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76 Posts authored by: katie.mehnert Champion

I heard from folks at Bloomberg this week when this piece came out: Big Oil Battles Gender Problem That May Take Generations to Fix.


My response: Sure, it may. But it doesn’t have to.


The key is for leaders to stop talking about the problem and start focusing on the solution: making diversity not just a “priority,” but a value.


It’s time to make equal opportunity a part of the culture of how big oil operates.


We’ve seen that this can work. When the industry put a new focus on safety and made that a part of our culture, real change followed. It’s time for us to make that same commitment to diversity of all kinds, including gender equity.


Across the energy sector, leaders can and must do a better job of appealing to and engaging with women. Currently, the industry does not communicate well enough about possibilities for women to have flourishing careers. It doesn’t do enough reach out to universities to build a pipeline of talent, attracting women in STEM. And there aren’t adequate resources inside many companies to help ensure women receive equal opportunities to work their way up the ranks.


Oil companies must also do more to highlight the stories of women at all levels. Rather than just honoring certain women executives at ceremonies with rubber chicken dinners, organizations should provide women with more open forums to be heard. (On this front, see Bloomberg’s coverage of HERWorld here.)

At company and industry events, as well as in media, we should all be learning about the obstacles women face in the industry and how those obstacles can be removed.

This will help empower women and girls to forge paths in this sector. When my daughter sees representations of the people in the energy sector, she should see people like her.


And it will help empower everyone who cares about this issue to work together.






This is why we hold the GRIT Awards -- to share the powerful stories of women. It’s why we’ve launched Experience Energy to help women build careers and advance in the industry. It’s what Pink Petro is all about.


What do you think we need to do to make gender parity happen now -- and not leave it to future generations?

There is new energy surging and I’m excited to introduce you to the source: my team.


At launch, I was a one-woman-band. But not anymore! I am so grateful to each team member for the expertise they bring to our community.


Our mission is to create the new future of energy that embraces inclusion, innovation and transparency.


Each week we gather to share our weekly and long-term focus, discipline and stretch goals.  We work together to eliminate barriers and we express our gratitude. We are touchstones for one another as we collaborate, create and carry out the mission for our global community.


As we settle into the holiday season across the globe, this is the perfect opportunity for me to express my thanks.  I appreciate the team we’ve assembled and the experience they bring, their dedication, creativity, professionalism, and their can-do attitudes.


Here’s what the Pink Petro™ team is thankful for:


Brenda/Director of Experiences:  “…for my family, friends, health... and for working alongside an amazing group who is working hard to make positive changes in this world.”


Cathy/Director of Development and Engagement:  “…I love working in energy and having the opportunity to positively impact the gender gap currently inhabiting this dynamic industry.  It is an honor to contribute to these as efforts and be part of such an amazing team changing the future of energy.”


James/Web Developer: “...for my kids and the pure joy that they bring to my life.


Jenn/Marketing Content Developer:  “…getting to collaborate and create with the high energy team at Pink Petro™.”


Josh/Emcee and Chief Storyteller:  ", friends and fatherhood of course! And everyone fighting the good fight."


Mandy/Director of Operations:  “….the opportunity to work for an organization that is creating a more diverse and inclusive culture for my son.”


Samantha/Intern:  “...for Katie bringing me into the team as an intern and giving me the opportunity to meet everyone and make great connections for my future aspirations."


Tammy/Director of Content:  “…doing something I love with people I enjoy for a company that shares my values.”


Together, we are disrupting the gender gap in energy and I am beyond charged to have this team joining me on the journey.



This is the time of year for gratitude. In America, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week – a time when families and friends gather to share what they are thankful for.


There’s something significant about this custom. And it is bigger than the holiday it symbolizes. You see, when you are invited to the table – you matter. 


The first Thanksgiving occurred back in 1621 when the Pilgrims invited local Native Americans to the table to celebrate the harvest. And despite any biases the Pilgrims held, their lives were enriched by spending time with people who were “different” from them. Today, this still holds true.


