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We Are Open!

Posted by katie.mehnert Champion Sep 6, 2017

Pink Petro is open for business.


Our offices are underwater. My home is underwater, and I spent the past week riding boats up and down the streets of Houston and rallying our community with civic leaders to get some solutions. Our whole world has been turned upside down, but we are here.


We haven’t stopped moving and we won’t — not when it comes to serving our fellow energy families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  If you need help, reach out!


During times like this, we realize the strength and power of our community. I have been amazed by what we have accomplished in just a few short days. And we won’t stop.


Read the Voices of Harvey from Xconomy and Chip Cutter's piece on LinkedIn about my position on rebuilding.


There’s too much work to do, too many people who need our help, too many stories to tell about an unprecedented recovery and the role energy is playing in that story.


I’ve been saying it since the storm hit, and I haven’t wavered: We will rebuild. And we will be here to support our energy community every step of the way.   


Stay tuned -- we have some amazing things to share in the coming days and weeks ahead. 

Dear Dan Henderson, CEO of Henderson Rig


Yesterday I was browsing our twitter feed to get caught up on #OTC2017. Your advertisement for the big "afterparty" caught my attention, pictured left.  


Quite simply: It's offensive, rude, lewd, and does nothing to brand our industry.  It diminishes women and the work they do and the NextGen and it sends a message to the public that we're who they think we are: greedy good ole boys who shoot guns and don't care about our planet. 


SMH: Shaking My Head...a lot!  It's 2017 not 1997 or 1987!


Dan, I'm an industry entrepreneur myself. In fact a guy named Bubba and I had a great conversation once back in 2013 about why a "pretty young lady like me is in a dark dangerous business like oil and gas", and it woke me up to the fact that the stereotypes in our industry need to change for our sons and daughters.  (My Ally is 6 and it appears you have 4 of your own.)  It inspired me to form Pink Petro and it's why I will spend the rest of my days on this planet to change the stereotypes.


And hey Dan...buddy... I love to throw parties and celebrate good and tough times...yes it has been a tough few years... but guns and oil and beers and babes are all images that send a different message, especially to women IN industry.  (Lest we forget that children studying to become our next generation -- in middle school and high school ATTEND OTC and use Twitter!) 


And yesterday I spoke out via video...because there are so many things wrong with your idea of marketing.

otc 2017 henderson rigs pink petro


Dan...the other thing you need to know is that many women fear speaking out. (Yeah I know it's hard for you to imagine that since you're the boss.) But this gets to the cultural challenges and deep rooted issues we have to face changing the stereotypes that your "classy" advertising (your words not mine) is doing nothing to progress forward. (Pictured right...)


But really, don't just trust my view.  I'm a voice in energy for women but my community, Pink Petro is a global community in 120 countries worldwide with women and men who care about the future of the workforce and sector as a whole. are a sampling of the nearly 40 notes overnight I received about your marketing from men and women who didn't speak out on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook posts.


Let's start with the men first...(after all you guys did come first in industry right?)


A male CEO says, "Being cute will only get you in the door. Being technically competent will get the sale"

A male business executive says, "II couldn't help noticing Dan Henderson's reply on your post of yesterday. I suggest reviewing on Twitter. It smacks of bullshit and is one of the most cynical things I've ever seen. Of course it would be difficult to challenge the motivation behind it without also coming off cynical, but it seems obvious enough to me that this superficial organization is little more than a promotional vehicle Henderson has used to shamelessly capitalize on people's sincere beliefs for his own benefit without any real contribution to "acceptance" or anything else of redeeming social value.  I commend your courage for speaking truth to power.

A female senior engineer at an oil company says,  It is disappointing to see the use of "booth babes" to promote this event. (Google it - that's what it's called). Henderson's website includes a page on their values - including how they want their employees to treat customers just as they are treated as employees...and that people are the most important aspect to creating a sustainable company and culture. Is this truly representative of their company values? Unfortunately they are likely not the only company at OTC this week contracting out models to promote products and services. Take a lap around the exhibit hall....

A female executive non industry says, Wow this guy's marketing really makes me want to join the oil and gas industry. What was he thinking or was he thinking at all? You know I love your mission and what you do for energy but I have to say this is the stuff that will continue to plague your industry's reputation.  Guns, oil and sounds so unattractive.  You've got your work cut out for you.  Keep going.  It's making a difference. 


A female geologist recent grad says, This guy could be dad.  It's depressing to see people continuing the stereotype. There's nothing about this party or advertising that makes me feel welcome.  


A female buyer at a well known energy company says, Saw this yesterday (right pictured) BEFORE I saw your post on LinkedIn. So ridiculous. I've had men ask me what color my panties were at OTC a few years back and I was dressed in business attire.


(Shame on Stallion Oil tools and the 86 likes on this INSTAGRAM POST)



And the comments go on and on...

