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Jen WelterThis summer I had the chance to connect with 75 female and male leaders that make up Lean In leaders.   It was at the Lean In conference I met Jen Welter (and I had the nerve to give My Kid's Fidget Spinner to Sheryl Sandberg


Jen is an impressive woman having been the first female coach in the NFL and she'll join us on March 8 2018 on the HERWorld18 stage in Houston.  I had the chance to catch up with Jen recently. 


Here's a tidbit of what you'll get a taste of in March on international women's day!


You were a football player before you were a coach. How did you start playing?


My first love was tennis; I wanted to go pro. But I’m only 5-foot-2, and my tennis coach told me I was too small ever to be at the top of the game. So I quit. I let him convince me that I couldn’t do it. In college, I found rugby. I’d loved football all my life, but never thought I could be allowed to play. Rugby was the next best thing, and I was pretty good. After college, I started playing flag football on the weekends and I got a call to try out for the Mass Mutiny women’s team. For a moment my fear of being too small almost stopped me, but I vowed not to let that happen again. I left my corporate job and fancy apartment to train full-time for the team.


You write that your first paycheck for playing professional football was for $12 – in a season where you won the championship. How can that be?


Female professional football players don’t make any money. Theoretically, there’s a profit-sharing agreement with the owners of the team, but there aren’t any profits, even when you’re the best in the league. In fact, women have to pay to play. My team and I all had day jobs to pay our bills, and then we would practice after work, shining our cars’ headlights on the field at the local park so we could see what we were doing. On the weekends we held car washes to raise money for uniforms or travel costs for away games. We did it for the sheer love of the game, and it taught me an important lesson: Play Priceless. That applies to any field. Remember that winning and success are not absolute terms. Winning can be the outcome of a competition, but it can also be the opportunity to compete against the odds. Being a professional is about the attitude you have and the value you assign yourself, not the value someone else assigns you. When you define your own metrics of success, then you truly define your power and how you are going to live your life.


Did you aspire to play in the NFL? 


Heck, no – I’m not crazy! I’m 5’2” and 130 pounds. I never intended to play football with men. But after winning four championships with the Dallas Diamonds, the team folded due to lack of funds. I got a call from The Texas Revolution, asking me to come to the first day of tryouts…and only the first day of tryouts. I was kind of offended. I thought it was a PR stunt. So I said, “No, if you want me to try out, I’ll do it – but you have to let me go through the whole process.” They agreed on the condition that I change my position from linebacker to running back—they said I’d get run over if I played linebacker. I was more scared to change positions than I was to take hits from the guys. But I knew I had to seize the opportunity. 


As a coach, you were giving orders to guys who weighed three times as much as you and were nearly twice as tall. How did you get them to listen to you?


I didn’t “get them” to do anything—but I was very fortunate to be able to earn the players’ respect. Supervet Lorenzo Alexander (with Buffalo as of this writing) set the tone early on. When one of the players asked him for a second opinion, he backed me up all the way. I did have to work to develop a relationship with the players, just like any coach—except, of course, it wasn’t quite like any coach. I had to show them that I wasn’t going to be put off by cursing or fart jokes, for example. It helped for them to see that I respected them as people, as well as players. I think that was an advantage I had over some of the other coaches. I could “read their eyes,” as Coach Arians used to say.


You write in the book about things that the business world could learn from football. Can you give some examples?


Appreciating diversity is a big one. A team relies on each player completing an individual job in order for plays to be successful. If all the players on a team were built the same way and had the same talents, we would get killed. Football just doesn’t work if all eleven people are identical, or if the coaches treat every player alike. Football is also good at rewarding talent—coaches have great metrics to evaluate performance, so it’s easy to decide who gets what opportunities. (Until recently, this was truer for players than coaches!) Finally, a good coach knows how to read someone’s eyes. A good boss does, too. People are motivated by different factors, and they need different kinds of coaching to excel. Reading the eyes is about knowing what your team member needs and trying to give them that, on or off the field.


At the start of the 2017 season, there were eight women coaching in the NFL. What do you make of it?


I’m thrilled for them, of course. There’s a long way to go before women have a fair chance to compete for the role of head coach in the NFL, but it’s amazing the progress that’s been made in just two seasons, since I took the field at training camp in 2015. Meanwhile, I’ll keep holding training camps to ensure that young women are in a position to seize the opportunities that are waiting for them—or create their own opportunities, like I did, if need be.


Visit our HERWorld18 website for more details to sponsor, attend or host your own HERWORLD18!

OCGI reportIn the past five years, seven leading oil and gas companies invested more than $19 billion in renewables. Those companies also spent more than $3 billion on research and development in low emissions technologies, and on average, 21% of 2016 R&D budgets were focused on low emissions technologies.


Those findings were revealed last week when world climate and energy leaders gathered to discuss key outcomes and progress from the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative's third year of work. The results, detailed in the initiative's 2017 report, are outlined in full here.


In addition to major investments from the energy industry, greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1% in 2016, according to data from seven OGCI members. And over the past decade, emissions have fallen by 17%, with a 9% drop in the past five years.


