Female Pioneer in the Oil & Gas Industry
I am a female pioneer in the Oil & Gas industry. I graduated as a mechanical engineer and started my career at 22 years old on an offshore rig in Nigeria, where I was the only woman amongst 80 men.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve climbed the corporate ladder, reaching positions such as Director or VP in complex line management environment. I have managed a variety of teams, from small corporate groups to 12,000 people functions in locations such as Angola, Indonesia, Romania, China and France. I have created three functions that have become pillars of the Forbes 500 companies I worked for.
Finally, I am now Group head of Health and Safety, in the cement industry. The complexity resides in having 2500 sites in 80 countries. We have halved the number of fatalities and reduced by 25% the number of injuries in 2 years, by bringing pragmatism to the function, concentrating on implementation and simplifying all processes to inboard all workers.
I’ve made it to where I am today by taking it one step at a time. Along the way, I challenged sexism and common misconceptions of females in the workplace, while working on my own lack of confidence.
Outside my professional life, my second passion is to help women thrive in the industry. This is driven from my past but also because I am the mother of 2 now adult daughters.
Given my experience, I understand the hurdles female engineers must overcome professionally and personally to succeed, and it is my mission to guide and encourage them to prosper in male-dominated industries.
I succeeded in this difficult environment because I am strong – but this should not be a prerequisite. Competency, talent and hard work should be the only criteria to make a difference.
I wrote a book called “La Petroleuse”, which explains all the challenges I encountered to share my lessons learnt so women don’t make the same mistakes I made.
I was nominated Woman of the Industry – International woman prize in 2018.
I continue my mission by having a blog for Usine Nouvelle called “Industry seen by women” . Finally, I created a website, called https://lapetroleuse.com/, where I simultaneously offer free advice to women facing work-related challenges and write articles regarding women and career in the industry.