Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Brenda Erickson, Director of Supplier Diversity at ConocoPhillips, including her best career advice, advice for women entrepreneurs, and lessons as a female leader in a male dominated industry.

What piece of advice would you give to women entrepreneurs that want to do business with your corporation?

Try to understand the energy industry and the company you are trying to work with: Are they upstream, midstream, downstream or all these types. Understand the basic requirements of getting a Purchase Order with the company, safety, insurance, size, and scale.

My advice is just that, make up your mind and express what you would like to happen and how you can help.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Be willing to tell the company what you want and what you need. No one should wait for someone else to tell them where to go or what to do. My advice is just that, make up your mind and express what you would like to happen and how you can help.

How has being a WBENC Corporate Member helped your corporation and/or procurement department?

Being a WBENC Corporate Member opens up a whole group of Women Owned businesses which we would never have access to. It is so important to have this exposure and a path to getting to the correct Supply Chain Coordinator at the correct time.

As a female leader in a male dominated industry, what important lessons have you learned through your career that have been key to your success?

As a female leader in a male dominated energy industry, I have learned that I need to speak up. I cannot wait to be asked for my opinion and that what I have to say is important. I need to express my ideas and knowledge as appropriate in a meeting or as a note. Women have a tendency at times to wait for permission, if you are at the meeting or event – you have permission. Do not wait to be asked.

What’s the best way to start your day?

I start every day with a prayer, a glass of lemon juice, celery juice and then a latte. Very hydrated in the morning. I also like to clear my emails and check my schedule to prep for the day.

What do you like about your workspace?

I have a private office with two monitors which helps me stay organized and up to date. I do not like to get behind on emails. I also have a great desk chair and a sit/stand desk. Does it get any better than that?

Fill in the Blank

When I face a challenge, I… try to jump right in and get started on the opportunity to succeed.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… You can do anything; they will always have to train someone – it might as well be you.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… My family and friends.

Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … Success is everywhere, and everyone should have a chance to perform their best self to win.


ConocoPhillips is one of the world’s largest independent E&P companies based on production and proved reserves. We are committed to the efficient and effective exploration and production of oil and natural gas.



Brenda Erickson
Director of Supplier Diversity at ConocoPhillips