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Overcoming the challenges of an industry to find an inclusive workplace: Ann’s story

Published:
15 April 2020
Ann truly believes that “you don’t have to fit certain criteria to do a certain role – you can do anything if you put your mind to it” and has carried this mentality forward during her time at BP

Ann decided to study supply chain logistics at university after her career adviser told her it was a growing industry, with good job opportunities. “I was an 18-year-old with no idea what I was getting myself into, but I decided to give it a go and I'm really glad that I did”.

 

After leaving school Ann worked for several companies in the resources & manufacturing sector, in logistics operations, supply chain, continuous improvement, strategy, account management and pricing. It didn’t come without its challenges – as a young woman working in the Supply Chain & Logistics industry, Ann often felt like she didn’t belong. She soon noticed that as a woman, people didn’t take her seriously. “I had to work a hundred times harder to get anywhere, to get any respect and to be recognised”, Ann says. “It was a challenging time early on in my career when I felt young and inexperienced, but I took it as a real test of resilience”. 

Driven by her past 

 

Because of these early career experiences, Ann felt determined to prove that she not only belonged, but could add real value. She recalls a time when she was able to turn around set mentalities after identifying value which the business hadn’t previously recognised. She truly believes that “you don’t have to fit certain criteria to do a certain role – you can do anything if you put your mind to it” and has carried this mentality forward during her time at BP. 

 

In 2012, Ann began working at BP as a pricing advisor and went on to gain experience in a number of Midstream functions including scheduling, planning, strategy and supply. Now more than seven years on, Ann leads the pricing team as a wholesale pricing manager, encompassing B2B, B2C and BP Plus Card customers. For Ann, “pricing is a lot more than simply looking at the cost of a product and how much margin BP wants to make. It is about understanding what drives value for BP, what drives customers and where we can find common value”. 

 

While every day is different, Ann’s work is focused on helping BP to understand the driving forces in the market and to formulate strategies and offers to ensure they remain relevant, competitive and importantly, profitable. One example of this was when Ann led a large project aimed at moving BP’s pricing format from a bi-weekly to a daily frequency, with the intention of bringing customer pricing closer in line with the external market and minimizing the business lag effect. 

 

Working without limitations  

 

During her time at BP Ann got married and had two children. Coming back from her second round of maternity leave she secured a promotion.

I never let myself think that there was a limit to where a working mum with two children could go, and so I am very proud and grateful that after having children I was able to come back into a team leadership role.

Ann credits her family’s support, as well as BP for valuing diversity, creating a flexible workplace and believing in her leadership potential. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a supportive family and really encouraging managers who are also supportive of the flexibility I need in my work day”, she says. Ann also describes one of her previous line managers as “a rock who believed in me and pushed me to constantly do better and take the next step”. 

 

Ann has also found it’s possible to have a great work-life balance as a working mum at BP.

A senior leader recently showed us a photo of his three boys and said that family is the most important thing to him. He also made it clear that if he was demanding things that forced us to be away from our families, we should call him out on it.
In Ann’s experience this is just one great example of how much BP values its people. 

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