Our EDII™ study reveals that over 81% of the employees we surveyed believe diversity should be a priority.  Yet, less than 50% believed this was important to their senior management.


As I said at last week in Brussels at the KPMG Power and Utilities Conference we don’t need more data or special diversity sessions. It’s time to take action and socialize change. It's time women have a seat at the table and step up to the mic to be heard.


In March, we’ll host HERWorld 2019, our best forum yet - where women and men of all different backgrounds come together to talk about the epic shifts in our industry and to make their voices heard.


We’ll broadcast from Houston, London, and Denver – and we will sell out. Preregister today, host your own, or sponsor.


So, in the spirit of the season, I am thankful for the companies who are taking action and giving everyone a seat and a voice at the table.


And I’m grateful for those who support and believe in us. 


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


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


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


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


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



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

Last week as Gastech came to a close in Barcelona, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum stepped up to join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI).  "This is one of the strongest signs yet of how America's biggest oil companies, under pressure from investors and lawsuits, are joining most other US Corporations in working to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions despite (US) president (Donald) Trump reversing America's course on the matter," writes Amy Harder, with Axios, who broke the story.


The OGCI launched in 2014 with a group of peers that pool expert knowledge and collaboration on action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Prior to the recent addition of the three new members,  the OGCI included Repsol, BP, ENO, Equinor, Shell, Total, Petrobras, Pemex, CNPC, and Saudi Aramco. 


We first spoke about the work of the OGCI at  HERWorld18: where you met its leader: Pratima Rangarajan, the master of transition.  Earlier this year, 10 companies competed for USD $20 million to fund solutions with the power to disrupt how methane is managed, measured, and reduced.


With these additions, OGCI members now represent around 30% of the global oil and gas production and supply close to 20% of global energy consumption and represent regions in China, The Middle East, Latin America, Europe and now the United States.  This represents a significant global action in the battle on lowering emissions and demonstrating widespread collaborative support of the Paris Agreement.  


Each company commits $100 million dollars to the OGCI Climate Investments fund and will drive the work of the OGCI programs and its collective goals.


“Industry innovation and collaboration have a critical role to play in addressing climate change, and Occidental is excited to join OGCI’s efforts to create a lower-emissions world,” said Occidental President and CEO Vicki Hollub. “Occidental is advancing carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR) as a form of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS). We are the industry leader in this technology, which has the potential to help achieve global goals for reducing emissions and welcome the opportunity to work with OGCI to contribute to this critical effort.”

The announcement is just in time for this week's Climate Week in New York put on by the United Nations, the State of New York and The Climate Group. The OGCI will hold its annual meeting with stakeholders during Climate Week.



Illustration; (from left – right): Claudio Descalzi, CEO, Eni; Josu Jon Imaz, CEO Repsol; Amin Nasser, CEO Saudi Aramco; Bob Dudley, CEO BP; Ben van Beurden, CEO Shell; Eldar Sætre, CEO Statoil; Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman & CEO, Total at a previous OGCI CEO event (Image source: OGCI)

It’s been seventeen years since 9/11. A horrific event in the history of our world. We woke that morning to a world that felt safe, and by the end of the day, we all knew life would never be the same. We faced Ground Zero, and we had to rise.


Where were you?  I was working for Enron.  The first plane hit and I was listening into a conference call.  The line went dead and honestly no one thought anything of it.  It wasn't until we flipped on CNN to see what had happened on the trade floor that we realized our lives would be forever changed.  I saw the second plane hit live.  A colleague of mine Michelle got out, just in time never to return to New York or a skyscraper.  


Well before the social era, it was with 9/11 that our country and the world began to witness the atrocities of black swan events.  And it’s no different today. Thanks to social media, we are seeing more and more the proliferation of disasters of varying degrees. Wars, corporate scandals, natural disasters, #MeToo, the list could go on and on.