Dan. I don't plan to get any less louder about the need for industry to change its culture and you play a role in that, buddy.


According to S&P Global (you know those guys right? .... they power Wall Street), oil and gas companies are dead last against other industries in the diversity of leadership and pipeline of next generation of leaders.  Investors, individuals and institutional, are putting extreme pressure on companies and those companies will be looking to their value chains -- companies like yours to fall in line.


The girl standing in front of the bull...she's mighty, strong, brave, curious, and has a ton to offer and she doesn't want nor care for your cheap marketing tactics.


Thanks for the very public invite to the party tonight on LinkedIn.  It truly is appreciated.  I respectfully must decline.  

Organizations like Texas Children's Hospital are very noble causes but I would rather directly contribute to them than to be a part of guns, oil and babes, because quite frankly Dan...that's the reality of today and the future and you're a part of the past.


Best regards



Katie Mehnert, Wife, Daughter, Mother, and Advocate for Change 


Note: The views expressed in this post are mine.  Pink Petro's aim is to unite, connect develop and grow women including men in the process.  The Birth of Pink Petro and Our Manifesto speak to our core values.  


Photo credit: AP/Wall Street bull


Have an opinion piece of your own?  Submit it to for consideration.



We just wrapped HERWorld 2017 on March 8, which was an amazing time. To hit some numbers quickly:


  • 25 global locations
  • 50 awesome speakers in six live public events
  • 7,432 attendees live and online  (Yep.  Ally Ninjaneer was right.  It was EPIC!)
  • 8 hours of online trending 


Wow thanks for leaning in and being a part of our amazing forum!  I am proud of what we've accomplished, together.  I say that because everything that's good is done in teams.  And together, we can achieve more than we do alone.  And we did this work together!  I had an amazing advisory council who helped us bring this together who met weekly leading up until the forum to make this a special day.  


We want to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and the hosts who made it happen.  Nearly 60 organizations rallied behind this cause with many new people reaching out to ask how they can help, too.  It's awe inspiring to see industry come together, despite the downturn to make gender parity a priority.  Go to the HERWorld community page to get in on what you missed out on.


Experience Energy

Experience Energy Careers PlatformOn International Women's Day at HERWorld, we also launched Experience Energy, the only global careers platform designed to help companies and candidates connect to careers in the industry.  The site is open-- so get your profiles in and if you work for a company that's looking to hire women in energy in a different way, get in touch with us.  We'd love to have you involved. We already have 1000 jobs ans several companies engaged.


At HERWORLD, our speakers were ah-mazing to say the least.  


We invited several guests outside of industry to talk about taking risks, creating tension, staying relevant, and challenging the status quo.


Jeffrey Hayzlett of the C-Suite Network (former CMO of Kodak) and friend of mine said that we all need to be relentless about closing this gender gap. He said we must become the Chief Tension Officers in our companies and added: “It’s not the lucky who win; it is the relentless.”  He spoke about his days at Kodak as the company was embroiled in a battle for Big Ink.  His presentation brought down the house in person and online.


Josh Levs talked with us about the other half of the gender gap story that gets no attention: fathers and families and their suffering from work life conflict.  


We learned that in the S&P 1500, there are more companies run by men with one name -- “John” -- than women overall. You may not think that’s a problem on face, because it’s “always been that way.” Here are the two issues, though: first, the phrase “it’s always been that way” is deadly to business development and, in fact, companies who use that phrase tend to get disrupted by upstart rivals. Not good. Secondly: there’s a growing body of research that companies with more empathic leaders tend to have better bottom-line results, and research has confirmed for decades that women tend to be (it varies by situation, yes) the more empathetic gender. If empathy is benefiting the bottom line, we need more female leaders.


Gloria Feldt, the founder of Take the Lead talked about parity and pay. We took a moment and had a power pose moment.  We have the power but we don't take it. We have an ambivalent relationship with power and we have the power if we have the wisdom to use it and courage to see it.  


HERWorld put front and center the gender gap as a core issue in the industry and our progressing the business forward.   


As Mary Slater Jones noted on Twitter, we each have the ability or opportunity to do one thing to help another woman move up in her career. We owe it to each other to do that.  I couldn't agree more.  But the tactics we've been using aren't working. I've sat by and watched our industry try and solve this problem with more events and networks.  And while bringing women together is very important, it's not enough.  That's why Pink Petro, HERWorld and Experience.Energy came to be: to address this and action it in a different and more impactful way, globally.   Helping women is about getting EVERYONE engaged (both genders and all nationalities), talking courageously about the gaps and issues, leaning in, being "all in" and getting everyone to join in to co-create a future forward.  It's about culture change. Culture change happens by creating tension AND taking action.  


And we're taking action...not just in the USA but globally.


