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2016

They say breakfast is the best start to any day. 

 

I couldn't agree more.  Last Thursday several Pink Petro members and guests hadBreakfast with Wall Street Powerhouse, Sallie Krawcheck.

 

Houston's finest executive business women packed the 2nd story of La Table Restaurant where we were treated to a 2 course breakfast, networking, and sage advice from Sallie.

ellevate.jpg

I joined Ellevate Network over a year ago to learn from Sallie as we've built Pink Petro.  I had the chance to meet with her last year when she gave Pink Petro two thumbs up and a bravo!

 

Sound bites I gathered from last week's breakfast:

 

On energy and the state of jobs:  Stay relevant. Disruption will continue.

 

 

PICTURE ABOVEKatie Mehnert, Sallie Krawcheck, Deborah Stavis, Jennifer Emerson

 

id help.jpegOn networking: The dream job is more likely to come from loose connections than your best friend. (This is why women need to join multiple networks and leverage all the tools available to them!)

 

On entrepreneurship: It's hard.  (Ahem, I don't disagree a bit.)

 

On investing:  Women retire with two-thirds less savings than men even though we live six to eight years longer.

 

PICTURE ABOVE:  Allison Lyons, Katie Mehnert, Barbara Duganier, and Brandy Copley

 

Sallie also informed us about her invitation-only Ellevest platform which was launched earlier this year. Women proxy.jpgare an untapped market overlooked by banks far too long. Ellevest is more personalized approach to investing. It gives women the chance to choose the experiences they want and the platform creates a personalized plan.

 

My hats off to the fabulous Jen Roosth.  She knows how to put on an amazing event with great women.

 

PICTURE TO THE RIGHT:  Jen Roosth, Ellevate Houston Chapter President, Sallie Krawcheck, Chair Ellevate Network and Founder of Ellevest

 

RELATED EXTERNAL STORIES:

Sallie Krawcheck talks to female entrepreneurs about closing the gender investing gap. - Houston Chronicle

Empowering Women in Energy - The Four Mentors Who Gave Me the Strength to Leap  - The Singapore Straits Times

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the North Texas WEN Leadership Conference.  I am always blown away by the power of having a group of ambitious, talented, smart women gathering for the sake of learning, sharing, and developing themselves further.  This occasion was no different.

 

I was so inspired by the amazing women who took time out of their busy schedules to come and talk, dream, and encourage us.  There were so many incredible insights, observations, and discussions that ensued from this conference.  Gindi Vincent gave the key note talk at the end, and the point that impacted me the most was her observations around fear and how much they hold us back.  At a time when our industry has fallen off a cliff and layoff notices continue to happen daily, fear is almost a palpable thing that impacts us all.  Doom and gloom is all around us, and is not relegated to just our industry, but echoes through the constant drumbeat of terror threats, reports of mass shootings, recession fears, the impact of a Brexit, global warming, oil going sliding back down to $30, etc. etc. etc.

 

It was not so much even that her points were so unique, but the fact that they resonated so deeply with me, and that I noticed similar observations no less than half a dozen times in the past week alone, including posts here on Pink Petro.  I have read that our generation is the first generation to believe that our children's future will be worse off than our own, that more than 70 million Americans are reported to be using psychiatric medications to treat anxiety and/or depression, and a recent Gallup poll reported that 70% of Americans are unhappy or dissatisfied at work.  This has got to change!

 

So how do we begin?  Well first we have to realize that there is a problem, and I see signs of a collective awakening occurring.  Next we have to counteract fear, and the best weapon to defeat fear is hope, and there is so much to be hopeful about.  I am encouraged, inspired, and energized every time I attend a conference like the Leadership Conference, when a group of talented women get together at a Happy Hour to discuss our hopes and dreams, through participating in mentoring groups, and by all the empowerment I see within the Pink Petro Community.  I truly believe our generation can make a positive difference in both the Energy Industry, and throughout the world. We may not have all the answers, but let the work begin with us.

