Women in Energy: Leadership role is new challenge for Laura

Laura Lee – HR director, Sparrows Group
Laura Lee – HR director, Sparrows Group

Laura Lee has worked in the oil and gas industry across various HR roles for over 10 years. She was recently promoted to the position of HR director at Sparrows Group.

What attracted you to work in the energy industry?

Living in Aberdeen, I have always had a keen interest in the energy sector. It’s a diverse and fast paced industry with a great deal of opportunity and I was confident that it would provide a rewarding career path.

I wasn’t put off by the fact that it’s traditionally been a male dominated industry. Although the gender balance is not quite where we would want it to be yet, I can see many positive steps being taken to address the issue. The key is encouraging young women into the sector in the first place. I don’t believe there are inherent restrictions to career progression for those working in the industry as I certainly haven’t experienced any.

How would you describe your current role as HR director?

My previous role of Global Head of Human Resources was largely operational and therefore I was heavily involved in the day to day running of the HR function and supporting business teams. In my new role as HR Director my focus has shifted to supporting the leadership team and contributing to the strategic direction of the business.

As we emerge from a challenging few years in the industry, the organisation is looking forward with ambitious growth aspirations. We have a hugely talented workforce and I am keen to ensure that we are focused on supporting their development and retaining their skills. It’s an exciting time to have joined the leadership team, and I am enjoying the challenge!

How do you feel Sparrows has supported you in furthering your career?

During my tenure at Sparrows I have been exposed to a wide range of situations. It’s given me the practical experience required to build upon my postgraduate studies in Human Resource Management which Sparrows funded. Their ongoing commitment to developing people has enabled me to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD and progress my career.

The company is passionate about developing its people and promoting from within where possible, so it provides fantastic opportunities for individuals across the business.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

I’ve heard a lot of really good pieces of advice that have stuck with me over the years, and I regularly remind myself of them to keep focussed, Be true to your own values, always be fair (how you treat others is so important) and also, to trust your instincts. But probably the best piece of advice is to always learn from your mistakes. It is ok to make mistakes or errors in judgement as long as you learn from the experience. People are not judged on their mistakes but rather how they conduct themselves when they do.

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