A Day in the Life…with Lydia Balogun-Wilson

Name: Lydia Balogun-Wilson

Role/Company: North Sea Engineering Discipline Manager, BP

How would you describe your job to a 10 year old?

 My 11 year old son gave the following answer: “ My mum is an engineer that works in the oil and gas industry. She supervises people that makes sure we have light and heating in our homes and fuel for travelling on air, land or sea”. 

What part of your job do you find most interesting?

Mentoring: I love mentoring young people to reach their highest potential. I also like problem solving: I love the ability to use innovation and technology to solve complex problems

What part of your job do you least enjoy?

I don’t like it when there is a problem offshore that causes a shutdown. It often makes me feel that we could have avoided it if we knew it was coming. However, each plant upset has proven to be a valuable teaching moment to prevent re-occurrence.

What inspired you to choose your career?

My father encouraged my logical thinking as a child and this taught me to figure things out on my own. I guess my logical thinking developed my love for science and mathematics. I found engineering to be a good fit and I pursued it. My love for Chemistry and physics made me choose Chemical engineering and Petroleum engineering as my areas of specialisation as an engineer.

What or who has had the greatest influence on your career progression?

My greatest ally is my husband. He encourages me to be ambitious and always works with me to make it possible for me to progress with my career. Leaders like Angela Merkle also inspire me.  She is a steady and consistent leader who executes her role with stealth. I have mentors both within and outside my profession that provide me with coaching and ideas on how to be a great leader.  I am naturally self-driven which I believe is a key trait for career progression.

Name one practical thing we could do in the O&G industry to shift the dial on equality?

We need to be deliberate in hiring ethnic minorities to key executive roles. We also need to close the gender pay gap. We should talk less about equality and just implement all the ideas and recommendations that have been made so far about equality.

What is the last song you listened to? (be honest)

Breaking of fellowship by Howard Shore

If there was a parallel universe with another version of ourselves, what job would you do there?

I would probably still be an engineer as I love what I do.

If you could solve one problem, what would it be and how would you solve it?

I would eradicate diverse economies and create a single economy. This is how I believe the world can get rid of poverty and hunger. All nations would be equal and resources could be evenly distributed.

Tell us something about yourself that may surprise everyone?

I have an entrepreneurial side. I ran my first business at the age of 10 years old selling popcorn, cupcakes and lemonade and all through my education, I always had a business that I was running on the side. I stopped when I started my career as an engineer and I hope that one day, I will run my own business again

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