The anniversary of this monumental moment in our history got me thinking.


The rise a disaster demands requires courage, determination, and tenacity: GRIT.  Without warning, these events swoop into our lives and wreak havoc. And we have no choice but to roll up our sleeves, take a deep breath or two, and face the challenging road ahead.


In the process, we grow and change, and we prepare ourselves to be stronger for the future.  


Here in the energy industry, we are no strangers to the growth that comes from face-down moments. And because of that, we have loads of grit. And that’s what it’s all about.


Next month we honor unsung heroes at our GRIT awards.  But this isn’t just about recognizing success.  In fact its really less about the titles that come with the jobs — it’s about celebrating the rise. It’s about owning our stories of failure and how despite our falls, we find a way to rise to the next level.  


9/11 rattled us. We suffered great loss. But in its wake, the world banded together, faced the wreckage and rebuilt. We witnessed heroism in action, men and women stepping up cloaked in nothing but bravery.


And it’s in moments like these: 9/11, our own industry moments, or our private moments as people that we flex our grit muscles.


Today and every day, we honor the GRIT of our 9/11 heroes.



Katie Mehnert, Founder Pink Petro

This piece originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle Gray Matters on August 24 2018



It's been a year since we met Harvey.


He was the monster that battered our city, dropped more than 50 inches of rain, flooded thousands of Texans, claimed at least 82 lives and cost billions.


It's also been a year since we came face to face with another monster named Harvey — Weinstein, the media mogul outed six weeks after the hurricane hit as an alleged purveyor of widespread sexual misconduct.

On their surface, these two Harveys appear to have little more than a name in common. But in this case, the hurricane and the man were more alike than they were different. They were two destructive forces that converged last fall and changed the course of my life and the lives of so many others.

Consider this a tale of two Harveys — and my journey through both.

I spent the first two decades of my career in energy, working for industry giants. I know the business well, and I love it. We talk a lot about technology these days, but innovation doesn't happen without energy. Energy powers the world. It's become a basic human necessity — worthy of Maslow coming back to life and revising his now-famous hierarchy of needs. First food, water, shelter and safety. Then, power.

We forget that — until a hurricane hits and threatens all the comforts of modern life.

When Harvey first descended on our city, our home was dry, fully charged, well lit. We had food, water, shelter, safety and power. We even had Facebook.

Then, late on Sunday, Aug. 27, the Army Corps of Engineers began controlled releases of the west side dams — an act of mercy for many neighborhoods across Houston, but one that came with a price. My neighborhood was forcefully submerged. My home took on several feet of water (which made us lucky — many homes experienced much worse). The notice we had was too late, and our cars were inoperable. My family — my 6-year-old daughter, my husband and our dog — was rescued by men we didn't know who showed up at our door with a boat. Later, I found out we lost our office, too.

I didn't realize in that moment that I would spend the next year of my life terrified of rain —worried like hell that, once it started, it wouldn't stop. That I was now facing the prospect of rebuilding the life I had quite clearly taken for granted. That I would slip so deep into the storm and what it took that I would wonder if I'd ever bounce back.

I had lost my power, and I didn't know how hard that would be.

I've always been resilient. My mantra before Harvey now seems prescient: "Never waste a good crisis," I would say, with a smile. Because with crisis comes opportunity.

That's true, no matter how large the crisis. I've learned that now. But when Harvey hit, all I could think of was the irony in me, the woman who'd always championed the silver lining, getting hit with the storm of the century.

Then, six weeks later, another Harvey hit: the New York Times broke the story of how the media giant — the man credited with making so many actors stars — had allegedly spent his career engaging in sexual harassment and abuse. It was big news, but bigger than that one story was the movement it inspired.

#MeToo began to take shape across social media, and women everywhere began sharing stories of the attacks they've suffered over the years.

