Joanne works as a simulation training consultant, managing control systems simulations for all regions of the business. This involves training BP’s control technicians and engineers, and testing their competencies in specific scenarios. “I get to play with a lot of cutting edge technology and my input is valued. In my work I am listened to and supported”.
At BP, the professional support that Joanne receives has been complimented by a more personal kind. Five years ago Joanne began her transition from male to female and two years ago, while working for BP in Oman, she began to struggle in a culture that is less accepting of LGBT+ people.
“It affected me deeply. I was in a job I loved but there were moments of real despair”.
Joanne found BP Pride, one of BP’s internal employee groups, on the company intranet and reached out to its members.
“They showed me genuine care and compassion, and together we came up with a plan”, she says, “and thanks to them I got my positivity back”.
For Joanne, this says a lot about BP employees; “the people are fantastic without exception. When I needed help, BP Pride supported me no matter what. They confidentially informed site management and worked with me to help me transition in my role."
This culture of acceptance is something that has only grown in Joanne’s time at BP and she thinks that a lot of great progress has been made: "the groundswell of support and genuine care and love for the LGBT community has absolutely exploded", she says.
BP Pride was an invaluable support system for Joanne. More broadly, the group works hard to raise awareness of BP’s LGBT+ community.
“We are doing lots to show people that they can feel comfortable being their authentic selves at work, whether this is by raising awareness via various working groups or helping organise events with other companies, such as Trans in the City”.
As Joanne puts it, “BP Pride is as varied as the rainbow”.
Now Joanne wants to keep advancing. “I want to keep pushing for LGBT+ acceptance, to the point where it doesn’t even have to be something that we talk about”. She is proud to be a part of the group and of the fact that “BP Pride has courage”.
“We aren't afraid to show the world that we can walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to our core values”, she says. “At BP there is a place for everyone”.
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