Immediately after HW17 was over, I went this week to the Netherlands for the IADC / Society of Professional Engineers Expo to speak about the gender gap and to visit with the World Economic Forum  We spoke about what companies are doing to get at the gap in their companies.  In two weeks I head to Asia to Gastech with Regina Mayor to carry these messages and inspire action.


Our industry is powerful and palpable. We quite literally power the world. That’s an awe-inspiring mission to tackle every day. But the challenge we need to solve for is still this gender gap, because without women in core roles (and ultimately decision-making roles), we’re leaving a lot of potential for industry growth on the table.


What’s the first step? I’ll be back next week to discuss that.  In the meantime, I hope you will tell everyone about Experience.Energy - register your own profile and tell companies about THE only global talent site that is addresses the gap.


Thanks for leaning in... I hope you're ALL IN....and that you will join in (and bring others along with you) as we drive forward the next era of energy.


PS - If you attended HW, please give us your feedback.

I've been an extrovert since my first breath of life.  


My parents called me a force of nature, and at times, a real handful.  Yes, I'm that woman with an outgoing bubbly personality with lots of energy and drive that sometimes gets completely sideways.


 But I have a secret for my introvert friends:  even extroverts get nervous.


So here I stand (somewhat tired) 10 days from HERWorld17 , a vision that manifested as a way to connect women during the downturn to learn online and in person, and that has now turned into a mini-movement.  Ok, it's not a mini movement.  It's massive and it's about to happen in 22 cities across the globe.


Yes. I'm nervous.  


Why you ask?  Well what could go wrong?  Anything and everything. And like just before any big moment... a birth, a marriage...death...a possible's human nature to feel a sense of unease about the unknown.  But isn't this the world we live in and a state of mind so prevalent in every day society?


Two years ago I was on the heels of launching Pink Petro unsure of what I was about to do. I took all the money I had in my savings and with two startup clients, Shell and Halliburton took our proof of concept to market (in the worst economic downturn in decades).  People thought I was crazy.   And I was...crazy passionate about fixing a problem we're all tired of reading and hearing about: the gender gap.


In March 2015 just two weeks after our launch, with barely $5,000 in my business checking accoujeffrey hayzlett and elisa steele and katie mehnert c-suite networknt, I flew to Boston to sit down with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chairman of the C-Suite Network, and Elisa Steele, the CEO of Jive Software, our technology partner in launching Pink Petro. I was a ball of nerves.


I didn't sleep the night before the big day.  I was too busy thinking about what could go wrong instead of realizing how amazing it was I was there. I also recall that I spent way too long worrying about if a $400 plane ticket to Boston was going to break the bank.  Seriously, after years of managing millions of dollars, I was worried about pennies.


What I learned is what breaks the bank is when you don't take action. Not taking action means you aren't moving forward.   It's that moment you feel paralyzed and unable to make pretty simple decisions.  For the runner in me, it's like mile 22 in the marathon when your mind goes blank and your body is lifeless.  


So I put my big girl pants (and hair on) and I took the stage. And in that moment when I wanted to run from the lights (because I was sweating, a ton), I just owned it.  I took a deep breath and I let the words come natural. 


Jeff released his book, Think Big, Act Bigger, not soon after our interview, and I sure wish I had read it sooner!


Thinking big and acting bigger is all about action and attitude: being fearless and bold – willing to put oneself out there, steamrolling obstacles, ignoring perceived boundaries, and even being a little irrational and somewhat pigheaded at times. Jeff says it's about being relentless in all you can do but especially in trusting in who YOU are because YOU can.


So maybe you have an idea, a dream or a big moment coming up in your work or life?  Instead of thinking about it or dreaming, get out there and try!  Success is trying over and over again and getting up to rise to the next challenge.  It's that butterfly in your stomach just before the big moment.  It's the embarrassment of something going wrong and handling it with grace.  It's that not getting your way the first or second or even third time, but going for the win on the fourth try.


We simply must do all three: Think Big, Dream Big, and Act Big.  


Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz spent a lot of time trying to find her way home thinking she needed others and special things (like her ruby slippers) to find her way back to Kansas.  Here's the thing.  Dorothy didn't need anything but to take a deep breath, trust in her own gifts and self worth, and make it happen.  


So when the nerves crawl out, be yourself.  Sweat a little. Be okay with being you.


It's the only thing we own today so you might as well start leveraging it.


I cannot wait for you to meet my friend (and the pink cowboy), Jeffrey Hayzlett at HERWorld17 .  He's truly been an inspiration and been a  sponsor to me as I've navigated new waters.  He'll be in Houston at our MainStage event talking about change, business reinvention, and all of his lessons learned interviewing C-suites and working as the turnaround CMO at Eastman Kodak.


 If you are a executive member of Pink Petro, please read more about our partnership here: Pink Petro brings the C-suite closer to members with new partnership 


If you’ve ever worked in any business, literally anywhere, you’ve probably experienced silos. Here’s how pervasive they are: Machiavelli actually was referencing the idea of silos in 1513. (If you’re keeping score at home, that would be 504 years ago. A few things have changed.)

