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We all see signs along the road so often that we take them for granted – Stop, School Crossing, Merge Right.  We react out of habit and do as instructed… most of the time. There are other signs that we see all the time that – let’s be honest – we completely ignore, like the speed limit.


Daily life is the same way.  We become so wrapped up in the busyness of everyday events that we begin to take for granted things that are “always” there – the roof over our heads, a full meal, our job, our family.   Then something happens – an illness, a corporate layoff, a hurricane, a relationship breakup.  Suddenly life’s essentials return to the forefront of our focus.  Why is it that we wait until a dire situation to appreciate all that we have?  What other signals might we be missing?


The objective of this series is to help us read the signs along the way to keep us from slipping into complacency about the fundamental, yet most important parts of our lives.   We’ll focus on the road signs of life that help us avoid the ditches of relationships gone awry, an accident with our health or a collision at work.  Maybe we can even avoid some fender benders with our kids.


As you drive down the road during the next few days, pay attention to the signs that you notice and try to think of some you take for granted or overlook.  Check in next Monday for the first topic on Rest Area.



Question of the Day (QOTD): The last time you had an unpleasant life event, were there signs leading up to it that you overlooked?

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Global KPMG CEO Outlook Survey with a specific lens on the Energy sector which reflects the outlooks and positions of senior industry executives in the Power & Utilities (P&U) sector. The P&U report can be downloaded here. In the survey, we examine the ongoing growth trends, emerging strategies, as well as some of the risks and challenges facing CEOs.


Power & Utilities Outlook

Amid an environment where cyber security is under intense scrutiny, power and utilities executives are feeling the pressure. Forty-eight percent of CEOs showed concern that becoming the victim of a cyber-attack is a matter of “when” and not “if” and not all CEOs are well-prepared to manage such an event. Please click here to read more.


KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here to follow now 

This week on Profiles in GRIT, we are featuring Lindsay Sander, one of the winners from the 2018 GRIT Awards on October 3rd. Lindsay is the Principal of Sander Resources, L.L.C. in Austin, TX.


Sander Resources is a consulting firm that helps its clients address developments in state and federal policies that impact their businesses, and implement programs to comply with them. Sander Resources uses innovation and information to influence policy, drive business, manage risk, and ensure compliance.


Lindsay is originally from Edina, Minnesota. Moving to Texas and entering this industry has had its share of challenges for her, but she’s loving every minute of it. Here’s more of Lindsay’s story:


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


LS: Being underestimated, and there is nothing that I enjoy more. This occurs on a regular basis and has been the greatest challenge. It has likely benefitted me more than whatever specific challenge was facing our client or team. It has provided me with opportunities to demonstrate dedication, determination, hard work, problem-solving, and resolve. And it has resulted in great partnerships, wonderful friends, and a network of people who want to make a difference in moving issues and our industry forward. I truly hope people continue to underestimate me as it will only drive me to accomplish even greater things in the future.


Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?


LS: We took on a client with a CEO who had an oversized ego for the purpose of accomplishing a VERY difficult assignment. Despite successfully delivering what the client requested (a miraculous accomplishment with potentially fantastic outcomes), the CEO was uncooperative, unappreciative, and, ultimately, disrespectful to our team. The company is my life and the people who work for me are family. I will never tolerate poor treatment of either. It was a good, but hard lesson to learn: I realized that we are not looking to work with just "any" client; we are looking to partner with clients with whom we can do our best work.


Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


LS: When clients are appreciative of the hard work and efforts of our team to accomplish their goals and make a difference.


Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


LS:  I have been incredibly blessed to have a number of incredible people guide and mentor me. One of those is Alice Ratcliffe. She is a client who became a close friend. Alice pushes me to be a better person, take the higher road, and helps me navigate through some of the stickier issues - personally and professionally. Alice puts everything she has into what she does, loves her family, helps others and does it all with a smile on her face regardless of what has just happened in her world.

The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership study in the world, with almost 4,000 respondents across 84 countries.

We are pleased to announce that we can now offer our survey results with a specific lens on the energy sector. The Power & Utilities report can be downloaded here, while the Oil & Gas report can be downloaded here. In both surveys, we examine key topics, and highlight several areas where this industry’s responses differed significantly from those across all industries.


Oil & Gas sector findings

Oil & Gas CIOs have embraced the digital revolution and are currently exploring multiple ways to digitize their operations.

Key findings include:



Of next-generation technologies, Oil & Gas companies are most likely to have invested in the Internet of Things and robotic process automation.

Oil & Gas companies view having an innovative, experimental culture as a critical component of the success of their digital strategies, with 87 percent viewing it as very or quite important.

The transition to digital remains a challenge for Oil & Gas companies and CIOs and the industry could benefit from more aggressive digital strategies. To achieve this, companies should further invest to pilot and deploy digital solutions.


Please click here to read more.


Power & Utilities

Power & Utilities CIOs look to digital technologies to improve business process efficiencies as their top priority followed by enhancing the customer experience.

Key findings include:



Power & Utilities are placing a higher priority on improving cyber security.

Power & Utilities companies have invested more heavily in the Internet of Things than any other industry.

Next step is to find new and innovative ways to create insight from this data to create micro offers and enhance the customer experience which is an area of opportunity for them.


Please click here to read more.


KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here to follow. .


This week on Profiles in GRIT, we meet Dionne Auguste. Dionne is the operations manager for NES Global Talent in Perth, Australia. NES is a workforce provider that provides staffing solutions across the Oil & Gas, Power, Infrastructure, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Mining sectors globally. NES offers a diverse workforce and technical recruitment across major projects around the world. 


