Oceaneering Women in Technology Series: Mabel Zavala

Oceaneering is devoted to creating a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. The Women in Technology series, presented in partnership with the Oceaneering Women’s Network, highlights the women contributing to our company’s technological advances. In this series, we discover what makes their jobs rewarding and what advice they have for the next generation of engineers. 

View more profiles in this series.

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Mabel Zavala |  | Mabel Profile 386

Mabel Zavala is a Quality Solutions Partner for Oceaneering’s Manufactured Products and Functions in Houston, Texas.

The most rewarding aspect of her job is being able to lead and to facilitate change. Mabel has led KAIZENs (Continuous Improvement workshops) in our product services segments and facilitated Root Cause Analysis, all of which targeted the prevention of cost of poor quality (COPQ).

Mabel is a natural leader who is a fierce champion of Quality Assurance and Control within Oceaneering. She led a team of Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Document Control in Houston from 2016-2018 in the Services and Manufacturing Segments.

In 2018, she drove the creation of the company’s Quality Moments – quick snippets of information that help keep quality methods front of mind. In 2020, Mabel led the global coordination to introduce Oceaneering’s Quality Tenets – six critical behaviors to prevent quality escapes and reduce COPQ by changing the culture at the company.

Mabel holds a master's degree in Quality and Productivity from Tecnológico de Monterrey and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

In the year 2000, Mabel founded a local chapter of AIESEC, a global platform for young people to develop their leadership potential through international internships and volunteer opportunities.

In 2017, Mabel participated as a speaker of the first TED Talk in her hometown. During the pandemic, she has supported virtual events as a speaker for Mechatronic and Industrial Engineering students at several universities in Mexico.

Before joining Oceaneering, she had the opportunity to start up manufacturing lines, run capabilities studies and gage repeatability and reproducibility, as well as learn Advanced Product Quality Planning. She had her first Product Part Approval Process (PPAP) book approved with Ford in 2006.

“One of my proudest moments was when I was promoted to Planning and Engineering Manager,” she said. “At that time, I was the only female in that managerial position within the company and the youngest. That was a rewarding challenge.”

Mabel noted that being the only woman on a team was one of the biggest challenges she faced as in the engineering field.

“Sometimes my career aspirations were not obvious, I had to use my voice and get results,” she said.

At Oceaneering, Mabel says that she has been given the opportunity to grow in her career path.

“I started as a Quality Specialist in Services and then I was promoted to Lead Manager and now Senior Manager working in Strategy with international exposure. I’m grateful for the opportunities and the new ones to come,” she added.

When she isn’t championing a culture of quality at Oceaneering, Mabel is also an active member of the Oceaneering Women’s Network (OWN), supporting some of the group's initiatives including collecting books for the Girl Scouts in their underprivileged troops, supporting the University of Houston’s Society of Women Engineers in mock interviews, participating in OWN Talks, and coaching other Oceaneering employees.

In the last couple of years, Mabel has been working on a personal project called “Images of Empowered Women,” which focuses on the strength and essence of professional immigrant women who use their talents, skills, and abilities to support their communities and have a positive impact in society.

“Every photograph, every story shared is an example and an inspiration for any little girl or any woman who arrives to a different country,” she said.

For Oceaneering, she recently modified this initiative and photographed some of our company's empowered women from different disciplines.

"This project shows another side of them from dancing, to skiing, hiking, sailing, writing, or supporting the community in volunteering activities; sharing what inspires them to do what they do," she said.

Mabel encourages women who wish to pursue engineering as a career path to do so.

“For my entire career, I have always pushed for women to be in technical areas,” she said. “Establish a goal, prepare for it, and enjoy the ride.”

She also encourages women to speak up. “You drive your path. Help others; the world has space for everyone. Inspire.”

One piece of advice she says she wishes she had before she began her career are these four things:

“Stress less; trust in yourself more; it is OK to show vulnerability; and create your network.”

Interested in a new career path? Visit our Careers page to search our available job opportunities.