In most offices, though, nothing has changed. You still hear “That’s a HR thing” or “That’s a marketing thing” all the time. If you’ve worked for one of the big oil companies with operations at scale, I’m sure it’s frustrated you a few times that something can’t get done because it’s an “accounting thing” and not a “sales thing.”

Silos are pervasive.

Broader point is: we see this at the macro level of our industry too. There’s fossil fuel people and there’s green people. A lot of times, those two silos get right at it butting heads. At some level, it’s about the economic security of the people involved -- last week in Jersey, for example, fossil fuel job growth apparently sliced green job growth. Some of the earliest headlines about Trump talked about how he, as a fossil fuel “fan,” still couldn’t “stop” the growth of green.

This might sound a little simplistic, and I apologize if it does, but these arguments are less than stellar. There’s no “A” vs. “B,” especially in pretty volatile economic times. There is a place for both fossil people and green people; over time, because of environmental concerns, we’ll probably see a shift to different sources. That’s also not a “us” vs. “them” deal; we just need to retrain the fossil-centric people on the green-centric concepts if that happens. (And honestly, most of the core work is similar.) It’s the same thing that needs to happen as we automate factory workers out of jobs: we need to, ideally, retrain them into other jobs. This keeps the economy humming.

You know what else keeps the economy humming? Energy. So we need everyone. All hands on deck. No more “us vs. them” silo stuff. There’s a place for all.

This broadly represents a bigger issue in business. We’re supposed to live in a “platform economy” now (think social media, or sites to help you solve a problem immediately, i.e. even Amazon). Instead of thinking that way, though (platforms), we still think about everything in terms of competition. Platforms would add value to multiple people/companies; competition takes away value from one company at the expense of another.

Look, I love healthy competition. It keeps us on our toes. I’m sure most of you are too. But the economic models that drive us forward are changing and have been for years. We can’t view everything as “us vs. them” or “If they make more money or get new drills/pipelines, I lose money.” We need to think of things in a more inclusive and connected way than we have been.

Rita McGrath talks about “management’s three eras.” It all began with execution, as most of us produced widgets in factories. We had to be effective and hit numbers. As organizations evolved, we added expertise on top of that. Those were the two “Es” that dominated much of the last century in how we thought about work. Now we need a third “E:” empathy. Empathy is tied to inclusion. It’s about understanding different perspectives and not immediately viewing them as a threat to where you sit.

We work in the most dynamic industry there is. But we need to tweak the model and see inclusiveness and empathy as priorities for the next generation. This is a large chunk of what we’ll be discussing at HERWorld, and I’d love to see you there.

PS - Just SAY NO to silos. Like drugs, they're a little 1980s.

PSS - You can read last week's inclusion piece here:  How Inclusive Communities People and Companies are Gearing for the Next Era of Energy  and watch Regina Mayor with KPMG  here speak about it in her keynote last year: 2016 Pink Petro HERWorld Energy Forum Keynote: The Inclusive Workforce

1. Trump goes after OPEC immediately after inauguration.


It didn’t take long for Donald Trump to lob a shot at OPEC after becoming President.  After his inauguration on Friday, Trump said he was “committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests,” by exploiting “vast untapped domestic energy reserves”, in a plan posted on the White House website.  Venezuela and Saudi Arabi stand to be the biggest losers if this happens.  The U.S. imported approximately 3 million barrels a day from OPEC in 2016, with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela accounting for nearly 60% of that between the two of them. 


The question is, will Donald Trump follow through with this threat? (If that’s what you want to call it.)  Before President Obama, former President George W. Bush promised to cut imports from the Middle East when he said our nation is “addicted to oil” back in 2006.  Shipments from OPEC rose 10% during his time in office.  Every U.S. president going back to Richard Nixon has pledged to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.  Will this one be different?


2. Oil down slightly, Rig count up big.


Oil is down slightly after trending up last week.  This is the first downtrend in three sessions as prospects of increasing U.S. production swayed the market.


Last week, U.S. energy companies saw the largest addition of rigs drilling for new production, than they have seen in almost four years.  Drillers added 29 rigs in last week, bringing the total count up to 551, the most since November 2015 (according to Baker Hughes).


Even though OPEC is cutting supply, U.S. oil production has risen more than 6% since mid-2016; however, it still remains 7% below the historic high in 2015. It is back to levels of late 2014, when strong U.S. crude output contributed to a crash in oil prices.


3. Trudeau makes preparations for NAFTA negotiations with Trump.


Trudeau, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and other top Canadian lawmakers will meet today and throughout the week in Calgary for talks to figure out a plan of attack on how to limit losses from any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. After the inauguration Trump repeated his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA, promising a “good result” For the U.S.