This year, the OGCI also decided to analyze existing climate scenarios out to 2100. “The value of these scenarios is not so much to predict what the world will look like a century ahead, but to help identify possible drivers of change, as well as the technology and policy levers that are relevant to achieving different outcomes,” according to the report.


Here are some other key milestones:


  • The Oil & Gas Climate Initiative invested in a UK project that aims to develop a framework for the world’s first commercial-scale gas power plant with integrated CCUS and additional carbon transport and storage capacity. Potential impact: could remove 90% of carbon dioxide from the gas plant and store additional carbon dioxide from a range of other industries, if realized.
  • OCGI helped to create a standardized methodology to classify storage capacity for carbon dioxide. Potential impact: could help to accelerate investment in CCUS by providing confidence on availability of aquifers for storage.
  • OCGI invested in Solidia Technologies, a company that is using carbon dioxide in a novel concrete manufacturing process. Potential impact: could lower the carbon footprint of its concrete production by 70% and help nurture carbon dioxide recycling business models.
  • OCGI is providing financial and technical backing for two major global studies of methane emissions from the natural gas value chain, one with UN Environment and the other with Imperial College London. Potential impact: could help identify new emission reduction initiatives and provide a scientific foundation to inform policy.
  • OCGI invested in Achates Power, a company that is developing more efficient vehicle engines. Potential impact: could help lower greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.


2017 Women Who Mean Business


It never fails: Every year, when the Houston Business Journal announces its list of Women Who Mean Business, we are blown away. The women in this city are an inspiration. And the more we can show the world the powerful work women are doing in the world of business, the more likely we are to create a generation of women after us who are even more powerful.


This year, the list included more than a dozen women in energy. They were selected based on career achievement, contribution to company and city success, community involvement and leadership. Congrats to each and every one of you!


  • Laura Bellows, CEO of W. S. Bellows Construction * Top Woman Owned Business
  • Donna Cole, CEO and President of Cole Chemical  * Top Woman Owned Business  (Read our piece on Donna here.)
  • Deborah Byers, U.S. oil and gas leader and managing partner at EY
  • Tonja DeSloover, associate general counsel and head of litigation at Energy Transfer Partners
  • Michel Ecklund, deputy general counsel at Marathon Oil Corp.
  • Susan Ellerbusch, CEO at Air Liquide USA (Read the Pink Petro profile on Susan here.)
  • Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief risk and compliance officer at C&J Energy Services
  • Regina Bynote Jones, general counsel of land rigs segment at Schlumberger
  • Kathy Lehne, CEO at Sun Coast Resources . * Top Woman Owned Business
  • Dorothy Marchand, managing director and head of oil and gas finance at BBVA Compass
  • Judy Marks, former CEO at Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business
  • Regina Mayor, principal and global sector head at KPMG
  • Dianne Ralston, executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at TechnipFMC
  • Laura Schwinn, CEO at C&C Reservoirs
  • Geeta Thakorlal, president at INTECSEA (Read a story on Pink Petro on Geeta here.)


Thank you to the Houston Business Journal for continuing to honor the amazing women in this community. You can read more about each of the honorees here.

oil rigHere are the top headlines from last week’s Oil Viewsletter from VANDA Insights. You can download the full report here.


Troika of factors push Brent toward $60 again. How stable are they?

Crude market sentiment has turned bullish in recent weeks on account of three major factors:

  • High degree of confidence that OPEC and it’s non-OPEC collaborators in the output cut deals will stay the course for as long as needed.
  • Escalation of armed conflict in Iraq between the Kurdish population and the federal government in Baghdad.
  • Growing certainty that U.S. shale is recovering but not rebounding in 2017.

Read more here


OPEC may not want an exit strategy

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih’s remarks at an investment conference in Riyadh last week signal an important shift in OPEC’s longer-term policy on actively managing the oil world’s supply-demand balance. “When we get closer to that (OECD oil stocks falling to their five-year average), we will decide how we smoothly exit the current arrangement, maybe go to a different arrangement to keep supply and demand closely balanced so we don’t have a return to higher inventories," he said. “The intent is to keep our hands on the wheel between now, and until we get to a balanced market and beyond, we are not going to do anything that is going to disrupt the path we are on.”

Read more here


Iraq: Fear factor trumps amid uncertainty

The situation in Iraq remains extremely fluid, but two elements have emerged clearly so far in the first tension-filled month after the Kurdish referendum for independence on Sept. 25:

  • The federal government in Baghdad and its armed forces have the upper hand in the battle for power and control of oil in northern Iraq.
  • The worst case scenario on oil supply disruption has not come to pass.

Read more here


Shale producers come to OPEC’s aid, unwittingly

While the U.S. oil drilling rig count has been sliding since August, the ratio of well completions in the shale basins has been creeping up. Third-quarter results and earnings calls of major US oil services companies in recent days including Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes confirm moderating investment appetite among producers. There is “...a growing focus from E&P companies on financial return and the need to operate within cash flow rather than the pursuit of production growth,” Schlumberger noted.

