katie.mehnert

Speaking Out, Taking Action and Socializing Change

Blog Post created by katie.mehnert Champion on May 22, 2018

pink petro experience energyI’m taking part in a very special activity— the Speak Out and Take Action Summit happening in the Energy Capital.  Big thanks to James Tastard, an CHRO in energy who has championed this conversation as a male advocate for the SHIFT we're seeing in our society and workplaces.

 

I’m thrilled to reunite with HERWorld17 keynote speaker and “expert on modern dads and UN advocate” Josh Levs, who will be taking the mic and talking about his vision on how men can play a role in the culture change we see happening in driving a more equal world.

 

And I believe in what this represents — namely that speaking out and taking action are powerful steps to changing the world as know it.

 

But there's one piece missing.

 

But there’s one more step we must take to accelerate the pace of change in our industry and our culture as a whole: We need to talk about it. We need to socialize it. We need to show others what we’ve done and inspire them to do the same.

 

The industry doesn’t talk about what it does well.

 

And I get it — the media is not always kind to energy, so why open yourself up to it if you don’t have to?  (But I quite love sharing the stories of what we do and why it matters.  

 

The thing is, we have to.

 

There’s just no getting around it.  If we want to draw diverse, talented people into the industry, we have to show them what’s waiting for them on the inside.  We have to be open to new ideas, keeping our biases in check, and shattering our tendency to assume "this wasn't invented here" so why change it?

 

Talking about ourselves and, more importantly, our people will take some getting used to. Everything has always been about what’s in the ground, what’s in our reserves. We’ve been a commodity-driven industry, and the people were hidden.

 

But it’s not just what we produce that’s valuable; it’s who we are.

 

That people-first approach mirrors what’s happening in all kinds of industries, but for energy, it marks a monumental shift. Yes, we have amazing people working in our ranks. Yes, they are doing groundbreaking, innovative things.

 

And yes, we’re going to talk about them.  We've been talking about them for the past three years and have been doing more recently to increase those conversations and stories.  

 

We are no longer commodities and need to stop thinking of our companies in this way.

 

Profitpeople and purpose.

The new T’s and C’s are talent and culture. We’ve got to embrace the shift in mindset and focus, and then we’ve got to socialize it. 

 

Here are just a few ways we've socialized some great women in energy: Tyra Metoyer on the importance of grit and grace, Covestro’s Jennifer Walsh is a study in survival, resilience and success, Elizabeth Cambre on the power of women in energy technology, Former FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, What Vantage Drilling's Linda Ibrahim did when she learned hard work wasn't enough, How HDR's Colleen Layman became a woman of power The strategy behind Kate Sherwood's success: Go for what you want, no matter what  and the list just goes on and on. 

 

When we launched Pink Petro in 2015, our goal was to focus on the people and build a community. We knew there were amazing women working in energy. They were colleagues and friends. There were unsung heroes who needed visibility and they weren’t part of the larger industry narrative. No one thought about powerhouse women when they thought about energy.  Women are great at getting down to the work but not tooting their horns.

 

We knew the reality was much more nuanced, and we wanted to show the world that it's about time we socialize the great things women in our industry are doing and the benefits of that work.

 

But we can’t do it alone.

 

We need the industry to speak out about its people, to take action by building diverse, inclusive teams and we need them to socialize it. Socializing what success looks like is what creates more.  We need to make career opportunities visible, recognize people and humanize the industry.  

 

This is the industry that powers the world — from oil and gas to solar, wind and natural gas. This is work with purpose. This is the kind of work that can inspire a new generation of workers.  

 

But we have to tell them about it first and show it's possible.

 

So today, I’m speaking out and taking action. And I’m spreading the word. I’m going to live the shift, to demonstrate to others too how they can do it.  It's just means using your voice and leveraging a platform to share that expertise.

 

And it doesn’t stop here. Stay tuned for a big announcement coming later this week from the team at Pink Petro and Experience Energy that’s all about shining a light on the people who make this industry such an amazing place to be.

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