This engineer came to bp to deliver energy to the world | News and insights

This story is part of “The People of bp,” a first-person series that highlights dynamic talent at one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies.


By LaToya Stallworth


I decided to go into bp’s production and operations business, because I saw it was a great opportunity for me to utilize my engineering degree to make a difference in delivering energy to the world. It was an opportunity to be on the front lines – and to be technical. I love the environment as well. I love the intensity of it.


I spent half of my career offshore – as a site engineer, operations team lead in Angola, and an OIM, offshore installation manager, on bp’s Atlantis offshore platform. So, I feel at home when I come offshore. I have fond memories of the times I worked 28 days on-and-off. As the facility support squad lead, part of my role is to help the engineers on my team understand how work gets done offshore. I think it’s been really important to have that offshore experience in the facility support squad lead role.


It can be difficult at times working in a predominantly male industry, because you stand out. But at bp, in the production and operations organization, with the focus on women in operations, we have received valuable mentorship and support. That support network makes me feel like I can bring my best self to work every day. I wear a dress and heels to work every day – because that’s what I’m most comfortable in, and I’m a firm believer of you should be able to bring your whole self to work.


I think subconsciously, it’s a way of showing that you can be feminine and be an operations leader; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I constantly remind myself about the accomplishments that I’ve made which have been due for the main part to my delivery as a good operations leader.


I am of the firm belief that it’s about self-reflection, self-motivation, and reaching out to your support network for guidance and sage advice. My support network includes my team as well and on every Thursday morning, we ask each other how our week went, starting with a 1 to a 10. And we’re honest with each other because we’ve built that trust with each other. And we can say, you know we’ve had a 4, or I’ve had an 8. I have found that the ability to be vulnerable with each other helps our teammates and makes it an even better week.


In terms of work life balance, there have been pressures on women to get married and have children. However, as a woman in production and operations, if you’re working a 28-day schedule, it makes it very challenging to date. So those are some of the things that I had to think about. I enjoy my work life balance now. It’s always a challenge. I would call it a “work-life harmony.” In my free time, I love wine tasting. I like to run and enjoy my environment because it’s a great time to just reflect. And I live in Houston, so there’s always lots of options for activities.


I have many friends in Houston, including some of my sorority sisters that I went to college with who live in Houston. People are one of bp’s biggest assets. I’ve been able to grow at bp and in this role, and I see a bright future with opportunities to grow into even bigger operations leadership roles.


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