Read more here

Michelle Peavy“Get off your ask.”


If you know Michelle Peavy, you know that’s her slogan, her catchphrase, her mantra. She’s passionate about “the ask” because she’s seen it work, in her own career and in the careers of others.


“I am the queen of questions, and I believe how you become successful at doing anything is by questions and curiosity,” Peavy says. “That’s what made me successful at what I do.”


Peavy’s specialty is end-to-end recruiting. She’s been doing it for 25 years, 18 of those years with her own business, Rimi & Company. She works for companies in both Canada and the U.S. and serves as a LinkedIn consultant, teaching individuals and corporations to optimize the functionalities of the social networking site.


Now, she is bringing that expertise to Pink Petro and our sister career site, Experience Energy, in her new role: Director of Cool Careers. Her mission is to connect top energy companies with a powerful and diverse pool of talent.


Peavy met Pink Petro founder & CEO Katie Mehnert three years ago, when she saw Mehnert speak at an event.


“I showed up and I said, ‘I want to work with this woman one day. I didn’t know how it was going to happen,” Peavy recalled. “Here’s the key: We built a relationship with each other before we did anything together.


Relationships are core to Peavy’s style. Her friends and family call her a “master connector.”


“I get an adrenaline rush. I get such pleasure in making connections,” she said. “It’s not just about who I am in recruiting; it’s who I am as a person.”


The downturn has led to tough times for the energy workforce. Companies are hiring, but their talent needs are becoming much more specific, and the hiring process increasingly digital. That’s created a sweet spot for Experience Energy, Peavy said.


“Women, energy and really powerful talent — they’re all gathering together in one place, and that’s Experience Energy,” she said.


Originally from Canada, Peavy moved to Houston in 1995. She’s been in recruitment ever since, but she’s also established herself as an actor, a professional salsa dancer, an international motivational speaker and a singer. She’s produced her own CD and sings the National Anthem at the occasional Houston Rockets game. She’s written a book, “The Freeway of Life,” and is obsessed with fitness. She’s at the gym six days a week, without fail.


It sounds like a lot to juggle, but Peavy doesn’t feel that way.


“I think when you love something you just make time for it,” she said.


And opportunities come your way when “get off your ask and get specific about what you want," she said.


She uses pizza to illustrate what she means. When you order pizza, the restaurant asks you what kind of pizza you want. And you tell them, in very specific terms: pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms — nothing else. The restaurant, in turn, delivers exactly what you asked for.


“Translate what you want on your pizza to what kind of job you want or what kind of person do I want to hire,” Peavy said. “I think people know what they want in their head. I don’t think they know how to verbalize it and use the right keywords.”


Peavy said women in particular tend to struggle with being specific in asking for what they want. But it works. She’s seen it.


She had one client who wanted to change her hours to work only from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and limit her travel to 20 percent. The woman thought she had no shot at finding a job with such specific requirements. But when she asked a previous employer if they would consider the arrangement, the company said yes.


“She could have that because she was specific,” Peavy said. “So get off your ask.”


Want to talk careers with Michelle? Tune in Nov. 16 for a very special Coach’s Corner, where Michelle will share her tips and tricks for finding great careers and top talent in the energy industry. Open to the public. Register here


For more about Michelle, check out her website here.

1. Oil hits the $60 mark again.


For the first time since 2015, Brent crude pushed past the $60/barrel level last Friday.  And as of Monday morning, it seems to be staying there.  In the Asia trading on Monday it hit $60.69.  The West Texas Intermediate, the US standard, it’s still not quite to $60/barrel, but it seems to be trending in that direction, sitting at roughly $54/barrel currently.


2. Big Oil CEO’s believe OPEC supply cut extension is a good idea.


OPEC members seem to be agreeing on the idea of extending their production cuts for another 9 months.  And if Russia is on board, that means 1.8 million barrels a day off the market for most of next year.  But, they haven’t made up their mind yet, and with the decision still up in the air, major oil CEO’s are chiming in and urging OPEC to extend output cuts beyond March arguing "huge volatility" in the energy market.


Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne was asked if he feels it’s necessary for OPEC to continue the cuts, and his response was, "Of course they need it."  He continued, “It is better to keep a stable policy and I think the OPEC and non-OPEC agreement is working efficiently and should continue,"


BP CEO Bob Dudley agreed, “I heard what Patrick (Pouyanne) said about the volatility of oil and the factors here and I couldn't agree with him more … I think this is the world we are living in.  Short term exuberance does not characterize I think any of the CEO’s that I know in oil and gas right now."


3. Iraqi forces continue to secure oil wells from Kurdish forces.


The turmoil in northern Iraq continues as Iraqi forces continue to gain ground and reclaim oil wells from Kurdish forces in the Nineveh Province.  Iraqi federal forces have secured 40 oil wells so far from Kurdish Peshmerga forces as of Saturday. 


