Regional engineering director Liz Lindahl has been with Wood Group Kenny (WGK) for more than two decades and is based in the Perth, Australia, office.
“I began working with WGK in 1992 after graduating from Texas A&M University. At the time the Houston office was pretty small and I had to work hard to come up the learning curve quickly.
“I was able to diversify my experience, tackling everything from cost estimating, pipeline design and materials engineering, to flow assurance and operations support. I even ran the library and did reception relief.
“After a while I was given the opportunity to be seconded in various client offices. This was a whole new challenge for me since I had to work more independently as a project engineer. I started to see the management side of projects and was keen to go down this route.
“In the background I also had two beautiful sons and enjoyed being a working mom. It had its challenges, especially when I went to India for six weeks on a pipeline route survey when my first son turned one. It was hard to leave, but I also enjoyed my first offshore experience.
“After a long secondment to Shell and having worked 12 years in Houston, I wanted to see what it was like to work in another WGK office. I showed an interest in moving and was soon given an offer to relocate to Australia so I packed up the family – 11 years later we are still here and it has been everything I thought it would be and more.”
Liz held several management roles in Perth before becoming regional engineering director in January 2015. Her career path has taught her to be open to challenges and face them head on. “My mother inspired me the most. She always had a ‘go for it, don’t hold back’ attitude which I have learned from her. Also, she encouraged me to do my best and put in the extra effort in. For other women in the industry, some advice would be don’t be put off and shy in a meeting room of men because you are a woman. Sit up, speak your mind and participate in the meeting. Also, develop a good support network around you at work and at home.”