This year has been challenging for everyone, but it is important not to lose sight of some key issues where the oil and gas industry has been striving to make changes—in this case through inclusion and diversity.

While many of us have been working in unusual environments, ExxonMobil and its array of Power Play champions have been making sure that inclusion and diversity stay top of mind through a range of webinars, virtual networking events and their signature Power Play Awards programme.

The Power Play Awards recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of remarkable women and the men who uphold the importance of supporting and empowering them in the workplace. These individuals demonstrate how a mutually supportive environment can help support great business outcomes across all parts of the LNG value chain.

Alex Volkov, vice president of global LNG marketing, said: “Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we ensure inclusive and diverse viewpoints in our decision making. The new working environment that we are finding ourselves in—working from home, staggered time in the office etc.—has not affected ExxonMobil’s commitment to this.”

And the Power Play Awards certainly prove this, demonstrating the positive effect they have had on women working in the LNG value chain.

“Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we ensure inclusive and diverse viewpoints in our decision making” Volkov, ExxonMobil

One of last year’s finalists, Sarah Bairstow from Mexico Pacific Limited, said: “I have been involved in diversity initiatives that have resulted in positive outcomes for businesses for many years, however, the Power Play initiative elevates the conversation and platform beyond a company level to a broader industry collective—and that’s powerful. It is the action we take today, no matter how conscious or unconscious, small or large, that ultimately shapes our tomorrow. I’m excited to see the influence and outcomes the Power Play initiative will yield for our industry’s tomorrow.”

This year, the entire programme was managed in a virtual and digital format, with the awards attracting some 162 applications resulting in a shortlist of 59 nominations coming from 19 different countries and 44 different companies and organisations.

The finalists were announced on 27 July and community voting, which accounts for a portion of the final score, is now open.

Dena Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association and this year’s lead judge, commented: “When I first experienced the Power Play awards last year I was exceedingly impressed with the nominations. This year, the nominations have succeeded in reaching into areas of the LNG value chain that have been underrepresented in the past—and the nominations tell absolutely fascinating stories. When you submit your online vote, do make sure you read the profiles and achievements of these remarkable women making significant contributions to the LNG industry.”

We are pleased to announce that this year’s finalists—in no particular order—are:

The Rising Star—presented to an outstanding female professional aged 35 or younger:

  • Mervin Azeta, Schlumberger, Nigeria
  • Capt. Iro Gidakou, Maran Gas Maritime, Cyprus
  • Zeynep Harezi, Karpowership, Turkey
  • Tian (Ivy) Liu, CNOOC, China

The Rainmaker—awarded to a female professional who has delivered exceptional value and business results:

  • Jillian Evanko, Chart, US
  • Lisa Glatch, Sempra, US
  • Dr Li Li, Zhejiang Energy Group, China
  • Stephanie Sirt, Honeywell, US

The Vanguard—given to a male or female professional who displays outstanding leadership:

  • Noora Ali Al-Kharji, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar
  • Patricia Gallego, Cheniere, USA
  • Tolulope Longe, Nigeria LNG, Nigeria
  • Beibel Xue, PetroChina International Company Ltd, China

You can personally contribute to the outcome of the 2020 LNG Power Play Awards by casting your vote here:

You will be able to hear more from the finalists during the Gastech Virtual Summit on Tuesday 8 September—please register here for a ‘talent programme pass’ for this free session.

The winner will be announced via a communication from ExxonMobil LNG in late September. Make sure you don’t miss this news by signing up to our newsletter communications and by following us on our ExxonMobil LNG Linkedin account.

Learn more about the Power Play Awards by visiting



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