Army Major Hammam al-Abdali reported, “Iraqi joint forces have managed to assert control over 40 out of 44 oil wells in recent military operations in the Zummar district of Tal Afar [west of provincial capital Mosul],”


Energy and construction have a lot in common. Both have a long way to go before they reach gender parity in their ranks, duking it out for second to last and last place, respectively. But we’ll save that conversation for another day.


Today we’re talking about similar struggles. KPMG has released yet another piece of compelling thought leadership: its 2017 Global Construction Survey, which collected responses from 201 senior leaders, including 40 percent who are energy-focused. That survey found that construction is having a hard time embracing innovation and new technologies. A focus on governance, risk and controls hasn’t yielded a subsequent improvement in quality and safety. And construction significantly underestimates “the human element” and its effect on project delivery.


Sound familiar?


KPMG is offering a path forward. The survey this year is titled Make it, or break it: Reimagining governance, people and technology in the construction industry. The focus is on helping the industry break current molds and reimagine its approach to governance, people and technology.


Why does this matter for energy?


Given the similarities across industries, energy could find a new path forward in the survey and its findings.


Equally as important, engineering and construction are part of the value chain for energy. And innovation in the former stands to benefit the latter — in a big way.


Download the full report here.

Part of our job at Pink Petro is to shine a light on our members. We ask about their career milestones, their successes and setbacks and their advice.


This week, we decided to focus in on that advice. We looked back at some of our past profiles and pulled out our favorite nuggets of wisdom. Read on for more from our community.


Got some tips to add to the mix? Tell us in the comments below or email me at!


Lorrie Alvarez Thompson is the vice president of global sales at Emerson Automation Solutions. She has visited 34 countries and spent much time in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. So not surprisingly, her advice to others looking to grow their careers is to work internationally:


“It brings a different perspective when you have to learn to assimilate into a different culture.”


Read more about Lorrie’s travels here.


Ally Cedeno is a senior dynamic positioning operator for a major drilling contractor and the founder of—a website dedicated to helping other women make names for themselves in the energy industry. The best piece of career advice she’s received is to learn not just what to do, but why you should do it:


Early on in my career, I was told to ‘normalize discomfort in learning.’ My supervisor told me to not be afraid to dive in deep into manuals, ask questions and get dirty searching for answers to learn the ins and outs of the systems I work with. Basically, he didn’t just want me to know what button to press, but instead learn how and why it functions the way it does.”


Read more about Ally’s career here.


Susan Ellerbusch is the CEO of Air Liquide USA. Prior to that, she was an executive at BP, where her career spanned chemicals, refining and marketing and biofuels. At BP, she was also the executive sponsor of BP’s 2,500-member North American Women’s Network. Despite the diversity of her experience, her advice on leadership is universal:


“Being a leader isn't about knowing the most or trying to be the smartest person in the room. As a leader, you need to recognize talent, encourage development, and promote your teams and team members. Give them the trust and autonomy to be creative and do excellent work. As the leader, you define the direction and ensure there is a shared purpose amongst the team.”


Read more about Susan’s career here.


Yetunde Okediji is a petroleum engineer who has held positions at ConocoPhillips and Chevron. Due to the energy industry’s downturn, Yetunde is currently in transition and seeking a new petroleum engineering position. So her advice for the community is about what to do when your job falls on the chopping block. The biggest question people ask is whether they should "wait it out." Yetunde says that's a personal decision, but here's what you should do regardless: 


“Keep your head up and strategically get out of the house! Almost all the people that I have met who have found jobs got those jobs through their immediate or extended network. The best advice I received after my layoff was to order some business cards and start attending networking events.”


Read more about Yetunde’s experience here.


Carmen Segovia is an advanced information technology business analyst at Marathon Oil. She’s also a first-generation Mexican American and the first member of her family to go to college. In her career, she’s found success by honing in on what she wants and going after it with everything she’s got. But she’s also learned to be resilient and to adapt to change:


“This is a great industry. However, one must be ready to adjust when things aren't going so well,” she said. “Only you drive your career. Always look for and take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way.”

Read more about Carmen’s career here.

A record 30,000 people attended the Energy Day Festival in Houston this past weekend. The focus was on educating attendees about the importance of improving STEM education. It also provided an opportunity for top energy companies to start the recruitment process — early.


student at Energy Day Festival 2017Industry-leading companies set up more than 55 interactive exhibits and demonstrations to bring energy to life for the kids who came. Direct Energy, for instance, invited attendees to recharge their cell phones by riding a stationary bike. The faster they went, the more power they generated. ConocoPhillips hosted “Math Jeopardy” to give the subject a competitive twist.


Why is this so important for energy? Because three-quarters of oil and gas employees are 50 and older. There's about to be a huge talent gap, and we've got to turn kids on to the opportunities early. And the best way to do that is to make it fun. 


If you couldn’t make it to the Energy Day Festival, there are plenty of other ways for you to get your kids excited about STEM. Need help? We’ve got you covered.


