meet the team
KAREN BLANC - CHAIR
Having lived and worked in the oil and gas industry in Malaysia, Vietnam, and the UAE, Karen is now settled in Aberdeen with her young family. A fellow of the IChemE, Karen is operations director for engineering consultancy firm Atkins and is passionate about supporting her team to reach their potential. Her work with AXIS reflects her desire to achieve a future where potential isn’t defined by gender. An engaging leader, her motto to live by is “Make it happen”!
ERICA KINMOND - VICE-CHAIR
Erica is an Associate Employment Lawyer at International law firm Pinsent Masons LLP. She has over a decade of experience advising clients on all areas of employment law covering both contentious and non-contentious matters with a particular sector focus in Oil and Gas. Erica firmly believes that gender balance is best for business and hopes that by the time her young son and daughter are working it will be a reality.
SARAH CLARK - SECRETARY
Sarah has held a variety of process engineering positions post-graduation, which includes design, offshore and at site roles, and additionally completed a year as an Executive Advisor, forming part of the leadership team to support the Managing Director. Sarah's most recent professional accomplishment was being recognised as a finalist for the Karen Burt award in October 2018 and gaining professional chartership status through the Institute of Chemical Engineering, in January 2018. Sarah is passionate about the promotion of female engineers, gender parity throughout business and promotion of STEM subjects to schools.
SUSAN GORDON - MENTORING
Susan is a seasoned HR professional with experience in international oil & gas and as a University Senior Lecturer. She has lived in India, UK and Azerbaijan where she was HR Manager covering Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey; she was accompanied on assignment by her husband and two children. She now runs her own business delivering a wide portfolio of activity including coaching & mentoring, career transition, team building, HR emergency response and developing age inclusive workplaces. Susan values delivering quality solutions with a collaborative, upbeat and respectful style.
SUSAN GRAYSON - EVENTS
Susan Grayson is Director, Resourcing, Talent, D&I and L&D at Spirit Energy and having attended a number of AXIS events, joined the committee at the end of 2018. With 30 years Oil & Gas experience, within both operators and supply chain, Susan has a background spanning, commercial, hydrocarbon sales & transportation and hydrocarbon accounting. She has chaired the Spirit Energy, employee led diversity and inclusivity network and was involved in the set up of this network during her time at Centrica Energy. Susan is committed to making our industry more diverse, gender balanced and inclusive.
EVA HAGAN - ROLE MODELS
Eva is an enthusiastic HR professional, specialising in resourcing and talent with over 12 years Oil & Gas experience. Mother of two young daughters, her career has been spent based in Aberdeen finding the best talent for service providers and operators, for opportunities across Europe, Africa and Asia. Passionate about all things people related Eva aims for an industry with no barriers, regardless of gender or background, where everyone can excel based on their own potential.
WIGDAN HAMOUR - TREASURER
Wigdan is a Consultant and Chartered engineer with a PhD in structural engineering and extensive Oil and Gas experience in projects, operations, and integrity management within operator and contractor organisations. Her success has been attributed to bringing people together across multiple disciplines and organisations realising wide reaching benefits and solutions. Wigdan is committed to and shows strong passion for diversity, inclusion and gender equality. She has relished opportunities to contribute to and champion initiatives within the industry that strive to reap the benefits of high performing culturally rich and diverse teams.
KATY HARDACRE - SOCIAL MEDIA
Katy is a geoscientist with 18 years’ experience in oil and gas, working in France, Malaysia, The Netherlands and Britain.
Part of a dual career couple raising two children, she is passionate about gender balance in both work and family life.
She believes AXIS plays a unique role in Aberdeen, connecting and supporting individuals but also shaping the conversation between organisations.
JENNY JUNNIER - MENTORING
Jenny has over 19 years of experience in the energy industry and recently joined Grant Thornton leading their Audit department in Aberdeen. She is passionate about Aberdeen, the industry, her family and the community and brings drive and ambition to the vision for the AXIS network.
CAROLINE LAWFORD - THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Caroline has worked across a number of engineering sectors, including building design, data centre construction and MoD demolition projects before relocating to Aberdeen, where she has settled with her family. She is a chartered engineer and currently the Decommissioning Team Lead for CNR International. Caroline is committed to the development of an inclusive business culture in Aberdeen. She believes that achieving gender balance within STEM and the industry as a whole will have wide reaching benefits for everyone.
After graduating from Imperial College in 2002, Pádraig joined Shell, initially working on the Pernis Refinery in the Netherlands in a technical role. After three years in Holland Pádraig made a significant career move into communications when he moved back to Ireland for the first of two spells working on the Corrib Gas Project. Pádraig has subsequently worked in the US and Canada before moving to Aberdeen in 2012 where he is currently External Relations Manager, UK Upstream. Padraig has been an active member of Shell’s Balance network since 2013 and joined the Axis committee in January 2020. Outside of work Pádraig is a keen golfer, a passion he shares with his young family.
DENIS PINTO - MENTORING
Denis is a consultant with extensive commercial and engineering skills in flow measurement and hydrocarbon allocation & hydrocarbon accounting for the oil and gas industry. He is passionate about supporting the next generation, and founded the Energy Institute’s Young Professionals Network in 2011. He was awarded AFBE UK’s Special Appreciation Award in November 2018 for the help he has given others through his many roles including those at the AXIS Network, AFBE UK Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses, SPE and the Energy Institute. In March 2019 he was awarded the Offshore Achievement Award for Significant Contribution to the Industry.
JULIE-ANN WHYTE - MEMBERSHIP
Julie-Ann has worked in the Oil and Gas industry for over 25 years and is currently Head of Tendering for Europe, Africa and Middle East at Aker Solutions.
She is passionate about improving gender balance in the O&G industry and is committed to ensuring the industry supports and retains individuals through all stages of their career and life choices.
DEIRDRE MICHIE - NETWORK SPONSOR
Deirdre was appointed CEO of OGUK in May 2015. She has an LLB Hons in Scots Law and extensive experience as a senior business leader in the oil and gas industry; covering upstream, downstream and globally. She is passionate about inclusion as a driving force for the energy transition, and is on the board of the Women’s Business Council, a UK Government body focused on increasing women’s contribution to economic growth. Deirdre also sits on the board of a number of industry technical forums.
Deirdre was awarded a Fellowship from the North East of Scotland College and an OBE for her services to the Oil and Gas industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018. Deirdre is also a Burgess of Aberdeen.