Oceaneering Women in Technology Series: Shirley Yao

Oceaneering is devoted to creating a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We are introducing a new series highlighting the women contributing to our technological advances. In this series, we discover what makes their jobs rewarding and what advice they have for the next generation.

View more profiles in this series.

WIT Logo |  | WIT Logo
Shirley Yao |  | Shirley Yao

Shirley Yao is a senior accountant for Oceaneering’s ADTech group working out of the Hanover, Maryland, regional office. In her position, Shirley finds it most rewarding when she can develop her skills and expertise as they relate to the government and defense industries.

“Some people may of think accounting as the stereotypical ‘bean counter,’ but that is not the case in ADTech. It requires more knowledge besides accounting. I always feel fulfilled when I provide useful financial information to the operation groups, cost centers, and my peers.”

Shirley holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting and is a CPA.

“My grandpa was a professional in finance and accounting. That opened the door for me when I chose my major.”

Before joining Oceaneering, Shirley worked in the healthcare industry for several years.

“I like to work in high-tech industries. That is why I joined Oceaneering; I just celebrated my five-year anniversary here.”

One of the things she appreciates most about the company is the culture.

“I know there are a lot of companies which are full of politics, but ADTech is definitely not one of them. My peers and managers have been supportive, inclusive, professional, and respectful. A lot of people have been with the company for a long time. It is not just a workplace; it is a breeding ground for trust and positive relationships among employees.”

In her career, Shirley has had two major challenges: not having much government and defense experience and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. She credits open communication with her managers and co-workers and multiple training opportunities to help fill in the gaps in her knowledge.

“I built up confidence and grew professionally at Oceaneering. As an Asian and a woman, I really appreciate that Oceaneering can judge people based on their merits and the content of their character.”

As Shirley lives far from the office and has a family, she appreciates that Oceaneering allows her to manage her work schedule.

“It allows me to pursue my long-term commitment with the company while maintaining a great work life balance. Micromanagement is not the motto here.”
Shirley said that the next generation of women in the technology field should figure out their interests as early as they can.

“When you participate and talk with other people, you may find mentors and get a lot of good advice, which can encourage you to pursue your next achievement.”

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.