  • Check out this list of 50 STEM activities to do with your kids. Highlights include turning your name into crystals and capturing fireworks in a jar.
  • Encourage your kids to try an hour of code, through the aptly named organization Hour of Code. One-hour tutorials are available in 45 languages, so no excuses. And people who’ve gone through the experience say even an hour of coding teaches you a new way of thinking and problem-solving.
  • Try Nova Labs, a free digital platform created by PBS that engages teens in games and other interactive experiences that foster scientific exploration. You can use the platform construct renewable energy systems, for instance, or conduct investigations by sharing the same data that scientists use.
  • Set up a home science lab. After all, what better way to get kids excited about science than to have 24/7 access?

1. US-Backed forces capture ISIS oil field in Syria.


On Sunday, US-backed Kurdish and Arab forces moved in and captured Syria's largest oil field from ISIS forces, another moral and financial blow to the jihadists in eastern Syria.  Laila al-Abdullah, a Syrian Democratic Forces spokeswoman said the oil field in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor has been "liberated", and ISIS fighters driven out “with little damage".  The US coalition confirmed the capture of the oil field on Monday, and added that that ISIS oil production has been reduced from approximately $50 million per month to less than $4 million per month currently.


2. Singapore has big plans for solar.


Typically known as the oil-trading hub of Asia, Singapore is looking to make a fundamental shift regarding its energy generation going forward. The city-state plans to develop solar power and energy-storage technologies that will meet up to 25% of its electricity demand by 2025.  How are they doing it?  With floating solar power stations in their reservoirs.  Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean unveiled the project during International Energy Week and further clarified Singapore’s plans to work against climate change and diversify away from fossil fuels. “We are one of the small island states, the average height above sea level is not a great deal,” Teo said. “If the sea levels rise, we have to take it very seriously, or all of us will have to take swimming very seriously.”


3. Venezuela continues to struggle.


PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company is purportedly shipping crude oil with increasing quality issues.  Reuters is reporting that Venezuela’s oil shipments are “soiled with high levels of water, salt or metals that can cause problems for refineries”.  This isn’t good news for their major oil company that is already feeling the squeeze from a steep drop in output.


Everything seems to tie back to the country’s economic crisis.  The turmoil is leaving everyone in the country without cash, and without this cash, PDVSA is struggling to acquire the proper chemicals used to treat its oil or pay for equipment and upkeep to maintain quality.  As a result, PDVSA is shutting down operations, and pulling back production. “We’re refitting chemical injection points, recouping pumps and storage tanks,” a PDVSA worker told Reuters. “But without chemicals, we can’t do anything.”

Coach’s Corner on Pink Petro TV last week focused on the power of communication in leadership. And that got us thinking: What else do we need to have in our career toolkit to make an impact and get ahead?


We took a look back through the Pink Petro archives and found some of our best content related to professional development. Below we’ve included some of the highlights, with links back to the full stories for a more in-depth read. Enjoy!


Learn to ‘build your story’: And that means talking not just about what you do, but why you do it, according to Cheryl Chartier, a corporate storyteller for Articulus.


“The emotional connection is really what’s going to get people to separate you from the crowd. It’s not necessarily about what you do, but why you do what you do, the passion that you bring to it, and how you can get them to get their return on investment from working with you,” Chartier says.


Read more here.


Manage yourself during stressful times: Because how we manage ourselves impacts our effectiveness, says Susan Hodge, a business coach and owner of Women Leading Together.


Here’s a tip that seems counterintuitive:  Slow down and do less. Instead of working harder and faster to get out of the situation, you’ll be more effective if you take some activities off your calendar,” Hodge says.


Read more here.


Dress like your job depends on it: Because what you wear tells the world what kind of work you do and how seriously you take it, says Marilynn Barber, a speaker, stylist and strategist.


“Visuals communicate complex ideas into something more digestible and you position yourself to leave a more lasting impression. It’s the Picture Superiority Effect. Very simply, people remember pictures better than words.  If we make our image unique and impactful it will trigger the Picture Authority Effect with the viewer. Help them remember you in the most favorable way,” Barber said.


Read more here.

This past weekend, a group of awesome women in Houston hosted a “shopping day” for those devastated by Hurricane Harvey and in need of something we all take for granted: clothes to wear to work.


The group behind the event has dubbed itself Renewing Hope After Harvey. They collected clothing donations for weeks after the storm hit and then hosted a “shopping event” at Cotton Ranch Events in Katy, Texas, where women could come and pick beautiful clothes, free of charge.


Pink Petro was one of more than 30 companies that supported the event in some way. About a dozen volunteers donated their time, and 75 women came to shop. It’s yet another reminder of the power of the Houston community.


Diane Swift, one of the event organizers, collected dozens of stories throughout the day on Sunday. Here are a few:


One woman who recently overcame cancer and recently had two hips replaced donated 40 suits, 20 pairs of shoes, scarves and about 25 handbags. And then she personally brought two ladies that lost their entire wardrobes in the flood to shop yesterday,” Swift told us.


“Another woman who recently moved here from Venezuela told me that, when the volunteer rescuers showed up at her home, they told her she had 2 minutes to evacuate with them because the water was rising so fast,” Swift said. “They also said she could bring three things with her.  She chose to bring her dog, his dog food and a bag of clothes. She has since moved four times and rotates three outfits around for work. She works at the American Heart Institute and they helped her find an apartment and get another car.”