Many of those women are famous; many of the men they outed are, too. But that wasn't the powerful part about #MeToo. The hashtag simplified the act of coming out, clearing a path for women and men — regardless of platform or star power — to come together and illustrate the extent of the harassment epidemic in our country and beyond.

I was one of those women, but the ability to share my story wasn't what I took from #MeToo. I run a business that advocates for the progress of women in my industry, but I didn't home in on #MeToo as a platform. What I saw in the movement was a very different way to handle a hurricane — and an inspiring way to regain power.

Rebuilding your self-worth and confidence is a humbling experience for anyone who has experienced trauma or loss. And loss is deeply personal. As Maslow said, the need for physical and psychological safety is paramount.

But #MeToo gave women everywhere an opportunity to restore their power. They didn't have to wallow in victimhood; they could take a stand — with hundreds of thousands of others around the world. And they could see the impact. Titans of industry have fallen because of two tiny words. That's not switching on a light; that's a power surge.

The same happened in the aftermath of the hurricane. Support, in the form of millions of dollars and thousands of people hours, poured in from around the world in the wake of the storm. Neighbors opened their doors to the displaced and homeless. A stranger in a boat motored up to my door.

It's been a long year. Some are back, but not the same, and many are still just getting started. Just as power is restored home by home, neighborhood by neighborhood, those who suffered at the hands of the storm are coming back — slowly but surely, and even stronger than before. This is what it means to be #HoustonStrong.

Looking back at all this, I've realized something: We've all got our own hurricanes to battle. And we've all got a choice in how we come back from it. We can linger in the pain and destruction, or we can find a way forward. We can isolate ourselves, or we can let others in and build communities of support. We can waste the crisis, or we can find opportunity in it.

I think you know what I choose.

Originally published in the Houston Chronicle on August 24th, 2018:  My year of two Harveys: #MeTOO and #HoustonStrong

At a women in energy conference three years ago, Skyler Obregon, who was honored with a GRIT Award back in March, had an idea.


Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, gave the keynote address and spoke about the importance of mentorship, sponsorship and networks in building up women in the industry. It got her thinking: Weatherford should create something like this.  


So that’s what she did: Obregon, U.S. and Canada Compliance Counsel for Weatherford, joined forces with Shanta Eaden, Director of Global IT Project Management Office and the company’s Diverse and Inclusive (D&I) Program Chair, to create Women of Weatherford, an internal network better known as WOW.



But they didn’t want to build it in a vacuum. The WOW network officially launched in April 2018 — with a keynote address from our founder and CEO, Katie Mehnert — and as the network has taken shape, the WOW Co-Chairs have engaged other internal networks at Weatherford, as well as external networks including other companies and even customers to collect best practices and understand other D&I considerations, all while building key partnerships.  


“We all need to work together to narrow the gender gap and widen the female candidate pool and diversity in general. You look around, and a lot of people look the same. And that’s not acceptable. It should be a joint effort in the industry,” Skyler says.


“It’s got to be global,” Shanta adds. “We started off really thinking about how we can support each other globally,” she continued. “The culture is completely different across the globe. How do we take the core values that we stand on and build upon those around the world?”


It all starts with connections.


Leveraging networks


Skyler experienced the value of a powerful network firsthand during her tenure at Weatherford, an international oil and gas company with operations in over 90 countries around the world.


She started with the company more than six years ago, working in operations. Then, a few years ago, she gained an interest in compliance. She had a strong internal network and had built a relationship with the chief compliance officer, so she approached her and made the ask.


“I was incredibly humbled that this leader appreciated my work ethic and dedication,” Skyler says. “But it was because I continued to reach out that she gave me that opportunity.” This is a great reminder to advocate for yourself and others in order to expand horizons.


Shanta has had similar experiences tapping into her networks. She has challenged herself to take on speaking engagements — an unnerving experience for a self-proclaimed introvert — but that has opened up doors time and again.


“Now I know I have people I can call on for key projects, or if I’m hiring for key candidates or just need a sounding board,” Shanta says.