Two weeks ago the world was exposed to the rawness of sexual assault.  A brave victim came forward to write her assailant, Brock Turner.  She read a very graphic note in court as the kid was sentenced a mere 6 months in jail.  The judge said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a champion swimmer who once aspired to compete in the Olympics — a point repeatedly brought up during the trial.

Public outrage ensued since sentencing with many calling for the judge to be removed from his bench. 

Here's Joe Biden's response:  (Get a kleenex)

I do not know your name—but your words are forever seared on my soul. Words that should be required reading for men and women of all ages.

Words that I wish with all of my heart you never had to write.

I am in awe of your courage for speaking out—for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity.

And I am filled with furious anger—both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.

It must have been wrenching—to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.

You are a warrior—with a solid steel spine.

I do not know your name—but I know that a lot of people failed you that terrible January night and in the months that followed.

Anyone at that party who saw that you were incapacitated yet looked the other way and did not offer assistance. Anyone who dismissed what happened to you as “just another crazy night.” Anyone who asked “what did you expect would happen when you drank that much?” or thought you must have brought it on yourself.

You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted—year after year after year. A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye.

The statistics on college sexual assault haven’t gone down in the past two decades. It’s obscene, and it’s a failure that lies at all our feet.

And you were failed by anyone who dared to question this one clear and simple truth: Sex without consent is rape. Period. It is a crime.

I do not know your name—but thanks to you, I know that heroes ride bicycles.

Those two men who saw what was happening to you—who took it upon themselves to step in—they did what they instinctually knew to be right.

They did not say “It’s none of my business.”

They did not worry about the social or safety implications of intervening, or about what their peers might think.

Those two men epitomize what it means to be a responsible bystander.

To do otherwise—to see an assault about to take place and do nothing to intervene—makes you part of the problem.

Like I tell college students all over this country—it’s on us. All of us.

We all have a responsibility to stop the scourge of violence against women once and for all.

I do not know your name—but I see your unconquerable spirit.

I see the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman—full of possibility. I see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest.

I see you.

You will never be defined by what the defendant’s father callously termed “20 minutes of action.”

His son will be.

I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors: I believe you. It is not your fault.

What you endured is never, never, never, NEVER a woman’s fault.

And while the justice system has spoken in your particular case, the nation is not satisfied.

And that is why we will continue to speak out.

We will speak to change the culture on our college campuses—a culture that continues to ask the wrong questions: What were you wearing?

Why were you there? What did you say? How much did you drink?

Instead of asking: Why did he think he had license to rape?

We will speak out against those who seek to engage in plausible deniability. Those who know that this is happening, but don’t want to get involved. Who believe that this ugly crime is “complicated.”

We will speak of you—you who remain anonymous not only to protect your identity, but because you so eloquently represent “every woman.”

We will make lighthouses of ourselves, as you did—and shine.

Your story has already changed lives.

You have helped change the culture.

You have shaken untold thousands out of the torpor and indifference towards sexual violence that allows this problem to continue.

Your words will help people you have never met and never will.

You have given them the strength they need to fight.

And so, I believe, you will save lives.

I do not know your name—but I will never forget you.

The millions who have been touched by your story will never forget you.

And if everyone who shared your letter on social media, or who had a private conversation in their own homes with their daughters and sons, draws upon the passion, the outrage, and the commitment they feel right now the next time there is a choice between intervening and walking away—then I believe you will have helped to change the world for the better.

wind turbine renewable energy grid 2.0

 

It's not just climate change that's spurring countries around the world to reassess their energy infrastructure.

As a new World Energy Council report on the "World Energy Trilemma" underscores, it is the combination of energy security, sustainability and equity that ultimately hangs in the balance with the increasing number of both government and corporate commitments made in recent months to transition toward renewable energy.

That's not to say getting from point A to point B will be easy, however.