And here’s the best part: That same woman said one of her rescuer’s is now the “love of her life," and she thanks God every day for Hurricane Harvey.


There is good that comes from everything in life, even natural disasters. This weekend was proof.


“Every single thing that every person or company did allowed for the success of the mission, which was to help women replace their career wardrobe and get back to work feeling empowered and beautiful,” Swift said. “I think every woman that either came to volunteer or came to shop yesterday left as a different person.”

By Kat Boogaard


With over 10 years of work experience in the solar and energy storage industries, an MBA from The Wharton School, and a brand new role as the senior director of grid modernization for 3M, it’s safe to say that Kate Sherwood knows a thing or two about building a successful career.


In just a brief conversation with Sherwood, you’ll quickly realize that she has unmatched drive, a go-getter attitude and refreshing honesty. In fact, she’ll be the first to admit that nothing about her career journey has been easy. But, through the hills and the valleys, she managed to stay focused and continue pushing forward.


Needless to say, we all have something to learn from Sherwood. So we connected with her to find out more about her background, her new role and her best advice for women who are also hoping for a bright future in a male-dominated industry.

Finding her place in the solar industry

With a bachelor of science in public administration from George Mason University, Sherwood didn’t start her career in the solar industry. Instead, she worked in government, technology and strategy consulting for a number of years.


But, 10 years after completing her undergraduate education, she got the itch to go back to school. “I got my MBA while working because I always knew I wanted an advanced degree and wanted to lead something bigger than just me,” she explains. “When I’d first left undergrad, I thought my goal was to lead a nonprofit or to hold a senior executive service (SES) position in the federal government. But, by the time I applied to Wharton, I knew I wanted to make a larger impact than what most nonprofits could offer.”


Sherwood and her oldest son at the Women's March in Austin, TX.


Shortly after obtaining her MBA, Sherwood made the move to the solar industry in 2006. “I joined the solar industry after looking out my window and seeing the smog over the San Francisco Bay and realizing that, while I was learning a lot in consulting, helping big companies make more money wasn’t getting me out of bed,” Sherwood shares.


So, she decided to focus her career on two things she cared about: solar and women’s issues. She was fortunate that there were a number of companies that fit the bill in the San Francisco Bay area.


“A friend of a friend introduced me to the IT guy at a hippie little solar company in Berkeley: PowerLight,” she recalls, “So I accepted a 50 percent pay cut from strategy consulting to ‘carry a bag’ as a salesman.”

Making a splash in a new career

Anyone who’s ever made a major career change is sure to tell you that it can be a challenging experience. Sherwood is no different. She freely admits that she had very little idea of how to be a successful salesperson when first making the move to PowerLight (now SunPower Corporation, Systems).


That somewhat intimidating entry to a new career field was compounded with a few other important facts: Sherwood was the only woman in sales, and just a few weeks after joining the company, she discovered she was pregnant with her first child.


Understandably, she was nervous about breaking the news to her executives, Dan Shugar and Howard Wenger. She feared that her sales manager would take her biggest account, Macy’s, away from her.


“To their credit, their response was quite the opposite,” she says. “They said, ‘If your clients don’t want to work with you because you’re pregnant, then we don’t want them as clients.’”


Sherwood credits that supportive and heartfelt response from her leaders as her motivation to throw herself into her work until the day her child was born — closing the biggest deal of its time there.


“I’d found my passion, I was good at it, and I knew I was supported by my executive leaders,” she adds.


Since then, Sherwood has continued to make her mark on the solar industry and recently joined 3M as their senior director of grid modernization. “I was recruited there, based on my experience in building businesses in solar and storage,” Sherwood explains. “In my role, I will focus on creating a growth platform for modernizing the electrical grid.”

Finding Pink Petro

A Pink Petro member since early in 2016, Sherwood discovered the platform when she was looking for a networking tool within the industry. “Though petro is about as far from solar and storage as you can get, I wanted to stay in Texas. So I wanted to meet like-minded professional women in energy here,” she says.


“I spoke with Katie Mehnert after a LinkedIn meeting, and in 15 minutes, I realized she’s a force of nature and someone I knew I wanted to work with,” Sherwood adds.


Sherwood has enjoyed finding ways to interact with the community and watch it flourish. “I’ve watched the network and online tools grow from early 2016 when I first joined, to now where the community is a robust online tool,” she explains.

Moving Forward: Sherwood’s Best Advice

With such an impressive resume, Sherwood undoubtedly has plenty of sage advice to offer all those — both men and women — who are eager to grow their careers and go after what they want.


First, Sherwood emphasizes the power of networking. “Force yourself to do two to three outbound LinkedIn introductions a day and consider parallel industries,” she advises.


Sherwood also thinks it’s important to keep one eye on what’s next for you. “Whatever role you’re in, have your own process to get from where you are to where you want to be,” she explains.  


