations. ABEN also hosts many Black cultural events at Aera during Black History Month and Juneteenth celebration. The group is heavily involved in many volunteer activities throughout the year including career-day events when students from high school Black Student Unions visit Aera to learn about the company and career opportunities.
As an advocate for the industry, Davis is also very involved in Aera’s Ambassador program and in assisting Aera’s campus recruitment team by visiting colleges and universities to identify and talk to local students about potential internships at Aera. She uses her personal story to inspire others to consider careers in the industry or STEM professions.
How did the honoree end up at Aera/in the oil industry?
Growing up in the small town of Warner Robins, GA where the majority of residents worked as in teachers, in agriculture or at the Air Force base, Davis did not know much about the oil and gas industry. She didn’t know anyone who worked in the industry and didn’t see an oil well until she was 20 years old. She was introduced to the industry and the careers it offered as a senior in high school. A career counselor encouraged her to apply for the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP) Scholarship, which is geared toward increasing the number of minorities and women in the energy industry. Through that scholarship program, she was introduced to Aera Energy.
She spent the next four summers interning at Aera and learned that working in the industry gave individuals the opportunity to have positive impacts on people’s lives – both directly and indirectly. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Fort Valley State University, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, she was hired at Aera in 2018 moving through various engineering and project management roles, before being promoted to her current role as an electrical engineer II in 2019.
How does the honoree’s role help contribute to the future of the oil and gas industry?
As an electrical engineer, her job is to keep the lights on and aid in producing power safely, efficiently, and cost effectively. As the industry works to reduce its carbon footprint, electrical engineers will help develop more innovative and environmentally friendly ways to produce power.
Anything else you want to share about the honoree?
Davis established her own memorial scholarship which she gives annually to a student with a high GPA who plans to pursue a degree in engineering or STEM-related field. It is given in memory of her grandparents who only received an elementary school education but continued to emphasize the importance of education to their children and grandchildren. It’s her personal way of honoring her grandparents and supporting students in their pursuit of a successful career.