Dionne moved to Australia 6 years ago, she did not know anyone and moved without her friends and family, but through perseverance and grit, she overcame the challenges to build a successful career and a personal brand.


She focused her efforts on networking and became involved in programs like a local lean in circle, Women in Oil and Gas Australia where she is a mentor. Today, she runs the lean in circles for her region and mentors other women and young professionals.


It was a pleasure to honor Dionne at our 2nd annual GRIT Awards in October. And we’re excited to share more of her story with you.


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

DA: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced both personally and professionally was moving from the UK to Australia. Not only was it a challenging personal transition, but I also had to learn the WA market, major projects and the technical aspects required for working in resources.


When I made this move, I was about to turn 30. I was broke and trying to make a new life for myself away from my family and friends. The self-doubt I had during this time period was like nothing I had experienced before. I wanted to run away and go back home to my comfort zone. Fortunately, the thought of failing gave me the drive I needed to kickstart a new life and career.


I knew I had to learn the market quickly so I began networking with professionals in the industry. I asked candidates and clients for their feedback and I looked after those who believed in me. In return, I was able to build a reputable personal brand in a competitive market.


Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?

DA: One of the biggest mistakes I made was underestimating how hard the move would be. I moved without much planning. It was very stressful, but I did it. I believed in myself and I worked hard to achieve success. I also had support from sponsors and mentors who I still seek advice from today.


Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?

DA: I love being a people manager and enjoy seeing success in others. One project that sticks out in my mind is the indigenous drive we did for a large LNG operator in Darwin. Their indigenous workforce was 0 and they wanted us to assist them in employing some indigenous candidates in their business. Darwin is a very remote location and it is difficult to source local candidates. However, we were able to provide a shortlist of 22 candidates of which 16 were from an indigenous background. The client put 12 of our candidates through their assessment day and employed 6, of which 3 were indigenous and 1 was female. This was an incredibly rewarding opportunity for me and NES Global Talent.


Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?

DA: Oprah Winfrey is one of my all-time role models. I come from a diverse background myself. My father was born in the Caribbean and my mother is from Scotland. So I can relate to some of the challenges Oprah has faced throughout her career. The strength which Oprah has shown to the world is phenomenal. She has touched the hearts of thousands of people and has not been afraid to bare her soul, emotions and imperfections. It has been inspiring to follow her career and what she has achieved.


Pink Petro: Which community service activities/organizations have you been associated with and in what capacity?


  • DA:  Women in Oil and Gas Australia - This is a lean in circle lead by Veena Mendaz who is a category manager for Chevron. I have been part of the membership since Veena founded the organization 5 years ago and I am now honored to be part of their mentoring program. I am currently mentoring a female project controls engineer.
  • Wirrapanda Foundation - This foundation is an indigenous non-profit organization. We work with the foundation to assist them in placing suitable candidates within the resources industry who have gone through their mentor program.
  • SCLAA - I have had a relationship with this organization for about 5 year. We regularly reach out to them when we are seeking young professionals within the supply chain industry who have completed their degrees and looking for their first full-time position in mining and oil and gas.
  • Leadership - I am the internal diversity rep for APAC at NES Global Talent and run our lean in circles across the region.
  • Pat Thomas Women’s Refuge - I regularly donate clothes, cosmetics and other items to this women’s refuge.
  • Women in Mining - I am currently a member of this organization and am in conversations with them to present at their sundowner later in the year.
  • Brightwater- I am a volunteer as part of their “Music Pharmacy Program” the program works with Dementia patients to engage them in music programs such as personal playlists, group sessions and harp playing.  

Companies in the energy industry are paying attention to inclusion and diversity. But beyond awareness, what are they doing about it?


Recent studies like the Energy and Diversity Inclusion Index and the Women in the Workplace 2018 asked employees pointed questions on these issues.


So how do women in the workplace, and in energy, feel about their experiences? Since companies are acknowledging the need for inclusion and diversity, have things changed?


Over 64,000 employees in the U.S. completed the Women in the Workplace survey. And more than 450 people in the energy industry responded to the EDII survey.


Let’s take a look at what the data from these reports reveal.


Diversity Should be Treated as a Business Priority


According to the Women in the Workplace study, companies are experts at setting goals and tracking data to achieve them, in most cases. However, only 38% of companies set targets for gender diversity, and only 42% hold senior management accountable for making progress in this area.


20% of employees believe that their company’s commitment to gender diversity is lip service.


One female vice president and member of her company promotion team noted that “when women are given more scope and responsibility, then they deliver success, it takes 6 months to a year for them to be recognized. Whereas when men get a new responsibility, I’ve seen them immediately get promoted or get recognized without creating any deliverable.”


According to the EDII report, nearly 70% of the people polled in the energy industry believed that they belonged at their companies, yet only 31.13% either agreed/strongly agreed that promotion decisions were handled fairly.


37.18% of energy employees felt that gender diversity was NOT a priority to senior management.


Company Culture Needs to Change


Employees participating in these surveys believe that women still face various forms of discrimination and many have experienced it. In fact:


  • 64% of women experienced microaggressions.
  • 55% of women in senior leadership were sexually harassed.
  • 45% of women in technical fields were sexually harassed.
  • 48% of lesbian women were sexually harassed.
  • 71% of lesbian women were subject to microaggressions.


Only 32% of women believe that their company quickly addresses disrespect towards women.


In the EDII report, while 77.41% of employees agreed/strongly agreed that they were respected and valued by fellow employees, only 69.54% felt that management valued and respected them.