Finally, Sherwood can’t overstate the importance of asking for the things you want. As an example, she asked for administrative support in her new role at 3M — and she got it. “I just asked, and it worked,” she said. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need. If you don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for you.


When it comes to the best piece of advice Sherwood has ever received, she cites a Wharton professor, Dr. Jitendra Singh, who still serves as a mentor to Sherwood. “He likes to remind me when I share stories of frustrations or injustices, ‘Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Get ahead.’”

A cartoon that inspired Sherwood to always keep going.

Based on Sherwood’s success and the big things we know are coming up next for her, we think it’s safe to say that she’s managed to do just that.

Lean In Women in the Workplace report


One in five C-suite executives is a woman. One in 30 is a woman of color.


That’s just one of the disturbing statistics included in the 2017 Women in the Workplace study, a collaborative effort between Lean In and McKinsey & Company to study the state of women in corporate America.


The study also found that nearly 50% of men think women are well-represented in leadership at companies where only one in 10 senior leaders is a woman. And before we get our hackles up about how men view women, consider this: A third of women think their gender is well-represented at companies where women comprise that same, measly 10% of senior leaders.


Women are 18% less likely to be promoted than their male peers. They are less likely to receive advice from managers and senior leaders on how to advance, less likely to aspire to be a top executive and more likely to handle the bulk of the work at home. On average, 54% of women do all or most of the household work. That holds true even when women are the primary breadwinners.


The purpose behind the report is to eliminate the so-called “blind spots” when it comes to diversity. As the report states: “We can’t solve problems that we don’t see or understand clearly.”


That’s one of the reasons we launched Experience Energy earlier this year. We know the benefits of a more inclusive workforce, and yet progress is still slow and, in some areas, non-existent. We wanted to create a space where companies could find amazingly talented candidates who represent diversity of gender, ethnicity and generation. We also wanted the members of our community to find jobs in the industry they love, so they can help create a new future for energy.


But it all starts with awareness. So educate yourself, your colleagues, your spouse, and check out the entire report here.


Photo courtesy of Lean In. 

Resume writing is one of those tasks most people hate about the job search process. That’s why entire companies have been built around taking that job off your hands.


But you don’t have to shell out a bunch of cash to create a standout, keyword-friendly, job-landing resume. You just need to know what pitfalls to avoid — and what to do instead.


Check out our tips below. Once you’ve got your resume in fighting shape, post it to Experience Energy, the only career site dedicated to women in energy globally. Companies use Experience Energy to find the top talent and build an inclusive workforce. For more information, click here.


  • Don’t: Include absolutely every job you’ve ever had. It’s unnecessary, and probably means you’ll have to type everything in 8-point font to make it fit. Trust us when we say, that’s not good for anyone.  
  • Do: Be strategic with what experience you include. A prospective employer wants to peruse your relevant experience, not a detailed account of how you have spent every month for the past two decades. Every job yields some valuable experience or lessons learned. But think long and hard about the story you want your resume to tell, and how each job you list supports that overall message. 


  • Don’t: Make your resume a list of job responsibilities. A red flag: Overuse of the phrase “responsible for.”
  • Do: Focus on actions and results. What did you do for the company? What did that action accomplish? And how did you make it happen? You need to answer all that, with results you can quantify. Avoid vague statements of impact, such as “dramatically increased” or “achieved exponential growth.” Put a number behind your impact, and it will speak volumes. This post from the Ellevate Network suggests the following format to replace responsibilities with action-oriented statements: Action verb > Quantifiable result > How you achieved it


  • Don’t: Ignore the importance of keywords. Technology plays a big role in the hiring process these days. You could be the foremost expert in a certain area, but if your resume isn’t built to appease algorithms, it will get lost in the mix.  
  • Do: Figure out the new rules of engagement and master them. Pepper your resume with the key phrases found in the job description and related job ads. But make sure you use them appropriately: Once the digital database flags your resume, a human will read through it. That means it’s still got to make sense to get you from resume review to interview.


  • Don’t: Have one resume for your entire job search process. It’s tempting to do the resume writing work once and call it a day, but your chances of landing an interview go way down when you do.
  • Do: Customize your resume for each job you apply for. As we mentioned above, scan through the job description for the standout keywords, and add those into your resume where appropriate. Also, different jobs will expect different strengths. Make sure your resume plays up the skills and experiences that will shoot your resume to the top of the pile for a given opportunity. Yes, it means more work on the front end. But no one said the job search process would be easy.


  • Don’t: Forget about format. Presentation matters, even on the page.
  • Do: Create a resume that is clean and easy to read. You don’t need to hire a graphic designer. And in fact, too many images can hurt your chances when companies are scanning for specific content. But make sure you don’t fill every inch of space on the page with text. Use headers and other elements to break up the content so it doesn’t overwhelm. There are myriad templates available online, and with a little tweaking, you can make them suit your specific needs.

Earlier this year, we launched Experience Energy to help companies build inclusive workplaces by giving them access to a diverse pool of talent.


We did this because we believe in the power of diversity, for good reason. Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform companies that aren’t diverse. When it comes to ethnically diverse companies, that percentage jumps to 35 percent.