Those personal experiences have helped build the foundation for WOW. The founders have seen the power of a strong network, and they want to build a program that will help others do the same.


“We wanted to focus on what would be important for our colleagues and our Company,” Shanta says. “At the heart of it, our goal is to inspire, support, engage and empower the women of Weatherford.”


Taking action


That goal is coming to life in a variety of forms.


For one, WOW, which has attracted more than 200 members thus far and hosts monthly touchpoints. Each meeting features a different speaker, providing a diversity of thought and practical insights on career progression.


The meetings also allow all levels of the organization to interact with C-suite executives and senior managers. This helps early to mid-career professionals know who to engage as they look to move through the ranks. It also introduces those C-suite executives to the talent coming up in the organization. These conversations also allow a great opportunity to ask questions and learn from one another’s experiences, regardless of title or tenure. The executive sponsors have been incredibly supportive.


“Our monthly WOW Connect sessions also enable us to reach our colleagues in the field and get them engaged in the conversation,” Skyler says. “We envision empowering other countries to have their own get-togethers and their own speaking topics that are relevant and meaningful to their teams.”


WOW is also working with HR and corporate leaders within Weatherford to institute blind resume reviews, statistically shown to decrease unconscious bias, and to build maternity rooms in all Weatherford facilities.


“How do we continue to create a fully inclusive and diverse environment? We do that through these structured programs and strategy items and investments that need to be made within the fabric of who we are,” Shanta says. “It’s all about creating connections with people where we can support each other when the time comes.”


Help along the way


True to the goals of WOW, Shanta and Skyler aren’t trying to do this alone. They recognize there’s a lot to be learned from those who have gone before — and those who are building alongside them.


The WOW leadership has a monthly touchpoint with the other D&I networks within Weatherford, which includes veterans, LGBTQ and young professionals groups.


“We lean on the other networks to make sure we’re following best practices and collecting lessons learned, as well,” Skyler explains. “We are all in this journey together, as One Weatherford, and are learning so much from one another.”


And the organization is partnering with another initiative within Weatherford — Weatherford WISE: Worldwide Initiative Supporting Education — to work on getting girls interested in STEM as early as elementary school.


“I’m glad to see how our industry is embracing the importance of diverse and inclusive workspaces,” Skyler says. “We still have a lot of room to grow, but we are definitely making strides and have an incredible support system both within and outside of our organization.”  


“That’s why we partner with organizations like Pink Petro. We must continue to drive the discussion and topics and actions to make the difference,” Shanta says.

Women have long battled the road to equal rights. 

Passed by the United States Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. This was a landmark win shifting our society towards equality.


In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act barred discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex.


A decade later, in 1974, the year before I was born, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibited discrimination in consumer credit practices on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance. 



Fast forward to 2018, and we're in the thick of a new revolution for women.  But in my generation and in my lifetime, I want this movement to be about equality for ALL women.

It's time we look beyond white women.  

I know.  You see me and think... she's a white, privileged educated woman.  And yes, that's true. I will never ever know what it means to be a black woman.  I have many .... many black friends, both female and male. 

What I am qualified to say is it's about time that Black women get their fair share.


Before I even give you the data, let's clear the air on the "meritocracy" argument.  Everything we do should be based on merit.  And I agree. I don't reward people for substandard work...and irrespective of race, there are people (men, women, black and white) who don't perform.  But to be brutally honest, Black women who do great work and have earned that merit, still don't get paid what they should. As a leader in many companies, I was a witness to this more than once and it's time for this to change.


August 7 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. 


That means Black women had to work all of 2017 and up to this day in 2018 to catch up with what white men earned in 2017 alone. On average, Black women are paid 38% less than white men and 21% less than white women. 


This is just unacceptable. 


The Black Equal Pay Day survey in partnership with Survey Monkey and the National Urban League found some very sobering statistics.  50% of Americans are not aware of the pay gaps between Black women and white women, and hiring managers are similarly.  Please take a moment to let these numbers sync in and then share them with someone who needs to know.