Trudeau and other Canadian government officials have downplayed concerns. Trudeau spoke with Trump Saturday, congratulating him on his inauguration, but also set the stage for initial negotiations by reminding Trump of the enormous scale of U.S. exports to Canada.  

1. China’s oil production is projected to drop by as much as seven percent in 2017.


China consumes more oil than almost any other country in the world, but it also is one of the world’s biggest producers, with fields stretching from offshore its southern coast to the far north east.  However, the collapse in prices that started in 2014 is took a toll in 2016, and will continue to take a toll in 2017.   China’s output decreased in 2016 because state-owned firms were forced to shut down wells due to the fact that they were becoming too costly to operate after the crash.  Crude production fell 6.9 percent in the first 11 months of 2016 to about 4 million barrels a day, and 2017 doesn’t look to be any better.  The International Energy Agency estimates output fell 335,000 barrels a day last year as the country’s biggest producers cut spending, and will slide a further 240,000 barrels a day this year.


2. Noble Energy set to buy Clayton Williams Energy for $2.7B.


Oil producer Noble Energy released news today that it would buy smaller rival Clayton Williams Energy for approximately $2.7 billion in an effort to improve its presence in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. oil field.  The deal includes 71,000 net acres in the core of the Southern Delaware Basin in Reeves and Ward counties in Texas, which are a part of the larger Permian Basin.


Under the deal's terms, Clayton Williams shareholders would receive 2.7874 shares of Noble Energy common stock and $34.75 in cash for each share of common stock held.  Noble Energy also said they plan to increase the number of rigs on the new acreage from one to three by the end of this year.


3. Saudi Arabia is planning to launch a $30-$50 Billion Renewable Energy Program.


Speaking at an energy industry event in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih,  released news stating that Saudi Arabia will launch a renewable energy program in coming weeks that is expected to involve investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023.


Saudi Arabia has been looking to diversify its energy mix for years so it can export more of its oil, rather than burning it at power and water desalination plants, but up to this point progress has been slow.  Falih told the conference that Saudi Arabia was working on ways to connect its renewable energy projects with Yemen, Jordan and Egypt. "We will connect to Africa to exchange non-fossil sources of energy," he said, and didn’t elaborate any further.

Ringzone featured Katie Mehnert in a blog post by Valerie Jones, career editor, discussing how the election outcome will either hinder or influence the energy sector and its job market. 


Katie stated that Trump was the only candidate who came out and directly supported oil and gas.

She believes with an increased global demand for energy and the ending of the Great Crew Change, the focus should be on replacing the exodus of industry workers.

“Trump will continue a policy of energy independence in the U.S., and that will create an opportunity for us,” Mehnert told Rigzone. “There’s a unique challenge ahead in that we’ve lost a lot of talent, a lot of specialized people in the industry. We need to plan for the cycles.”

Mehnert said Trump needs to appoint people who are knowledgeable about the oil and gas sector to put a plan into place to make that promise of job creation happen.

Read the article and lend us your thoughts. How will energy pan out under new leadership?

NEWS  |  BLOG: Game of Wait-and-See with Trump's Promise for Energy Jobs  |  Rigzone 

I've had two cups of coffee and I'm shaking my head ("SMH")....


A study released yesterday by MIT, Stanford and the University of Washington looks at how how services like Uber and Lyft treat African Americans and women differently from white men.


Three notable trends: In Seattle, black people waited longer for Uber and Lyft drivers to accept their ride requests, and black riders waited up to 35% longer to be picked up by their UberX drivers. In Boston, Uber drivers cancelled on men with “African American sounding” names more than twice as often as on other men. Meanwhile, both ride-hailing companies took women in Boston for longer and more expensive rides than men.   Our friends at Fortune magazine report that some of the differences between the behavior of the Lyft and Uber drivers can be attributed to the variations in the two companies’ platforms.   And in September Airbnb published an extensive report in its approach to root out racism.   I find this interesting as the internet is designed to drive a new sense of openness.


The sad fact is we all discriminate.  


We have biases.  But until we understand those biases, embrace, and then eliminate them, our world will continue to perpetuate such.  


This summer I wrote a viral members-only post about Discrimination....and Inclusion.  I had members share with me privately that they were curious about resources on bias, inclusion and discrimination.  I pitched it to the community to see who had answers.  


Exclusion is so... 1980s.  


After two years of working with many of you to build what we hope is an inclusive platform for all women and men in industry, I got just a tad bit hot in learning earlier this year that there were organizations in the industry discriminating against unemployed women. (in a downturn nonetheless)  In my post, Excluding the Unemployed is just ... wrong, many agreed with me that keeping women on the sideline during a watershed event like the current downturn is just wrong. Excluding the unemployed is an incredibly short sided strategy that is clear to send women out of industry into other jobs and tells young people there's no support for them.