Articles To solve the unsolvable, Oceaneering seeks out the utmost experts in their respective fields. We provide engineered services and products primarily to the offshore energy industry. Today, we also use applied technology expertise to serve the defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. With a varied and diverse pool of expertise, Oceaneering strives to be the go-to thoughtleader in our wide-ranging on- and offshore service lines. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our experts are sought out for their knowledge and experience, to shed light on the latest innovative technology and trends within the wide-ranging industries we serve. Our experts are able to speak to these subjects because they are out in the field, working shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients and associated contractors. They work closely to devise solutions to problems that couldn’t be solved otherwise. We demonstrate our value every day, striving to complete projects on-time and on-budget. Our experts have penned thousands of words on topics related to remotely operated vehicles, subsea hardware, asset integrity, flow assurance, diving, survey and mapping, vessels, well intervention, workover control systems, pipeline repair, inspection, non-destructive testing, decommissioning, renewables, umbilicals, valves, marine services, product testing and qualification, data management, vessel navigation and positioning systems, science and other research, and space systems. Our articles section shines a spotlight on our best and brightest thoughtleaders offering history, data, case studies, and even opinions on industry trends and service techniques, so that we may open a dialogue with the rest of the industry, in order to see how we can all better ourselves and come up with the latest solutions and processes yet to be created. We partner with industry publications and other newsmakers to help tell our story and those of our clients because we aim to not only solve the unsolvable but demonstrate our value and expertise as a company, every single day. We do this work with much importance placed on safety, because safety is instilled in every worker, in every region in which we do business.

Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.

Trade Shows Oceaneering is a global company, spanning several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. Because our work is global, we strive to showcase our talent, expertise, technology and services worldwide at several important and high-profile trade shows per year. At Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, as well as European-centric trade shows like Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) and Offshore Europe, Oceaneering displayed a touch screen that allows users to bring our technologies and services to life with in-depth facts and figures, and informative videos. Another highlight of our conference stand is the live, mobile mission control center, which provides a look at our collaborative and operational onshore base, supporting all kinds of operations both on- and offshore, topside and subsea. The MSC allows you to optimize resources, hence reducing cost, lowering HSE risk, and lowering emissions to the environment. Trade Shows allow Oceaneering the ability to meet with the public and potential clients to give them more in-depth knowledge about our specialized tools and services. By meeting with Oceaneering’s subject matter experts about our offerings, clients and potential clients can get an open window into the types of services Oceaneering can provide. Oceaneering’s expertise covers the spectrum from remotely operated vehicles, subsea hardware, asset integrity, flow assurance, diving, survey and mapping, vessels, well intervention, workover control systems, pipeline repair, inspection, non-destructive testing, decommissioning, entertainment systems, renewables, umbilicals, valves, marine services, product testing and qualification, data management, vessel navigation and positioning systems, science and other research, and even space systems. Our experts are sought out for their knowledge and experience, to shed light on the latest innovative technology and trends within the wide-ranging industries we serve. They work closely to devise solutions to problems that couldn’t be solved otherwise. We demonstrate our value every day, striving to complete projects on-time and on-budget. Trade shows, including smaller, local meet-and-greets, help tell our story and showcase the expertise and innovation behind our tools, technology, and services. We aim to not only solve the unsolvable but demonstrate our value and expertise as a company, every single day, on every single job, all across the world. We hope to serve you soon.

Brochures Our brochures section allows users to read more in-depth about our specialized tools and services that span several industries, such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. By reading more about our offerings, clients and potential clients can get an open window into the types of services Oceaneering can provide. Oceaneering’s expertise covers the spectrum from remotely operated vehicles, subsea hardware, asset integrity, flow assurance, diving, survey and mapping, vessels, well intervention, workover control systems, pipeline repair, inspection, non-destructive testing, decommissioning, entertainment systems, renewables, umbilicals, valves, marine services, product testing and qualification, data management, vessel navigation and positioning systems, science and other research, and even space systems. Our Brochure section features a searchable web database, where users don’t have to simply scroll to find the items for which they are searching. Simply enter your search terms, and select either “exact” or “search title” to help get you closer to relevant technology and services from Oceaneering that can help you solve your needs. Users can also filter their searches by category. Oceaneering offers 40 categories and sub categories to help users find what they need even faster. With a database of nearly 200 brochures, we aim to make the search process as easy as possible so we can get in touch faster to provide you with top-notch service and world-class expertise. Our experts are sought out for their knowledge and experience, to shed light on the latest innovative technology and trends within the wide-ranging industries we serve. They work closely to devise solutions to problems that couldn’t be solved otherwise. We demonstrate our value every day, striving to complete projects on-time and on-budget. Our brochures help to tell our story and showcase the expertise and innovation behind our tools, technology, and services. We aim to not only solve the unsolvable but demonstrate our value and expertise as a company, every single day, on every single job. We do this work with much importance placed on safety, because safety is instilled in every worker, in every region in which we do business. We hope to serve you soon.