Life at Deloitte

Teresa Thomas on finding her passion for energy, the importance of inclusion, and becoming her own version of success

Deloitte is proud to introduce the next profile in a series featuring women in the energy industry in conjunction with the Women’s Energy Network (WEN). By highlighting the stories of women in energy, we hope to help facilitate meaningful conversations, create connections, and showcase the myriad of opportunities for women to enter and thrive in the energy industry.

Teresa Thomas is a Risk & Financial Advisory partner in the Energy, Resources, and Industrials practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP. She’s very passionate about the work that she does and has an interesting take on what success really is and encouraging women to be confident to define it. She shares her encouragement for future generations of women who are passionate about making an impact that matters, suggesting the energy industry to be a great place to do that.

Finding her way into energy

Teresa joined Deloitte in the Audit & Assurance business in Detroit right after college. Her first introduction to the energy industry was when she got assigned to projects for her first client, a large, diversified energy company. There, she worked on mergers and acquisitions and saw firsthand what the mission of the enterprise was in terms of serving its community. She said, “Energy companies really power progress. They fuel the future.” She loved her role with that first client and did so well that after about seven years, she left Deloitte and spent a decade working for them directly.

When Teresa needed to relocate to Houston with her family, she “came back home to Deloitte,” rejoining the Risk & Financial Advisory business, and brought her industry insights to advising our clients. “It’s a fantastic way to make a difference, to provide insights to organizations like my former employer,” she says.

“It’s one of the most dynamic and interesting industries out there. I feel lucky to have found it in the beginning of my career, and it was on purpose that I stayed.”

Thriving in what she loves

Teresa has had many career highlights at Deloitte, but the ones that really stand out are the lifelong relationships that she built with her colleagues and clients, both internal and external.

Teresa Thomas
US Energy & Chemicals Risk & Financial Advisory Leader
Partner | Deloitte & Touche LLP

After I leave any collaboration session with my team or my client, I’m smarter; I hope they’re smarter. I hope we’ve come together and come up with something that, individually, none of us could have come up with.

As the nation moves closer to a post-pandemic era, Teresa is excited that professionals can now go back to work in person. Teresa looks forward to the opportunity to be around her colleagues again because she thrives and performs even better when she is around others.

“I love our teams and our people. We have fantastically capable teams, and we get to work with such interesting clients who are solving big, complex problems.”

Being her authentic self

Teresa recognizes that there are stumbling blocks for women across several industries. She emphasizes that women do not need to feel pressured to act in a way that is not authentic to their true selves to be taken seriously. She encourages women leaders to support other women.

We have this privilege and responsibility to lift one another up and to speak and empower others; I think if we don’t do that, that could continue to be a stumbling block.

As a younger leader, the women leaders that Teresa saw were not often mothers or wives like herself. She had few role models, and she remembers feeling like she had to be like them. Later she realized that success looks different for everyone and that one needs to find (and leave) the pieces that make them most excited about their work with what delivers the most value to their clients.

“Maybe if I had a letter to my younger self, I would say, ‘No. Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.’ And that’s what I tell the young women I work with, that it shouldn’t look like me. It should look like you—what’s uniquely you, what works for you, your work/life integration. I do wish maybe I had a little more boldness and curiosity earlier in my career. Maybe I would have decided things differently—or not, but I think I would have probably been more excited about it sooner.”

Inclusion in the industry

There were times in her career when Teresa felt overlooked by her male peers and would not be invited along to social events. However, she feels that times have changed and that people are more conscious about including everyone. She also believes that women today are able to navigate things better than in the past because they now have role models whom they can look up to.

Her advice for women looking to enter the industry is to be bold and creative. She also encourages them to find a mentor or leader to work with them to gain more insights and knowledge, and she advises them to hold on to those who are willing to sponsor and invest in them and not take that for granted.

“Times have changed and evolved. I think there’s more awareness for diversity, equity, and inclusion and having women at the table as important contributors,” she says. “We’ll know we have enough women at the table when it’s no longer a question. Right now, it’s still a question because we don’t have enough, but at some point it won’t be a question anymore because we will be at equilibrium—whatever that is.”

Teresa Thomas: The lightning round

Describe yourself in three words: Energy, strategic, connecter
Favorite food or drink: Pizza!
Favorite place to travel: Italy (best pizza too!)
One thing on your bucket list: I don’t have a bucket list. I do have a “five for ’23” list, though. For a couple decades now, at the new year I make a new list of five fun fabulous things I’d like to do this year. The list changes every year depending on the season I am in—I’ve been lucky to accomplish many (not all), so I rarely have repeat entries. Last year one of the 2022 goals was to return to Italy and hike in Cinque Terra. I am happy to report (and grateful!) that I was able to do that last summer (beautiful! highly recommended!).
Favorite sports team: Houston Astros
One way you practiced self-care during the pandemic: Walking outdoors and looking for reasons to smile and laugh

Women in Energy

Fullwidth SCC. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Insert Custom CSS fragment. Do not delete! This box/component contains code needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Did you find this useful?