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When Shashon Clay started working at Oncor 43 years ago, her job consisted of teaching homemakers how to cook with microwave ovens.
In an effort to win customers away from the gas company, Clay was among a group of home service advisors whose duties included visiting schools and homes to teach people how to cook using electric, instead of gas.
The group would test recipes and develop cookbooks. The home service advisors would even demonstrate various recipes for Girl Scout troops trying to obtain a cooking badge.
As microwave ovens became more common and people started to cook less, Clay?s responsibilities changed as well. The group gave energy conservation presentations, instead of cooking classes.
?As the company?s emphasis has changed over the years, so have my responsibilities, but I have learned to be flexible and to adapt,? said Clay, who is a Distribution Services Advisor, Sr. ?One thing that has remained the same is responding to the needs of the customers at that time.?
Today, you can find Clay advising business leaders about power issues, working in the field to resolve a meter issue, evaluating damage after a storm or staffing an Ask Oncor booth.
?No two days are ever the same,? said Clay. ?One of the things I love about my job is the variety of responsibilities and the great group of people I get to work with daily.?
Clay is one of the more than 700 women who work at Oncor. As people around the globe celebrate International Women?s Day on March 8 and the U.S. recognizes Women?s History Month, we decided to highlight some of our own.
Born and raised in Dallas, Clay graduated from South Oak Cliff High School. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Vocational Home Economics from Texas A&M-Commerce and her MBA from Amberton University.
Between Clay?s junior and senior year she worked as a summer intern for Dallas Power and Light. After graduation in 1976, she was hired on full time as a home service advisor.
?My high school principal?s daughter was a home economist at another utility company. She spoke to our class about her job and it sounded interesting and fun, so I decided to major in home economics in college,? Clay said.
Clay says her mother is her biggest inspiration. She received her teaching degree, but decided to pursue her passion for nursing and continued school to obtain her RN degree.
There have been several women managers, supervisors and vice presidents at Oncor and other companies who have inspired, mentored and supported Clay along her career journey.
Learn, Earn, Return. This is has been an inspirational motto for Clay throughout the years.
?A speaker I heard told us that his philosophy is to focus on learning all you can while you are young,? Clay said. ?In the middle years, focus on earning all you can and during your latter years to show your appreciation by returning as much as you can back to society.?
Clay says she feels fortunate to have a job that she thoroughly enjoys. She plans on continuing to learn new skills and hopes to serve as a mentor to younger employees.
Her advice to women just starting out: ?Find out what your supervisor?s expectations are and do your best to meet them. Be respectful to everyone, no matter what their position is and be willing to go the extra mile. Take on a special assignment, serve on a committee or volunteer on a community service project.?