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6 Posts authored by: joey.hodges

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!

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.

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



Just last week, we held our 3rdquarter Global Community Council meeting where 40+ leaders from various corporate companies gathered together to discuss best business practices. But before we spill all the juicy details from that meeting, you might need a little background on what exactly the Global Community Council is and why it’s so great.



We believe progress will be accelerated by working together and that membership should go beyond events and discounts. This council connects Pink Petro member companies, regardless of size, within industry, and to external initiatives and partnerships.



Get access to this exclusive opportunity by becoming a Pink Petro corporate member! JOIN NOW!


In addition to our awesome member content, app, and digital experiences, corporate members are provided with an inclusive opportunity for leaders to share best practices and to learn from one another. Members discuss their challenges, workforce issues, and the potential solutions.


 Along with the enriching conversations, we also invite featured speakers to discuss a particular topic. This quarter we had Paul McIntyre of WorelyParsons who presented on Sponsoring Women to Success.


The amazing Tracey Kearney of Challenger, Gray & Christmas sponsors these meetings. Along with our fearless leader, Katie Mehnert, she works hard to deliver an experience that is packed full of value for our members.


These meetings are attended by corporate member leaders who are passionate about being the difference makers in their companies. Every company is on a quest to make their business a better place to work, to retain and attract top talent, and to build better diversity and inclusion initiatives. And we help you do just that with the Global Community Council.




This quarter’s experience was hosted by Hillary Ware at Cheniere Energy; and Katie Mehnert, Tracey Kearny, and Paul McIntyre presented on retention, sponsorship, and the eX factor (employee experience).


We were excited to be joined by our newest corporate members this quarter: Anadarko, ExxonMobil, HOWCO, and Wood Mackenzie.


We offered our members insights into industry trends and brought in external data on the job market, why employees quit, and employee retention trends.


Our small group discussion centered around what keeps these leaders at their companies. They discussed their personal reasons for staying as well as their colleagues’ and employees’ reasons.


Then we took a hard look at employee experience.


“Ex is the sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization – every employee interaction from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment.” -Katie Mehnert; CEO & Founder Pink Petro


Paul McIntyre delivered an awe-inspiring presentation all about sponsoring women talent at WorelyParsons. In this presentation, he took a deep dive into sponsorship vs. mentoring, examples of sponsoring activities, sponsorship importance for women, and he offered insights into the female talent sponsorship at WorelyParsons.


Following his presentation, we broke out into groups to discuss a few important questions.


  1. Which organization/work environment factors are uniquely attractive to women and why?
  2. Which organization/work environment factors uniquely influence women to leave?
  3. In light of the "attention/retention factors" and "exit factors" discussed, how can we attract and retain more women in our workplaces?


These discussions allow for leaders to hear from one another and collaborate on potential practices and solutions to implement in their own companies.


The GCC is a cross-industry community to connect the energy industry to resources and best practices. It’s a neutral platform for dialogue and actions to address gender equality and building an inclusive culture in the full value chain.


To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, become a Pink Petro Corporate Member.

Our second ever GRIT awards are fast approaching (October 3rdhave you registered to watch yet?), and the results are in. Through this process, we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to have GRIT.


Register here to watch the livestream.


The first time we hosted these awards back in March, we reviewed everything from the nominations to the final applications. Moving forward, we’ve changed things up. And in doing so, some interesting pieces of information have come to light. But first, let’s walk you through the process. Because receiving a GRIT award is actually a little tougher than you might think.




Just as you might expect, we put out our initial call for nominations. People get excited, and our inboxes fill up. We love it! We see all sorts of nominations come in: bosses recommending employees, colleagues recommending each other, members of the community recognizing incredible individuals, and we even see some people throwing their own names into the hat. We collect them all, and we marinate in their awesomeness, reviewing each candidate closely here in house.


Our editorial team deliberates and we decide which candidates become finalists by evaluating the nomination letters and candidate’s CV/resume.


Once we have our selection of finalists, we strip everything. The only thing that gets passed along to our external panel of judges is an encrypted application to avoid any possible bias.


We remove any qualifying information such as name, company, photographs, LinkedIn profiles, and gender data. And at this stage, the application the nominee completes carries all of the weight. Now, the only category in which any qualifying data is known is the male champions category for obvious reasons.


Let us introduce you to our judges.


How Melody Meyer became an energy industry rock star


Tracee Bently

 Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council


Jay Copan

Senior Vice President at American Gas Association


Paula Glover

President and CEO, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)


Melody Meyer 

Non-Executive Director at British Petroleum, AbbVie, and NOV; Sr

Advisor at Cairn India; Trinity University Trustee; NBR Board


Our external panel of judges then take those blind applications and determines an overall score for each candidate which determines our winners.




We discovered there is a wide spectrum when it comes to how open people are in sharing their truths.


Judge Paula Glover commented;

There was a level of authenticity in that you could see how their personal stories and issues that go on at home, impact their work life. I also really appreciated that nominees were willing to be honest about areas where they fell short and recognized that everything is a learning experience.”  


But what became overwhelmingly obvious is that most struggle with owning our stories. There is an incredible imbalance between how someone else will boast about our pluckiness and how we present the same stories.


Ultimately? We tend to sell ourselves short.


That's taught us we need to do more to help everyone speak their truths, to own their stories, and to be authentic.


Humans struggle to brag about themselves. The nomination letters for our candidates were filled with powerful language about strength, bravery and resilience. But when it came to the applications, candidates were quick to downplay their grit and undersell themselves.  We get it. It’s unsettling to do a deep dive and share pressure and struggles.


It’s uncomfortable to talk about these topics.  It’s even less comfortable to grip on to the gritty stuff that really makes us who we are. But that’s what the GRIT Awards are all about. The spirit of GRIT isn’t about whether or not someone is a rockstar (we all are). It’s about the people who can be open about their failures and experiences and be able to tell these stories and rise from them.


Join us for the livestream on October 3rd; Register now!