People say the energy sector is elitist, egotistical, greedy and pretentious.  I'd argue in some cases I can see why those outside of the circle might think that.  We're insular, terribly afraid to speak openly about what we do for fear of attack from the environmentalists and the misinformed (fair enough)... but ...what we do is crazy important to the economy and really, mankind.  Yes, it's that meaningful but we don't do anything to tell that story.


When we include, we engage people and bring others into the circle.  


And our industry needs more people. I know you think I'm crazy to say that but the fact is we've lost 500,000 or more people and the climate conversations are getting louder and more angry.  


We need people to understand what it takes to do what we do.  We need a pipeline of talent to serve our energy needs, and we sure need more women, minorities and underserved groups.  The American Petroleum Institute has released great research in the area of minorities, women, and veterans, which all point to opportunities for all.


The industry needs a new approach and it needs to be inclusive (and different).


When I first launched Pink Petro I called every organization I knew inside industry (and we're still calling them) to invite them to be a part of what we're doing.  We've been met with great optimism.  Since we've brought on partner organizations and worked with several industry groups -- Petroleum Equipment Service Association, Women in Energy & Extractives Africa, Women in Oil and Gas Association, Consumer Energy Alliance, Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWER Women, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Young Professionals in Energy, and Energetic Women to name a few with many more coming.


We've grown our platform, our messages and our purpose driven community to thousands and will continue to grow to attract new interest in this awesome and dynamic industry.  Because that's what it's going to take.


We've gone outside that box work extend our hand into mainstream non-energy groups (imagine that).  We've forged relationships with Sallie Krawcheck and her professional women's network, Ellevate Network and Jeffrey Hayzlett and the largest executive network on the planet, C-Suite Network. We're working with companies in our ecosystem in Silicon Valley and made friends with the media.  We're doing unconventional things because these times call for different solutions.


We know that to get at the gaps we have in the workforce, we're going to have to do the long, painful, hard process of attracting new people into the industry.  That means going outside the box, attracting new blood, and looking for people who bring new ideas and different perspectives.


Energy isn't just for french cuff professionals.  


In my research for Pink Petro I found very few organizations that serve all areas of the sector in the field.  (You know... the field...where you get your hands dirty.) The largest source of job growth in the next 5-10 years is outside of the corporate office so why are we so focused on white collar jobs?  (Because that's the status quo) . Don't get me wrong. We need accountants, lawyers, HR professionals,  and the like to make the business run.  But people think you have to be a traditionally educated french-cuff professional to make it into this business.  My years in the field taught me that's just not the case.  Now as a Petropreneur™ too, I am convinced there are opportunities left and right and we need to serve these areas of the workforce.  Read here about some of our members who are self made:  How Pure Grit and Determination Helped Tina Peters Achieve Success, Pink Petro Executive Member Profile Story: Donna Cole , Marsha Hendler - TerraFina Energy.  


Men need to be with us, too.


Excluding men is another short-sided strategy.  Men need to be in the conversation.  I'd argue they are the largely the ones to make changes happen.  They want to support us but we must include them in the room.  A basic need of any human is to feel worth. Excluding men is just another form of discrimination.  We're proud to include men in Pink Petro - 10% are members and we hope to see that number rise as we grow.


Energy is bigger than Texas and oil.  (Yep, I wrote that.)


We see and know that energy is bigger than oil and gas, utilities, clean tech.  It's bigger than Texas, Singapore, Brazil or Nigeria.  We embrace the diversity it offers and the opportunities it affords so many.  And we are proud to tell its story.


Have we met opposition?  


Sure we have.  Is it going to stop us? No.  The establishment days are done.  But here's a guarantee you won't get anywhere else.   I'll spend the rest of my career shaping this industry to be more open and include anyone who wants to be a part of it.  


Our future depends on it.


What do you think?  What are the ways we can be more inclusive? open?  Your views are most appreciated!

HBJDonna Cole and Pink Petro ExecutiveI'm so pleased to share with you that the Houston Business Journal has named Pink Petro charter executive member and a Petropreneur™ mentor, Donna Cole president and CEO of Cole Chemical Distributing Inc., as the first lifetime achievement award recipient for the 2016 Women in Energy Leadership awards.


Donna will be honored at the Nov. 10, which will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m at the Houstonian Hotel.  Register here and use the special Pink Petro community savings code, PINKPETROWOMENERGY16 to receive $20 off.  


Also at the event, HBJ will recognize this year's 22 honorees in three categories: women to watch, innovators and women of influence. Click here to see who they are as many are a part of our great community!


Donna was selected based on her numerous accomplishments in the industry and her contributions to the community. She was an HBJ 2015 Women in Energy Leadership award recipient.  


Watch the interview with Donna on her winning strategy and story.