As our friends at Gapingvoid Culture Design Group say “inclusive is the new exclusive”.  But it starts at the top, and clearly, more work must be done. 


The EDII report shows that 81.03% of energy employees place a high priority on diversity.


Data from the Women in the Workplace report shows that even though more women earn bachelor’s degrees than men, they are still:


  • Less likely to be hired into entry-level jobs.
  • Less likely to be hired into management positions.
  • And far less likely to be promoted into management roles.


Right now, men in the workplace hold 62% of all management positions. Women hold 38% of them.


It’s Time to Fix the Only Factor


Often, when women do land the job or get the promotion, they discover that they are the only woman in the room. According to Women in the Workplace, one in five women are Onlys.


40% of women in senior level or technical roles said they are an Only. About 7% of men reported this.


Being an Only doesn’t just affect women at work. It happens to people of different backgrounds and ethnicities too. As one mid-level administrator put it: 


“I feel like I have to represent the entire race. I need to come across as more than proficient, more than competent, more than capable. I have to be ‘on’ all the time. Because in the back of someone’s mind, they could be judging the entire race based on me. And I don’t want anybody else’s opportunity to be ruined because I messed it up. I know that seems really heavy, but that is often how I feel. I am pretty sure that when most white people make a mistake, they don’t feel like they’re representing all Italians or all Irish. But a lot of Black Americans do feel like that.”


Let’s Move the Needle in the Right Direction


Lip service doesn’t hold much weight and people see through it. Hiring a diverse workforce is a start, but it’s not enough. What is your company doing to ensure that all employees have a sense of belonging?


The data is here. Two different reports, two very similar sentiments among women in the workplace.  


It’s time to go beyond acknowledging the data and use it to drive real change in the energy industry and beyond. 


Let’s start addressing these issues like the business priority that they are.

There’s a Buddhist proverb that says If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your own path. Take a moment to ruminate in that truth. There is boundless potential in our industry. There is no lack for professionals with years of experience who are bursting with expertise, passion, and stories of grit. These individuals have the power to ignite a bright industry future. And you are these individuals.


It is likely that at some point in your professional career, you were mentored. And it can be said that mentoring is an imperative ingredient in the recipe to drive a successful workforce future.


However, there is a major disconnect happening in our industry. According to the Women in the Workplace research data that was recently released, women still feel like it is harder for them to advance in their careers. This data also revealed that women get less access to senior leaders than men do, and they receive less support from managers.


For every one hundred men promoted into manager-level jobs, seventy-nine women are.


It’s time to take action! Senior leaders and managers need to become champions of diversity.

When it comes to a mentoring relationship, the focus of value is often on the mentee. They receive careful council, guidance, and seemingly unlimited access to their mentor’s wealth of knowledge.


However, the value of being a mentor is often overlooked. Sure, being a mentor requires time, effort, and commitment. And understandably, as a busy professional, those things are in short supply. But what many fail to realize is that mentoring someone actually brings a lot of value to your own career.


Mentoring improves your communication and supervisory skills. It’s no secret that effective managers and leaders need to be able to establish positive and trusted relationships. Working with a mentee offers you the opportunity to hone the skills necessary to develop those relationships such as active listening and empathy.


You expand your network. A critical part of mentoring is helping your mentee establish important connections. As you support your mentee in this, you have the opportunity to continue to build your own.


You stay current on industry trends and continue to learn. Working with a mentee allows you to have conversations that keep you up-to-date on your industry. Mentees often bring great questions, new ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. These conversations offer you the opportunity for growth in your own career.


You actively contribute to industry change. The data doesn’t lie; women are still getting left behind in the workplace. But as a mentor, you have the opportunity to actively contribute to the change in industry by sharing your expertise and empowering future leaders.

Getting involved as a mentor is easy. There are mentorship programs, like the one from Lean In Energy, that are designed to match you with the right mentee.


Lean In Energy, a 501c3 non-profit, is on a mission to empower women in energy through mentorship. The program connects women and men with peers who can challenge and encourage them to charge forward in their careers, counteracting any gender bias that they may meet along the way.


At launch, Lean In Energy has three components:

  1. Communities
  2. Small Group Mentoring
  3. Flash Mentoring


Membership enrollment is now open, and the program is accepting applications for those interested in being mentors.  Lean In Energy is an independent organization, affiliated with LeanIn.Org, which works closely with LeanIn.Org to further its mission and is licensed by LeanIn.Org to use the ‘Lean In’ name.


To sponsor, contact the organization at

This week in our series Profiles In GRIT, we introduce you to Sarah Walker, Senior Manager M&A Integration (Mergers and Acquisitions) at Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE).


Sarah, who we honored with a GRIT Award earlier this month, has had quite an impressive career journey so far. She navigated through her dual-degree MBA program on multiple continents while managing intense merger and acquisition activity with a “bring it on” attitude.


She encourages others with her personal motto: “Say yes to unique opportunities and trust your own creativity to implement the how.”


And Sarah has done just that by employing novel approaches to challenges and demonstrating unwavering persistence.


Read below for more from our conversation with Sarah.


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


Sarah Walker: In the fourth quarter of 2016, I received a text message from GE Oil & Gas leadership that read, “Sarah, how would you like to work on a merger?” Immediately, I replied “thank you, yes!“. The details soon followed: GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes $23 billion merger created the world’s first and only “full stream” provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions (NYSE: BHGE). At that time, I was a Senior Commercial Manager based in London leading a multi-million-dollar oilfield equipment deal in West Africa. I was also six-months into my two-year Executive MBA - a dual degree global program between Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York and London Business School (LBS) including international studies at Hong Kong University, LBS Dubai campus, IAE Business School Argentina and CBS Chile. Yet, when the text message arrived, I didn’t even flinch. My answer was “yes” – and then I would figure out “how.”


