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From environmental specialist to executive assistant: Katy’s 15-year journey at BP Australia

08 April 2020
When Katy first joined BP, she was surprised at the scale of the organisation and the magnitude of opportunities that exist

Katy has always been passionate about the environment. “I have always felt that I needed to contribute and have a career where I was doing some good for the world”, she says. She went off to university to study environmental engineering and did a master’s in environmental technology and pollution management. After university, she joined the Environment Protection Authority in Victoria, Australia, and four years later, made the move to BP.


Katy started her career at BP as an environmental specialist, focusing on regulatory compliance and environmental risk management. In more than 15 years at the company, her interest in wider operating management systems grew and, over the past five years, the projects she has worked on have helped to reduce injuries in Australia by more than 75%. After being the general manager for health, safety, security and environment in Australia, she recently moved to become the executive assistant to the chief operating officer of ASPAC Fuels and Air BP.


Working as an enabler to the business 


Describing her current role, she says: “I am often asked what I do, and the best description I’ve been able to come up with is that I have a strategic ‘enabling’ role”. Day-to-day, she works with the chief operating officer and the leadership team to make sure that everything runs effectively and efficiently, making her the eyes and ears of the office.


In describing what she likes most about her new role, she says that each day is unpredictable, and there is always a new issue to resolve – having said that, she feels privileged to have been given a seat at the table to help solve them.


Increasing flexibility and agile ways of working


Katy’s current role focuses on how BP can embrace new and agile working methods, looking at ways the organisation can unlock extra capacity and increase performance. Right now, she and her team are experimenting with agile working strategies, with the aim of making BP a more dynamic place to work. The hope is that Katy and her team find ways to energise employees, making BP an exciting and flexible workplace, focused on the future. Katy is now looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead in her career. When she first joined BP, she was surprised at the scale of the organisation and the magnitude of opportunities that exist. In her own words,

Every day that goes by there's a new development, a new partnership – so there's constant growth. It feels as if we're continuously improving what we do, what our offerings are, and how we step into the energy transition.

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