Work and Money
Going From Girl Scout To CEO
When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts, one of the first badges she introduced was the aviator badge. Nowadays, Girl Scouts can earn badges in anything from cybersecurity and robotics to manufacturing and engineering — all rooted in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. There’s even a National Girl Scout STEM Pledge, which looks to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by engaging 2.5 million girls by 2025.
But the route to an engineering profession wasn’t always a clearly defined avenue for a young woman. Some had to forge their own path.
Girl Scout alum and business owner Danielle Baughman shares her inspiration.
What services does your company offer? Proshare Services provides engineering, procurement, and construction services for projects in the oil and gas, utilities, commercial construction, renewables, health care, and government industries. We have been in business for two years, and our current customers are in the utilities, government, health care, and commercial construction industries.
The name Proshare Services came to me when I was on vacation with my family. I chose this name because it has a double meaning. “Profit Sharing” for when our team executes cost savings projects, and “Pro Sharing” because I believe in sharing what I have learned throughout my career with others and learn[ing] from others who have different strengths than myself. This helps us all to improve no matter which company you work for and allows us to provide the safest, efficient solution[s] we can come up with.
When did you first know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? My background is in chemical engineering, and I have spent the majority of my career working in the oil and gas industry. I saw a need for a design/build business that could help break down the typical silos and bridge the gaps between various teams when executing projects. I am very passionate about safety and ensuring workers go home the same way they [came] to work. Our team is multidimensional and skilled in many facets of a project — from conceptual design through construction and startup — which allows for us to discover and plan for operational, safety, and environmental concerns up front in a project, before it becomes a costly item for the end user down the line.
Which of the Girl Scout traits have carried over into your adult life and/or business? Courage. Being a woman engineer in a male-dominated industry takes a lot of courage. When I first started out, I was terrified to ask questions because of various reasons. The main reason being that I didn’t want to look stupid in front of everyone. With that being said, my mentor gave me a piece of advice that I still use today and have shared with various interns that I have mentored throughout my career. He said every time that I am in a meeting, ask one question or say one statement. I don’t care if you think it’s stupid or even if you’re right. What matters is that you showed up and tried and will learn something, which will help you to be better in the future.
Respect. Working with the construction and operations teams has always come naturally to me. Having respect for the people you work with is one of the most important qualities in making a project successful and fun. Being in the field and working with the crews has allowed me to gain life and work experience that I would not have learned in school. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your job title is — how you treat people, no matter what position they are in, is how we roll. I believe in the end, it’s what people remember.
Imagining that your professional life is a continuation of the Girl Scout program, what professional award/recognition ("badge") have you been the most proud to earn? Is it funny that the Girl Scout Promise started to play in my head? “On my honor …”
One of the awards I am most proud of is a Special Recognition Award our team received from Shell for managing the first compressor station expansion project by the Small Projects team. We were recognized for executing a complex project, excellent planning and execution, completing [it] safely, and under budget. We had a really great team of people, and we all had a good time executing the project, from conceptual design all the way through execution. It was pretty cool to be a part of a project through every phase of the project-delivery process.
How did being a Girl Scout shape you as a female business owner? Being a Girl Scout taught me so many amazing life skills that I carry over into my life as a business owner. I think I get my natural ability to plan large projects from my mom. She was one of the troop leaders, and she was always planning fun things for us to do, whether it was a trip, camping, volunteering at the nursing home, selling Girl Scout cookies — the list goes on.
Girl Scouts has helped to teach me the importance of working as a team and celebrating wins. We worked closely together to complete different challenges and celebrated completing those tasks by earning badges. Some of the badges have changed since I was a part of the Girl Scouts, and I love that they have geared some of the badges to engineering and technology.
ProShare Services is a WBENC-certified, women-owned, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracting firm with a mission to reduce costs and increase efficiency for businesses in the oil and gas, energy, and commercial construction industries. For more information, visit proshareservices.com.