Within less than a year, we prepared two companies with commercial operations in more than 120 countries to list on the New York Stock Exchange as a new combined company. The M&A activity didn’t stop there.  In July 2017, with the transaction now complete, the new challenge of commercial integration moved forward with intensity and required focus. My role was to lead the global sales efforts to achieve incremental revenue for the new company by helping to identify opportunities to demonstrate the value and innovation of BHGE’s expanded offering to customers.


Many people have asked me, “How did you combine intense M&A activity with an MBA on multiple continents?” My quick answer: meticulous personal and professional planning, dedication and a lot of coffee. However, behind every challenge is an opportunity. For instance, beyond overcoming planning and logistical challenges required to help execute a merger of equals, I seized the opportunity to bring our diverse cultures and professional disciplines together to collaborate cross-functionally and identify synergies to deliver additional revenue through increased customer engagement.


The challenge was real, but the opportunity once-in-a-lifetime. I am so fortunate to have been able to combine a global MBA with a market-changing M&A transaction.



PP: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


SW: The most rewarding part of my career to date was when I launched the Commercial Women Network in the UK & Ireland on behalf of all General Electric businesses in 2016.


The aim: to grow and develop GE’s +500-person pipeline of female talent in client-facing roles in the country.


Having participated in many Women’s Networks, I felt there was something different about working in client-facing roles in industrial businesses:



  • We’re on stage with customers every day. As a result, we are the default ambassadors for women in our company and industry.
  • We’re often operating outside of our own company’s culture and HR systems. A wide and dense network is required for support and success.
  • We tend to be underrepresented on industry panels at conferences, technical paper submissions, and features in industry mainstream media.


With those challenges in mind, I took a grassroots approach. I created a draft vision statement and then cold-called 60 women across the country to ask if they wanted to be part of that vision. With the first 10 ladies on board, we designed a program for 2016 – focused on training and developing commercial women as thought leaders to drive innovation in industry and today we lead virtual training reaching ~200 employees each month.


I am personally passionate about creating space for other’s voices to be heard and the network was a platform to do so.


PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


SW: My mother. Her hallmarks: open-minded, driven, creative, passionate and a constant reinventor. Her career has spanned public sector, banking, innovation and, now, cryptocurrency. Constantly at the forefront, she has exemplified the characteristics she wanted my sister and me to embrace as future female leaders. Pivotal to my own development, she very tactically included me in her career journey from an early age. For example, when she led emerging markets strategy for a major bank, she took me out of high school to spend a month with her in China. She brought me as her “date” at age 9 to the launch of her firm’s first branch in Hungary. At 12 years old, she had me speak on stage in front of ~100 potential Business School recruits about what it was like to be the daughter of an international banker. She’d prioritize flying back from client meetings in Asia just-in-time to see our concerts and sports matches – I now realize how exhausted she must have been! From my mother, I learned that anything is possible if you are passionate, create a plan, execute it meticulously and build a solid support team.


PP: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?


SW: During my undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University (North Carolina, USA), I was very active in our student government. My aim was to make an impact on the student experience at the university. In my first two years, I was elected by a few thousand students to the office of Student Government Treasurer. My job (I was paid!) was to manage a one-million-dollar student activity budget. I created a 9-person budget committee, had a classmate code an  audit platform for student club accounts, and was responsible for presenting our fund allocation recommendations to the university board each year. On the back of two years of positive student opinion polls, I decided to run for Student Government President in my final year and was unsuccessful. This was deeply disappointing. At the time, I felt that my fellow students had rejected me personally when, in reality, they had simply selected another qualified candidate for the job.


What I learned from the experience can be applied to any professional challenge:


  1. Know your audience. Before you begin any customer engagement, strategic project or political campaign, you must methodically landscape and understand your stakeholders. Who are they? What are their biggest needs and challenges? How can your background and expertise help them succeed?
  2. Continue performing & reinventing yourself. Just because you performed well in your last role does not mean people will extrapolate that to their predictions for your future performance – especially if the scope of work changes. You need to constantly keep your performance high and brand fresh, whilst maintaining authenticity and integrity. When you tackle something new, you will likely need to re-train and re-brand.
  3. Keep going for it. Even if you don’t win the deal, secure the project or get that next promotion – still give it a shot. The worst that can happen is often nothing, so go for it!

Today I'm at the Wall Street Journal's Women in the Workplace forum  to discuss the 2018 results of the latest survey. (Spoiler alert: it's not good.)  Our friend Sheryl Sandberg says it's time for companies to Lean In.


I couldn't agree more.  But there is good news for energy.


The industry is shifting and collaboration is the name of the game.  A few weeks ago ExxonMobil, Chevron and Oxy joined the OGCI, a big win for our climate.  Equinor, BP, Shell and Total joined forces to create human rights supplier assessments.  And despite the rapid speed of innovation pressuring the industry, CEOs now see technological disruption as more of an opportunity, says Regina Mayor with KPMG's CEO Outlook.   (It's about time, huh?) . 


So a shift is happening.  Tech has created a business, geo-political, and social tsunami.  I think this is good for us and I hope the workforce will shift too. 