"We need to get better at coordination, including looking beyond the energy sector to meet climate and energy goals, which will require changes right across the economy to our transportation, manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors," wrote the authors of the report, which was produced with consultancy Oliver Wyman.

The stakes of this transition are particularly relevant this week, as global energy ministers and clean energy evangelists descend on San Francisco for one of the most visible gatherings since the Paris climate talks in December. The seventh-annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) is expected to draw the likes of U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Apple environmental chief Lisa Jackson and many others, with a slew of corporate commitments and research reports also expected around the event.

The new report, released on the opening day of the energy summit, lays out the various risks and opportunities in play, which are summarized in four charts:

1. Risk and reward

When it comes to the plethora of issues facing the world — terrorism, cybersecurity, the need to transition to more sustainable cities amid a trend toward urbanization — the report positions energy-related opportunities like efficiency and clean energy as among those with the broadest potential impact.

Despite concerns about the rapid pace of global temperature rise driven by carbon emissions, the report predicts that fossil fuels including coal, oil and natural gas will continue to dominate global energy supplies through 2050.

While hydro and nuclear power are still in the mix as fossil fuel alternatives, non-hydro renewables including solar and wine energy are likely to account for 50 percent of the energy mix in Europe, 30 percent in China and more than 25 percent in the U.S. and Japan.

In the meantime, population growth and industrialization of developing countries are likely to increase the urgency of the world's energy demand.

"Energy demand is predicted to grow by one-third over 2015–2040," the report states. "At the same time, the energy sector needs to adapt to emerging risks, such as increasing volatility of weather patterns and cyber risks — and new market structures and frameworks to integrate new technologies — all in a context of increasing price volatility."

2. The path to a trifecta

 

To achieve the overarching goal of "translating the trilemma goals of security, equity and sustainability into tangible actions," the energy trilemma report lays out five broad strategies applicable for both the public and private sector.

In contrast to past years, however, it's not all about the need to bring down clean energy costs (though that certainly hasn't hurt).

Instead, the report urges more emphasis on related policy issues, allowing for more pilot projects and data gathering on the effectiveness of new approaches. Funding energy upgrades — and in particular, unlocking private sector capital to fund new energy infrastructure — is another component of the issue.

In the meantime, tailoring renewable energy technology to individual markets will be key. How distributed power enters into the equation is one question, as is the underlying issue of ensuring affordability for consumers in different income brackets.

3. Pushing for policy change

Energy policy is a vast and sometimes daunting landscape, but it's also an area that is increasingly hard to ignore as clean energy advocates work to push renewable power from the fringe to the mainstream.

Making good on the long-discussed potential for public-private cooperation and signaling a long-term intent to transition to clean energy are two imperatives for increased business backing.

In the process, look for more emphasis to be placed on seemingly-contradictory policies, like ongoing global subsidies for fossil fuel companies while also praising the potential of renewables.

"There is a need to implement consistent, predictable regulatory and legal frameworks to support long-term investment in energy infrastructure," the report states. "These include the effective use of market-based economic instruments to ensure a fair marketplace for all energy technologies."

4. Sector-by-sector emissions

By 2040, there are expected to be 1 billion more vehicles on the road in developing countries, even with the trends toward electrification and transportation-as-a-service offerings like ridesharing and carsharing. That's not counting the tens of millions of new commercial vehicles also expected to hit the road.

Transportation is one big example of energy-intensive sectors of the economy that will be crucial to decreasing climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How trends that have first started to gain traction among consumers, like electric vehicles and rooftop solar, translate to commercial scale will be one big potential lever to reign in the carbon footprint of various sectors.

"Energy management must go beyond the energy sector and include a range of technologies to drive energy improvements in key sectors," the report authors wrote. "These can include smart metering, efficient buildings, heat pumps, efficient motors; LED lighting and other appliances can also contribute to higher energy efficiency."

 

 

SOURCE: Lauren Hepler, Senior Editor, GreenBiz Group