Donna Cole Women in Energy Leadership Awards Petroprenuer Pink PetroAN INSPIRATION TO SO MANY


Donna has more than 40 years of experience in the energy industry and founded Cole Chemical in 1980 at the age of 27 with $5,000 and as a single mother of a 4-year-old daughter. Today, the company is ranked as one of the largest women-owned businesses with 2015 revenue of $70.5 million.  Donna is a personal friend, mentor, and has been instrumental in helping me get Pink Petro get off the ground, lending her advice, network and a helping hand.  


You can read the full HBJ story here.




Pink Petro is a proud partner to the Houston Business Journal and formed the Women in Energy Leadership awards in 2015 out of a desire to get industry women the recognition they deserve from credible media organizations.  You can read the back story here.  I personally believe women and under-represented voices are needed in our local, national, and international media to educate each other and the public about the importance of what we do.  The energy story is one of the most criticized and misunderstood.  We need to own the story, celebrate it, and bring others into it.  Pink Petro does JUST that and has created an inclusive community that brings everyone together --- men, women, individuals groups, associations, the underemployed, the unemployed, "the curious", students, retirees, and anyone interested.  


So heartfelt congratulations to Donna - my friend, my mentor, my neighbor, and someone so deserving of this award. We salut you for all you do!



Pink Petro Executive Member Profile Story: Donna Cole

I have the honor of giving a eulogy this weekend for a friend who lost her battle to breast cancer.  Hannah Rucker was a second mom to me, a really tough-love kind of teacher who, in 1992, lobbied our school board to set up an elective class called "Leadership".  She made it happen.  (And, of course... I signed up for that class right away!) 


I was combing through old memories the other night as a part of my eulogy preparation and I found this poem she gave to me 20 years ago.  I share it with you today.  It's called a "Wish for Leaders" by Earl Ruem. Let it be a reminder that nothing worthwhile comes easily and no matter what you may be going through, it's worth it. 


A Wish for Leaders


  • I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion, and then have it magnificently successful. I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have something “bomb-out.”
  • I wish you could know how it feels “to run” with all your heart and lose…horribly.
  • I wish that you would achieve some great good for mankind, but have nobody know about it except for you.
  • I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life within it.
  • I hope you become frustrated and challenged enough to begin to push back the very barriers of you own personal limitations. 
  • I hope you make a stupid mistake and get caught red-handed and are big enough to say those magic words: “I was wrong.”
  • I hope you give so much of yourself that some days you wonder it it’s worth the effort.
  • I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction in life.
  • I wish for you the worst kind of criticism for everything you do, because that makes you fight to achieve beyond what you normally would.
  • I wish for you the experience of leadership.



Today, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey released Women in the Workplace 2016 a comprehensive annual study of the state of women in corporate America. The study is based on pipeline data and information on HR practices from 132 companies that employ over 4.6 million people.


The study shows women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager—so far fewer end up on the path to leadership—and they are less likely to be hired into more senior positions. As a result, the higher you look in companies, the fewer women you see.


The report identifies concrete steps organizations can take to advance gender diversity. As a Partner Champion of Lean, we are sharing these findings with our community so you can share them with your companies and networks. We also welcome your participation in the study next year.


At, you can download the report and sign up to participate in this ongoing research. As a participant, you receive a confidential report – at no cost – benchmarking your organization against industry peers and top-performing companies (only the aggregated data is public). You can sign up for next year’s study here


Keep an eye out for the Wall Street Journal’s special coverage of the data today, including an op-ed from Sheryl Sandberg on the pushback women face when they negotiate. 


There is still significant work to do, but it is work worth doing — and understanding the data behind the leadership gap is critical to closing it.  Pink Petro is proud to be a part of an important initiative in the agenda to help women in the workplace succeed.



You’ll often hear folks talk about how nervous they are that the US is “dependent” on foreign oil, and pose scenarios where Saudi Arabia could simply cut off our oil supply, and we’d be up a creek with no paddle.   


While it’s true that two-thirds of American oil is imported from other countries, this trade relationship is not a helpless dependence on oil, but more accurately described as a vital trade partnership for both parties involved.  While it’s true that Saudi Arabia could theoretically cut off their oil, the probability of them doing that is essentially zero.  For a country like Saudi Arabia, where their entire economy is built on oil exports, to do such a thing would literally be suicide.


Along these same lines, it’s important to realize that we purchase foreign oil because it provides the value it does cheaper and better than anything else.  And we buy foreign oil because currently, given present knowledge and technology, it is far, far cheaper to do that than to attempt to produce all US oil consumption domestically.


Think of it like this.  Let’s say I have oil in my backyard, and my neighbor has oil in his backyard.  It cost me $2 to produce a barrel of oil, and it cost my neighbor $1 to produce a barrel because his is a little easier to get to.  If oil sells for $1.50 per barrel on the market… why would I spend time producing oil from my backyard?  Just let my neighbor supply the market, use up all of his oil while I keep mine, and I save $0.50 per barrel as well! 