We're more than doing our part.  This month we honored 38 difference makers at our 2nd GRIT Awards and released the results of the Energy Diversity & Inclusion Index assessing inclusion and belonging with our partners, GapingVoid.  We welcomed two new members Anadarko  and Wood Mackenzie and we are keeping the profile high, socializing the much needed inclusion to drive the energy transition.



The other good news is women in energy are owning their voices, stories and taking the stage.
I am honored to join these phenomenal women at the 8th annual KPMG Global Power & Utilities conference in Brussels.  And we'll have plenty of diverse voices and faces to bring to the great conversations we'll have at HERWorld19 on March 7-8, 2019.  Stay tuned this week as we begin to announce our awesome lineup and allow you to pre-register for seats.  We expect another sell-out and thousands watching.
Seeing is believing.  The shift is happening but there's more work to do, especially when it comes to workforce and culture.  Thanks for coming along for it with us.

Sector view: Oil & Gas 2018 Global KPMG CEO Outlook


We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Global KPMG CEO Outlook Survey with a specific lens on the Energy sector which reflects the outlooks and positions of senior industry executives in the Oil & Gas (O&G) sector. The O&G report can be downloaded here. In the survey, we examine the ongoing growth trends, emerging strategies, as well as some of the risks and challenges facing CEOs.


Oil & Gas Outlook

Despite the rapid speed of technology and innovation pressuring the industry, oil and gas CEOs see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat but acknowledge that more work is to be done. Eighty-five percent of oil and gas CEOs report they’re piloting AI or have already implemented AI for some processes. However, only 59 percent feel their organization is an active disruptor in their own sector, and 57 percent feel that the lead times to achieve significant progress on transformation can be overwhelming. Please click here to read more.

KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here to follow now.


Today, more companies are talking about the importance of inclusion.

But how many of them really walk the walk?

Pink Petro’s newest global member, Wood Mackenzie, does. And we are delighted to have them on board.

Woodmac, a Verisk company, is a research and consultancy business for the global energy, metals and mining, and chemicals industries. Woodmac joined Pink Petro in August after the company’s director of global public relations, Anthea Pitt lobbied for the company to do so.


According to Anthea, "It's not just about ensuring that the gender balance is equal, it's about changing the culture. You're not looking at gender, you're looking at skills. And everybody benefits from that shift in culture."

She first learned about Pink Petro earlier this year when Amy Bowe, the director of upstream consulting at Woodmac, won a GRIT award in March. Prior to Amy’s nomination, neither of them were familiar with Pink Petro.

When Amy returned home from receiving her award in Houston, the two of them looked into Pink Petro further and felt that it was a fantastic organization for Woodmac to be a part of.

What led to this decision?

They loved the career development and mentoring work that Pink Petro does. 

Anthea has worked in the industry as a journalist and communications adviser for the past 18 years and is fascinated by the energy sector. One of her big regrets is that she did not know that a career in geology was an option she could have pursued. “In the place I grew up, and at the time I grew up, women from my background weren’t encouraged to pursue further education, let alone a scientific career,” she says.

She is glad that there are fewer barriers these days for women to pursue careers in the energy industry.

The oil sector has traditionally been viewed as a male-dominated industry that isn't particularly friendly towards women.  But, there are women working quietly and effectively in the background (and it can definitely feel like that at times). 


In fact, Wood Mackenzie has a team of incredibly knowledgeable, sharp women who are involved in everything from exploration and production to gas and LNG, refining and chemicals and power and renewables, to mining and metals. They are clever, diligent women at the top of their game.


Anthea is proud that Woodmac takes inclusion and diversity seriously. In fact, of the 1,382 employees worldwide, 534 are female.


Yes, joining Pink Petro is just one of the ways that Woodmac is “walking the walk.” With strong support from their parent company, Verisk, they’ve also implemented a number of initiatives for women including:


  • Imposter syndrome workshops which recognize that all women suffer from imposter syndrome to some degree.
  • Gender working groups that look to ensure that the company is balanced in its workplace, policies, and procedures.
  • Women in senior leadership positions such as HR, marketing, cross-research, and consulting roles within their teams and specialties.


Woodmac also emphasizes physical and mental health and well-being as a priority for all of its employees. And they promote gender balance. Within the workplace, at Woodmac there is an active awareness that you need a balance between work and your home life. 


Woodmac recognizes women are no longer the exception. And that the company is actively working to be a part of that change in the industry. So, as Anthea and Amy dug deeper into discovering what Pink Petro was all about, membership seemed like a natural fit.


Anthea approached senior leadership at Woodmac to say, “this would be good for all the women working at the company, and particularly the younger women to help them ground themselves within the industry.” Woodmac agreed.


Through Pink Petro, Woodmac employees can learn from women who have had to fight to get where they are and gain better knowledge and understanding of it.

Experience Energy, a Pink Petro company, released the results of our first ever Energy Diversity & Inclusion Index™ (EDII™) at the GRIT Awards on Oct. 3rd, 2018. And we’re excited to share those results, which we discussed during the Demystifying D&I panel, with you.


Launched in July of this year, the index is the first of its kind, examining the state of inclusion across the energy sector. The concept was inspired by the Glass Ceiling Index; a report the New York Times has released each year for the last three years showcasing the number of women and men in leadership roles in American life. We wanted to provide those same answers for our industry.


And while we’re interested in the data points – we intend for this information to be leveraged to understand what employees in the energy sector believe makes culture truly inclusive.


The survey, powered by Survey Monkey, focused on three components of inclusion which can be tough to quantify: growth mindset, belonging, and objectivity. These components were based on research by Stanford University experts Carol Dweck, Greg Walton, and Geoffrey Cohon.


