Born and raised in Venezuela, the energy industry never felt too foreign to Mayrena. It is a country that makes it convenient for someone motivated by a career in the industry to get their start. After completing her chemical engineering studies, it was Mayrena’s ambition to pursue a career where she could have a material impact on global projects that led her to bp. Now, after more than 20 years with the company, Mayrena is bp’s VP of commercial midstream and logistics based in Chicago, Illinois.
As a young girl, Mayrena dreamed of one day having a job that would give her the freedom to do the thing she liked most – travelling. As she grew older, her passions reflected in her professional goals and Mayrena aspired to work around the world and leverage the power of people to create value. Mayrena’s career at bp has enabled her to do just this. She has supported bp operations worldwide including in Venezuela, Mexico, the U.S and across Europe.
As VP of commercial midstream and logistics, Mayrena leads the team managing bp’s global operations associated with logistics and commercial performance of midstream joint ventures. Their core responsibility: working with partners to store and move bp’s products from terminals to the sites where customers need them most.
Since joining bp in 2001, Mayrena has held a variety of roles across the business, but she cites her time spent as supply and logistics director for Mexico, helping the team with their entrance to the market, as one of the highlights of her career: “I was essentially given a blank slate and designed everything from our strategy, all the way to implementation and the supply chain for our activities in Mexico,” Mayrena explains.
Reflecting on the value of her work, Mayrena credits high-pressure situations as the true test of her team’s strength and the need for their problem-solving skills in managing constraints. Taking advantage of digitalisation is also increasingly important for Mayrena’s team:
Mayrena also values the opportunities to meet her team face to face, get close to the business and truly understand how the activities are performed.
As a team leader, Mayrena works passionately to eliminate bias and actively looks for ways to grow greater diversity of thought internally.
“I always try to create an open space for people to raise their voice, ask for help or call things out. Ensuring that the team feels empowered and can bring their true selves to work is big on my agenda,” Mayrena says.
Beyond the responsibilities of her role, Mayrena is actively involved with a range of mentoring initiatives at bp:
As a member of bp’s Latinos and Women’s Networks, Mayrena also notes the importance of mentorship particularly among female professionals.
Ultimately, Mayrena views bp’s culture of care
We do our best work when we can be our truest, best selves. Ours is a business that recognizes each employee's uniqueness and offers different opportunities and support to reach an equality for all.
LaKisha Bertke is a commercial operations services manager based in Chicago, Illinois. We spoke to her about her 24-year career at bp, life on the trading floor, and how her experiences have inspired her to support students taking the first steps in their careers