(I will say this though… as a safety net, the US should still work to develop and refine methods for oil production, including the removal of anti-development drilling restrictions, and also invest in the development of renewable energy sources)


In general, oil trade with other countries provides a far superior benefit of increased economic well-being and global security, compared to opting for complete domestic production.  By doing so we are not “dependent”, but in fact, have access to the cheapest oil sources in the world.


Pink Petro, KCA and Expert Alumni/GlexNet publish

Energy 2021 survey results to understand the future of work in industry 

Pink Petro, KCA and Expert Alumni publish today its results to the landmark industry-wide survey, "Energy 2021” launched in May of this year during the Offshore Technology Conference. The independent study addresses what the future of the petroleum industry looks like with the mass exodus of people, loss of experience and competencies, dramatically reduced budgets, ongoing volatility, and shrinking supply chain.  It defines the current state of the industry from an economic and demographic perspective and offer potential solutions to the structural changes that are currently occurring in the industry.

Katie Mehnert, CEO of Pink Petro, talent development and culture expert said, “We are now entering a new renaissance in our industry. Energy 2021 examines employment, the market, reputation and eventual recovery and will provide a path forward and solutions forward. The talent crisis ahead of us is a true opportunity for change."

David Skinner, CEO of KCA and partner to the Energy 2021 Survey said, "Having worked in the industry through the last five downturns I can say that this time it is different. We must understand the structural impacts that are occurring in our industry and develop new ways to manage our businesses while attracting and developing the brightest minds to continue our history of innovation. This survey and the resulting research will help to define the current status and offer options to deal with structural, economic, and demographic changes that are headed our way in the next five years.”

Jon Glesinger, Founder of Expert Alumni / gleXnet said "I am excited that we are doing this survey as we begin a new study to understand current trends and the future of the sector.  It is crucial to take this fresh look as so many factors are fundamentally different now.

To get the results, visit   

About Pink Petro

Pink Petro is a leading professional development company and community aimed at disrupting the gender gap in energy and defining the future of the workforce. Its unique on-demand talent development, mentoring, and knowledge sharing offerings create the new culture for workforce and supply chain transformation. Backed by industry firms such as Shell, Haliburton and KPMG, Pink Petro™ has members in 31+ countries in 500+ companies across the energy value chain.

About KCA

K. Carpenter Associates is a market-leading consulting firm specializing in Energy and Technology. KCA has worked with major and independent energy companies, utilities, and oil-field service companies. Their processes and insights have helped clients enter new markets, create game-changing strategies, and understand uncertainty to create new

About gleXnet/Expert Alumni

gleXnet simplifies the interface between people and work by providing superior insight into people, data and operations.  Operating on the gleXnet platform, Expert Alumni makes it easy for organizations of all types and sizes to find people to fill their skills gap – members who will ensure continuity and improve organisational memory and expertise.  Experience on Demand.

Pink Petro has partnered with the C-Suite Network, the largest community of business executives in the United States, to make the C-Suite more accessible to women.

“These are people I see our executives building relationships with,” said Katie Mehnert, founder of Pink Petro. “My goal is not to just network women with each other. Our intent with C-Suite is to give senior and rising execs in energy—women and men—accessibility and resources they wouldn’t get in the energy silo.”

The C-Suite Network focuses on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives from companies with annual revenues of $10 million or greater. Its advisory board includes leaders from GE, Dunkin Brands, Schneider Electric and Facebook.


Thomas White, cofounder and CEO of C-Suite Network

“We think [our partnership] will help Katie and people like Katie to succeed,” said Thomas White, cofounder of the C-Suite Network. “We want to see women move to the C-suite.”

Through this partnership, Pink Petro’s executive members, who comprise about 10 percent of the 1,600-plus members, are now eligible for membership in the C-Suite Network. And, soon, all Pink Petro members will have access to articles and resources CEOs and VPs are reading about and implementing in their businesses.

Katie Mehnert, founder of Pink Petro

“The way to be a leader is to surround yourself with people who give you new insights. You can take it or you can leave it, but before you probably didn’t have it,” said Mehnert of the exclusive access to content from the C-Suite Network.

These two niche groups are already working together to share expertise and leverage their networks in ways that positively impacts both member bases.

Today, Mehnert is traveling to New York to attend the annual C-Suite Network Conference alongside 400 C-suite leaders from around the country on Monday and Tuesday. Fittingly, she has been invited to discuss the power of networks. And in March, Jeffrey Hayzlett, cofounder of the C-Suite Network, is scheduled to provide a keynote address at the 2017 HERWorld Energy Forum.


This partnership marks another step toward Mehnert’s goal of providing Pink Petro members with “a platform to build their influence so they can stand out. We want to help this next generation in this on-demand generation build relevance. Thomas [White] and I are 100% aligned on this.”

To apply to join the C-Suite Network, send an email to