With more than 450 responses in the oil and gas, renewables, and services industries from over 60 companies globally, the data revealed some interesting truths. In order to move the needle, you have to look beyond the demographics to ensure your employees feel a sense of belonging. So, we took a hard look at the root causes that drive the data.


As Jason Korman suggested during the panel, in order to get past diversity and inclusions as risk mitigation in enterprise companies, we need to deal with the root causes: the beliefs and mindsets that drive behavior.


Find the comprehensive research results here.


The results are in, and the data might surprise you.


Of those who participated in this survey, most agree that they feel like they belong at their company, ranking in at 46.12 percent. The majority would disagree that they feel like they might not belong at their company when something negative happens to them at work. And 46.12 percent believe their opinions are valued when they speak up at work.


But as we dive deeper into the more complex issues, the data takes an interesting turn. 32.35 percent, the majority, of the individuals who answered the survey do not believe that promotion decisions are fair within their companies. And when asked whether or not administrative tasks that don’t have a specific owner (like taking notes in meetings, scheduling events, cleaning up shared spaces) get divided fairly, 29.41 percent said they agree and the same percentage said they disagree.


The good news is, the majority indicated that they agree they feel respected and valued by their teammates and managers within their company.


40.26 percent said they agree that their company hires from diverse backgrounds, but the results indicate there’s a steady decline when it comes to the level of priority as you climb up the ladder from individual to direct managers to senior leaders. And only 4.87 percent said that hiring from diverse backgrounds is the most important priority among the senior leaders.


So now what?


To affect change in diversity and inclusion, it’s important to determine the beliefs and mindsets we need to shift in order to get the numbers to move. There’s no magic lever to pull when it comes to affecting culture change. We need to question what we’re not valuing, and what beliefs we need to change. 


“An open culture that encourages a clear identity and sense of belonging will engender more diversity.”


Download the comprehensive research results here.

This past summer, a handful of Shell stations in Amsterdam got a bit of a makeover.


 Building on Shell’s signature yellow and red, crucial components of their brand’s identity, four stations were adorned with rainbows — across their facades, their pumps and on the coffee cups.  


Coinciding with Amsterdam’s annual Pride Week, the rainbow-colored campaign was an act of solidarity meant to convey Shell’s deeply rooted commitment to diversity and inclusion. And it came with a statement:



Welkom bij Shell. Iedereen.


Welcome to Shell. Everyone.


Shell has a long history of supporting LGBT workplace inclusion and has had networks in place for 20 years. And they have flown the rainbow flag and taken part in Pride events for many years to show their commitment to  LGBT inclusion. This matters as one of the company’s core values is respect and they believe this is the right thing to do. Shell also knows that employees who are closeted or who feel that they can’t be themselves at work are less productive. Recently, the company has taken a more creative approach, says Graham Sparks, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Shell.


 Pictured above: Graham Sparks, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Shell


He likes to call it “painting the assets.”


"To be successful in this transition, you're going to have to have the best people with the best minds," Graham says. "It brings me back to the core of the D&I business case: the best people, best ideas and best collaboration. That's what excites me. I'd almost see a place where you don't have to talk about D&I anymore because it's so much a part of what you need to be successful and for growth in our industry."


The industry isn't quite there yet, but Graham says he has reached a point where he spends much less time talking about the business case for diversity and inclusion and much more time talking about values, the right thing to do and respect for people. 


Shell made a bold move when the company wrapped a storage tank in its refinery in Rotterdam in rainbow colors, and their efforts continued when Shell painted a rainbow flag on the side of a commercial fuels delivery tanker in the Philippines.


And continued to the most public-facing part of its business — gas stations — and gave them the full rainbow treatment.


“The idea is you go beyond something that is purely symbolic and, for a period of four weeks, ensure we have a conversation about it,” Graham explains.


 The reaction was very positive: The campaign generated some 800,000 views across social media, and the sentiment ratings were 79 percent positive — a huge win in a campaign around an often-polarizing social issue.


There were, of course, some negative reactions. The one Graham heard most often was, What does someone’s private life have to do with Shell?


“We aren’t talking about someone’s private life. We’re talking about our behaviors and how we show respect for our customers and staff,” Graham explains. “You have to bring it back to that storyline, and that’s the best way you can make progress where you see resistance.”


 That kind of response is honed over years of building a strong diversity and inclusion focus within a large company in a traditionally conservative industry. Graham has been in his role for five years, but, as he is quick to point out, diversity and inclusion has been a core part of Shell for more than 100 years. As proof, he points to an old Shell advertisement that turned up recently in a museum in the UK. The poster, which dates to 1908, was created to show Shell’s support for the suffragette movement — complete with the headline “Votes for Women! Votes Shell”.


“Here we are, 110 years later, having this conversation. The point is, you had better be in this for the long haul,” Graham says.


When you do, you make an impact and you underpin your values— both on specific issues and on the industry as a whole.


When it comes to gender, modern-day Shell now has a 50/50 balance on graduate intake — meaning it is bringing in equal numbers of men and women fresh from college. Six years ago, only a third of the new graduates joining Shell were women.


In that same time period, the senior leadership of Shell has climbed from 16 percent female to 23 percent.


In turn, more inclusive leadership breeds stronger employee engagement and, importantly, stronger safety performance.


“And when you start talking about safety in our world, you suddenly get people’s attention,” Graham says.


But inclusion matters to more than just safety. It’s critical to the energy transition as a whole. When diverse leadership is supported by inclusive behaviors company-wide, you create an innovative, nimble company capable of navigating the complexities of the energy transition.


