I’m a Mother and I have 4 amazing children. When they fail in something, whether it’s their study or different life’s aspects, I always tell them a story how my business career began.
It started when I was eight years old, when I came to a theatre studio. I really wanted to play in theatre and do arts. At that time this studio staged the play "The Wizard of the Emerald City". Naturally, I hoped that I would be Ellie, the leading character. But they did not give me the role of Ellie - they offered me to be Tin Woodman. This was my first "failure" in life, which helped me understand that it is not necessary to be perfect.
This is one of my key principles in life: I realized very early that you don't necessarily have to be perfect. Because as soon as we tell ourselves that we should be ideal in everything - this leads very often to the fact that we can not be ideal anywhere.
Moreover, I realized that it is possible to play great even if you are Tin Woodman, because the main thing is to participate in the play, and playing Tin Woodman is much better than not playing anything.
Since my early childhood I’ve always known that I would have a great career. I was raised among beautiful women like my mother and my grandmothers, who have been working throughout their lives and who have always been the best examples of successful women for me.
That is the other side of my story: I’m a Professional and I’m 22 years in consulting. Now I’m a Head of A T Kearney. It took a long way to become a partner. In 1995, when I first came to this profession, consulting was not so popular and it was a little bit unclear. My first promotion happened in 2007. I was very proud of myself, especially realizing that there is no too many women in this field. After this I became fully fledged professional, and in the status of Partner changed I had been working for Booz& (2009-2016) and for A. T. Kearney (2016 till now).
Being a Mother has helped me to achieve what I have now. During my attempts to have a 1st child (all doctors were telling me that it’s impossible) I’ve learned how to be strong and concentrated on your career when everything you can think about is your desirable motherhood. Then my 1st child helped me realize that being a professional while being a mother is what I exactly need in my life.
My adopted children made me realize one principle in life: do everything you can do and don’t expect anything in return. I’’ a Mother and I need to do my mother job properly: the way I understand it. This knowledge concerns my career and profession too.
Sometimes we think that we should be perfect everywhere: ideal mother, ideal wife, ideal worker… My personal advice: do not try to be perfect, because it's definitely impossible. The world around us is not ideal, and people who take high positions are also far from ideal. All of us are ordinary people with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Just be yourself. This is the most effective way to achieve what you want.
Do not be afraid of failing. I’m working in a business with very strong competitive challenges. Realizing the fact that by winning one deal I’m losing a lot of other I’ve taught not to bother too much. This is the key advantage of women to compare with men by the way: ability to accept easily different defeats. Any failure is only the way to become better.
Women like me have really strong influence to the community. The topic of promotion in our career is no longer coincidence. We are not coincidence. Women always need to have rights to achieve an excellent career, especially on C-level. And we are here in this community show the example of how to do it if you want it. More we are, less resistance we have in the world against women’s career.
My message to the world:
Women should help each other. We need to support other women, volunteer, be generous. Strive to reach the feeling of unity.
Ekaterina has been working in management consulting for Russian and international oil & gas and energy industry companies for over 20 years. She is a recognized practical expert in oil & gas industry development issues, carries out wide-range expert and analytical activity, and is the author of many research works and publications.
An expert in strategy development, transformation and management of change, Ekaterina has assisted in the implementation of several strategic mergers and headed transformation strategy development projects for a number of leading companies.
M&A: Realized a number of asset acquisition transactions (the largest with a value of several billion USD). Main tasks performed: assessment of the value of purchased assets, strategy and target management model development, and representation of clients' interests in the course of negotiations on transactions;
Transformation of business and integration programs: Developed and implemented business integration programs including design and operating model implementation, development of KPIs and detailed business-processes for several large energy holdings;
Strategy development and implementation: Several significant projects for the development and implementation of strategies for Russian companies to enter European, Asian, Middle East and African markets;
Operation structure improvement
Developed a program of operational changes for the purpose of increasing EBITDA by USD 200 million for a large energy company.
Expert and analytical activity
Ekaterina takes part in large-scale economic and industry-specific forums as a speaker on industry development strategy and investment climate issues.
She publishes articles in professional and industry-specific journals, in particular, the Oil&Gas Journal Russia and has also headed research dedicated to various issues of large capital projects management and increasing business efficiency in the oil & gas industry.