We also believe in the power of the Pink Petro community. We bring together women and men from around the world who are innovators and connectors, game changers and business drivers, with the collective vision to create an inclusive energy industry.


And we thought: If we connect companies committed to diversity — of gender, generation and ethnicity — with our incredible pool of talent, great things would happen.


That’s what we have done. Experience Energy is the only career site dedicated to women in energy globally. Companies can post jobs to our Experience Energy site and get access to highly qualified candidates. And the members of our community get the opportunity to grow their careers and impact the future of energy.


It’s a win-win, and we just wanted you to know.


Looking for your dream job? Search amazing opportunities here.


Looking for your next great hire? Find top talent here.

By Kat Boogaard 


At Pink Petro, we often place a lot of emphasis on the amazing women who are making big waves in the energy industry— and for good reason.


But that doesn’t mean the men of the energy industry don’t have interesting stories to tell. And Tormod Engvig, who we were introduced to through Pink Petro member Ally Cedeno, is no exception.


Tormod EngvigAs a first-generation Norwegian-American, Engvig’s experience working as a shipmate has taken him all over the world—in fact, he’s been on every major ocean and to every single continent.


A self-proclaimed history buff, Engvig also regularly contributes to WomenOffshore, Cedeno’s website that she started to support, encourage and inspire women who work in operations roles. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned that he and his wife welcomed twin boys in June of this year.


Needless to say, Engvig’s plate is full. But he still found the time to fill us in on his incredible experiences and his enlightening career advice.

Getting His Start in the Industry

Since his 2005 graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Engvig has been an actively sailing mariner. But he hasn’t always worked in the oil and gas field.


“I began my seagoing career on expedition ships, sailing on ships partnered with National Geographic, where I spent time navigating the high Arctic and Antarctica,” he explains.


While Engvig enjoyed his time on expedition ships, he knew he eventually wanted to move over to oil and gas. “I was drawn to the idea of a high-technology workplace, and a place where I could not just have a job, but also make a career—especially one which would have relevance both in the U.S. and in Norway,” he adds.


So, in 2010, Engvig made his move. He began sailing as a mate on high-end seismic research ships for Norwegian-based CGG Eidesvik, and he’s enjoyed it ever since.


“The ships I sail on conduct seismic survey work for multinational oil company clients,” he shares, “Currently, I am on a vessel conducting a survey off Africa, though I have spent several years in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Far East.”

A Day in the Life of a Shipmate

Tormod Engvig and his crewWhile on the ship, Engvig works some pretty long days. “I stand eight hours of bridge watch a day, which, when you’re towing 5 miles of high-tech sensor gear, can be both challenging and exciting, especially in high-traffic areas,” he says. “I also have up to four hours of administrative work per day, which includes safety inspections, meetings, safety analyses and training of crew.”


And while Engvig enjoys the fact that his work as a mate takes him all over the world, that also means it takes him far from his home in California — where his wife and young twin boys are.


For that reason, Engvig feels fortunate that he’s found a company that places a value on family — and also offers a six-weeks-on and six-weeks-off work schedule. “You never feel like you’re gone from home for so long at a time. This is an important point for me, as juggling work with family obligations can be tough,” he says.


“I’m not going to sit here and say that the seagoing life is easy when you have a family at home,” he continues. “But there are ways to make it work, and even work very well.”

Supporting Women in Energy

While his family life and his career keep him plenty busy, Engvig has numerous other interests that keep him fulfilled and happy. With a deep passion for history, he completed his master’s degree in military history at American Military University (AMU) in 2015.


That knowledge is particularly helpful in another one of his roles—as a regular contributor for Ally Cedeno’s website, WomenOffshore.


Tormod Engvig's shipEngvig and Cedeno have known each other for years. They met at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, when Engvig was in his last year. Several years later, they met up in Ushuaia, Argentina, when Cedeno signed on as a Third Mate onboard the National Geographic Endeavour, where Engvig was already sailing as a Second Mate.


“We had a blast working together in Antarctica and have kept in touch ever since,” says Engvig, “When Ally began formulating her plan for WomenOffshore, she wanted one or two history contributors on her team. And, knowing my academic background and passion for history, got in touch with me.”


Today, Engvig is thrilled to be part of the team — supporting women in the industry, while simultaneously digging into historical topics that interest him.


“Writing about women in maritime history is also, I believe, an underappreciated field and a great way to get me out of my historical ‘comfort zone,’” he says. “I’m researching and writing about things I wouldn’t necessarily focus on otherwise, all while doing justice to the amazing women who have gone before us.”

Moving Forward

Without a doubt, Engvig’s life is a full one. But, that’s exactly what keeps him satisfied.


And, as a last word, he imparts some powerful advice to help others achieve lives and careers that make them feel that same way.


“Go with your gut, and know that the career choices you make are the right ones — even when the grass appears greener on the other side,” he concludes. “I don’t believe there’s such a thing as ‘the’ perfect job. It’s what you make of it. Attitude really is everything.”