The leadership doesn’t need to be convinced on the value of D&I. Shell gets it — as evidenced by this quote from Shell CEO Ben van Beurden on the Shell website:


“Inclusion and inclusive behaviours are at the heart of effective collaboration — be it with team members, colleagues in other parts of our company, partners in our joint ventures or, most importantly, with our customers. It is therefore vitally important that we do not view diversity and inclusion as a ‘nice to do’ or an ‘add on’ to business as usual. It must be at the heart of our business plans in the same way as safety.”


And the rainbows were just the beginning.



“I think all of this starts to very much define who you are, what your brand is and what you stand for wherever you operate in the world,” Graham says. “Sometimes that means we need to have more difficult discussions, and use this as underpin of our values and broader role in society.”


Shell’s bold inclusive positioning doesn’t just create an environment where employees feel free to be themselves; it paves a pathway for others in the industry to step bravely into diversity and inclusion.

Experience Energy, the leading resource for diverse talent, careers, and culture, hosted our second-ever GRIT Awards on Wednesday October 3rd. And once again, we were left in awe of the men and women in this industry; the leaders who are committed to growth, resilience, innovation, and transition. And if you weren’t able to join us, here’s what you missed.


See the press release.


Before we honored individuals for their game-changing work, we offered a half-days’ worth of thought-provoking content that stimulated conversation and created unique opportunities for connection.


Futurist Keynote speaker, Crystal Washington kicked things off with a conversation about the current state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the impact technology will have on its future. She discussed the different ways to combat the fact that technology doesn’t eliminate bias. She highlighted which technology should be on your radar, how to leverage it, and she also spilled about technology that is coming our way that could change the game for women and men in energy. She says “Social media is the great equalizer.” It offers a way to plow through the traditional barriers by providing access to the opportunities.




We took a quick break to enjoy a delicious lunch and some connecting before Katie Mehnert, founder & CEO of Experience Energy; a sister company of Pink Petro, took the stage to deliver a captivating speech.  She reminded us that “Grit is not a destination, it’s a journey,” and “The world needs people with fire in their bellies.”


Lean In Energy was the GRIT Awards Benefactor, and the Global Mentoring chair, Alyssa Volk took the stage to share her insights into the program. Paul McIntyre later joined her on stage to drive the message home about working alongside women in the workplace.  


Following lunch, Katie invited a panel of experts to the stage to discuss the details of several recent studies on the state of inclusion in energy for the Demystifying the Data panel. This conversation included the results of our first-ever Energy, Diversity, and Inclusion Index Survey which we launched to determine the industry sentiments around current diversity efforts.


 NES Global Talent and PESA contributed research for the discussion focused on women in energy, how women feel about what their companies and this industry have to offer, and gender diversity.


A deeper look into the panel discussion.


Geeta Thakorlal, President of INTECSEA, delivered the Keynote about the value of perspective. Moments before taking the stage, she commented on how pleased she was to see how perfectly the conversations happening throughout the experience primed the audience for her speech. She took a deep dive into what GRIT and an inclusive environment can do for a business and how the generations are changing and adapting. She says, “You can see that with a diverse team, with multiple perspectives, allows us to work together to solve issues, increase awareness, and keep each other on the right path.”


None of this would have been possible without the people. We want to give special thanks to NES Global Talent and Gaping Void as sponsors, those of you who purchased tickets, and, of course, our table sponsors: KPMG, WorleyParson/Intecsa, Marathon, SWN, BHGE, Weatherford, Exxon, Enbridge, Chevron, Equinor, and PESA. We appreciate all you do to support Experience Energy and Pink Petro.


Before we announce the winners, we want to take a moment to celebrate all of the finalists. Each and every one of has GRIT.


 We are thrilled to announce the October 2018 GRIT Award winners.



  • Dionne Auguste; Operations Manager – NES Global Talent
  • Muhammad Imran Khan; Mari Petroleum Company Limited Pakistan
  • Andrea Reynolds; General Manager Business Transformation London – Shell
  • Elizabeth Rogo; CEO/Founder – Tsavo Oilfield Services Ltd
  • Allison Selman; Integrity Management & Decommissioning Manager – Atteris
  • Sarah Jane Walker; Senior Integration Manager – Baker Hughes, a GE company




  • Jaime Butler; Vice President of Permian – Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Pam Darwin; Vice President Africa – ExxonMobil -- Accepting on her behalfis Kimberly Outerbridge
  • Cherie Fuller; Vice President, Retail Power Market Management – EDF Energy Services
  • Michele Harradence; Senior Vice President, Gas Transmission & Midstream Operations – Enbridge
  • Susan Howes; Vice President of Engineering – Subsurface Consultants & Associates, LLC
  • Deanna Jones; VP Human Resources & Administrative Services – Marathon Oil Company
  • Janette Marx; CEO – Airswift
  • Julie Munn-Sims; Principal – KPMG LLP
  • Maria O'Connell; Vice President of Quality – Baker Hughes, a GE company




  • Katherine Culbert; Co-Founder and CEO – K and K Process
  • Kathy Lehne; President & CEO – Sun Coast Resources, Inc
  • Michele McNichol; CEO – Arion Blue LLCm
  • Lindsay Sander; Principal – Sander Resources
  • Mary Van Domelen; President – Van Domelen International, LLC




