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A specialist in digital innovation for the energy transition, UK Portfolio Director Kira Begunova is passionate about developing strategies for our customers to accelerate the drive to net zero. In the second of our career profiles for International Women's Day, Kira shares the influences and inspirations that have shaped her career.

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My professional journey

… began when I entered university in Russia at the age of 15. My love of maths, chemistry, physics, and geography shaped my professional path. After graduating with a MSc in Petroleum Geology and Engineering and an MSc in Economics in Moscow, I started my international career with oil and gas majors. Since then, I’ve led cross-functional and diverse teams in large corporations in the UK, USA, Italy and Russia and co-founded a data analytics company. I’m also an alumna of London Business School, where I’ve graduated with a Sloan MSc in Leadership and Strategy.

I make a difference

… by building trust and meaningful relationships with customers and colleagues and collaboratively finding solutions to customer challenges. I’m a people person at heart and I inherited it from my late father – he never missed an opportunity to help people. That’s why it’s so important to me to foster a supporting and collaborative environment.

The most important quality to have

… in business is purpose and focus. The ability to prioritise among urgent and important is key. What helps me to keep my focus is to remember my own ‘why’. Why is it important to deliver excellence and to go the extra mile? What do I want to achieve? This helped me get through my most challenging times and overcome self-doubt. I'm driven to find better ways to provide secure, affordable and sustainable energy to society, while working with, and learning from, industry experts and change makers.

To be successful in our industry

… requires a combination of soft and hard skills. Competence and keeping pace with emerging technological trends or regulations is equally important as practising active listening, embracing other peoples’ thinking and experiences and staying true to your company and personal values.

DELIVERING IMPACT: Kira is captured in the Arctics overseeing drilling operations at -55C

I’m most proud of

… my strong relationships with talented colleagues, my friendships around the world, and my family. I’m proud of successfully learning six languages, practising executive coaching and my resilience and ability to overcome life drawbacks. Last year I lost my brother, who was always my inspiration. This was a second loss, after my father passed away when I was nine. After that we relied on the local community to help us with food and clothes, before my brother and I were able to start working and help our mother. Coming from humble beginnings made even a small achievement meaningful.

My advice to young women

… is to dare yourself to do what seems uncomfortable and scary. In fact, do things exactly because they seem uncomfortable. Throughout my career I have worked in male-dominated industries, but my hard work and courage to take on daunting challenges have always driven me forwards. Also, seek for a mentor figure. I was very fortunate to have inspiring leaders in my career and my life to whom I’m very grateful.

Our industry can ‘inspire inclusion’ of females

… by having strong female role models, who challenge social norms and cultures where women are expected to fulfil certain roles, and men others. We need to show women of all ages that anything is possible.

The most inspirational woman in my life

… is my mum. She showed, and keeps showing by example, how to never give up no matter how hard life can be. I learnt from her that you never walk alone as there are always people out there, ready to help, as much as we want to help them.


To learn more about Kira's expertise and career journey, contact her at

Published: 6 Mar 2024

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