  • Mystie Barrett; Process Specialist – Aera Energy LLC
  • Kara Byrne; Sr Proposal Manager – Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Krista Caldwell; Mobility Manager – WorleyParsons
  • Cassandra Corley; Director, Information Technology - ConocoPhillips
  • Maitri Erwin; Manager – NV, South America – CNOOC Nexen Inc
  • Jessica Hernandez; Lead Manufacturing Specialist – Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Rebecca Hofmann; Leader – Management Systems & Blockchain Strategy & Innovation – Equinor
  • Johanna Hoyt; Geologist III – Aera Energy LLC
  • Angela Knight; Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader – Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Alaina Sajatovic; Product Manager – Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Afton Sterling; Regulatory Manager – Southwestern Energy
  • Andrea Wu; Principal Consultant – RS Energy Group


Male Champion:


  • Hugh Connett; Vice President, Gas Commercialization – Chevron


Team - Paige PR

  • Paige Donnell; CEO
  • Kristen Quinn; PR Director
  • Natasha Wilson; Digital Strategist
  • Megan Anderson; Social Media Coordinator


Special Recognitions:


  • The Growth Award: Weatherford
  • The Transformation award: BHGE
  • The Innovation Award: Alyssa Volk, Baker Hughes a GE Company, for her work with Lean In Energy.


There was a very special announcement that we want to let you in on. HERWORLD19 is happening on March 7th& 8th with an incredible line up of speakers. But you’ll have to wait a little while longer for those exclusive details!


See the photo gallery



Experience Energy hosted the 2ndAnnual GRIT Awards on Wednesday, October 3rd live in Houston and  through social media. This year’s benefactor for the event was Lean In Energy, a 5013c non-profit.

The GRIT Awards recognize leaders who step up and get the job done no matter what. They are an inspiration to others. So it’s a natural fit that an organization like Lean In Energy would be its benefactor.

Lean In Energy is on a mission to empower women in energy to move boldly towards their ambitions, even if that means heading into unchartered territory.

Growth, resilience, innovation, and technology, the words that define GRIT, can be seen in each of the three methods that Lean In Energy uses to empower women: mentoring, awareness, and education. 


Empowering Women Through Mentorship


In the course of the past year, the leadership of Lean In Energy has worked diligently to create new and exciting opportunities for mentorship. These opportunities are innovative, utilizing technology to connect women to others who can help them grow in their personal lives and careers, build resiliency, and inspire others to grow as well. 


Lean In Energy connects women with peers who can challenge and encourage them to charge forward in their careers, counteracting any gender bias that they meet along the way. 


Pictured above:  Alyssa Volk, Global Programs Chair with Baker Hughes, a GE company speaks about the new program.


Lean In Energy has four components:


  • Communities are organized by region, function, discipline and unique special interest. These global groups are overseen by a Regional Group Lead based on what part of the world members are in. Within each region, women can join a member-run and led SIC focused on technology, engineering, sales, commercial, supply chain, finance, legal, etc. or a group for unique interests such as power generation, Blockchain, 4Ds, or women in hydraulic fracturing. These communities are for connections, networking and growing outside of mentoring.

  • Small Group Mentoring is a formal, structured mentoring program that runs for a period of six months for one mentor and up to four mentees. These groups are matched using Lean In Energy’s smart-matching algorithms that are based on applicants answers to profile questions.


  • Flash Mentoring provides members with one-on-one mentoring in a “flash” (a one-hour session to be exact). It is flexible, there’s no commitment, and it provides members a focused opportunity to gain knowledge across different departments, prep for an interview, build a stronger network, learn job-related skills, develop soft skills, or explore a new career path. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with mentors around the world while on business or personal travel. Flash Mentoring is available to all members, even if they are in a Small Group Mentoring Program.


  • The Executive Sponsorship Program:  This is an exciting program coming in 2019 and only open to corporate donors. The primary role of the Sponsor is to open doors for the talent and to introduce opportunities for exposure, to demonstrate to a different or higher-level audience what you can bring to the company. A Sponsor is able to attend those roundtable discussions that can make or break your career. Their authority allows them to speak to your strengths, make cases for your advancement, and be heard in your absence. Where a Mentor may help you envision your next position, a Sponsor will lever open that position for you.


Lean In Energy and the Future


Lean In Energy will continue to fuel women in energy to their bigger purpose. In addition to their mentoring programs, special interest communities and their executive sponsorship program, the organization regularly participates in public awareness of gender diversity and promotes female leadership in the workplace. And it will continue to grow its library of educational resources to help women build new skills and to educate everyone through research-based recommendations on how to advance gender equality at home and at work.


Pictured right above  Paul McIntyre, Board of Directors, Lean In Energy and Global Head of People at Worley Parsons


How to Become a Part of the Movement



Open enrollment for Lean In Energy starts soon.  When you register, you'll be assigned to a Regional Community first. Then you'll have the option to select the Special Interest Communities that you'd like to join. Next, you will receive an invitation to Lean In Energy Small Group and Flash Mentoring Programs. You can sign up for one or both programs.


Small group enrollment opens on October 29th for mentors and on November 26th for mentees and it closes on December 24th. The 6-month program will begin on January 28, 2019.


Flash Mentoring enrollment also opens on October 29th for mentors and November 26th for mentees. However, this is a year-round program so you can sign up anytime after enrollment opens.


Visit LeanInEnergy.Org today and join our mailing list. Once the new platform (web-based and mobile app) goes live on October 29th, individuals can become Lean In Energy Members, join Communities, enroll in one / both of theMentoring Programs.


Lean In Energy is an independent organization, affiliated with LeanIn.Org, which works closely with LeanIn.Org to further its mission and is licensed by LeanIn.Org to use the ‘Lean In’ name.


To sponsor, contact the organization at