Even when you control for factors like education, experience, location and occupation, there's still a gap.



The pay gap starts early.  When presented with information that Black women on average are paid 38% less than white men, 72% of Americans think that's not fair.  



I'll repeat that stat: 72% of Americans think it's unfair.


I'll say it again.  It's not unfair.  It's unacceptable. 


There's just one key milestone in the women's movement I think worth mentioning, but it won't be the last.  On January 21, 2017, in response to numerous factors, activists around the USA organized a Women's March to advocate for women's rights.  Despite some ideological conflicts between event organizers over inclusion and diversity, the nationwide protest rapidly spread globally.  Upwards of 3 million turned out in the USA, marking it one of the largest and most peaceful protests in American history.


This OP-ED piece is about not about politics or party.  It's about the movement in support of inclusion.  It's about the society and culture we are shaping in unprecedented times.  Our sons, daughters, and the next generation deserve better.  It's about driving a more equal world, one where women -- white and Black women can be successful.



My question to you is what are you doing about it? 


Lean in, speak up, take action, and do your part to help Black women.  



Katie Mehnert is the Founder and CEO of Pink Petro and Experience Energy.  She's also Founder of Lean In Energy, a mentoring community that helps women in energy achieve their ambitions.  Lean In Energy matches mentors and mentees and brings mentoring and advocacy programs like Equal Pay Day, Black Equal Pay Day and Latina Equal Pay Day to the energy community.  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.


The full research and data may be found at  

Three years ago, when oil prices plummeted and the global market began to contract, Pink Petro created the first global digital community for women in energy.


During times of crisis, our need for community becomes profound. Women and men were drawn to our mission to unite energy leaders around the world and bring an end to the gender gap in energy.


But Pink Petro quickly became more than just a platform to promote inclusion in energy. It became a trusted circle, a resource for critical news and insights on the energy transition, tech disruptions, policy and workforce shifts happening to shape the next era of our industry. It’s become a place to create a culture that’s powering our story into the social age, where everyone everywhere is connected.


Throughout history, communities have played a vital role in disseminating news and information. You relied on those close to you to keep you up to date on everything you needed to know. It was a matter of survival, not just curiosity.


But the model has always been flawed.


Did you ever play the game of telephone in school? If you did, you saw how the same information could change dramatically as it was passed from person to person.


There are also those who would manipulate the process of news dissemination for personal gain.  That particular flaw has come to light recently, as the concept of community as a reliable news source has come under fire. The prevalence of “fake news” circulating on various social media platforms has created a justified lack of trust. And the increasing polarization of major news media has left us wondering about tainted stories and underlying agendas.   


And this doesn’t mean communities are losing their outsized role in providing us with the news and information we want and need.  If anything, their power is growing.


In the world of energy, digital communities like Pink Petro are giving our industry a voice they’ve never had before. They are providing its people an opportunity to participate in that conversation and shape it.  At Pink Petro we believe it’s about promoting both genders with a focus on giving women a seat at the table, a voice on stage and online.  This gives the world outside the industry a chance to explore the opportunities energy has to offer.   


We also believe that orchestrating a balanced energy conversation, one that promotes a mix of resources drives the very thing we stand for: inclusion.  Inclusion of people, genders, generations, nationalities, ideas, technologies, and


In an industry now in fierce competition for talent with industries we power like tech, finance and healthcare, this is critical.   It’s also critical as our industry faces more increased scrutiny for the years we’ve done very little to own our value and story publicly.


There’s a trick, though. The big social media networks have grossly underestimated the importance of trust in building community. That’s why we’ve made trust core to what we do. We know our members — all 10,000+ of them — because they make Pink Petro what it is. If we don’t look out for them, we’re not doing our job: We connect people and give them a voice; but we also inform and educate.


That’s a big job — just like the old days, only with a lot more technology.


The insights and conversations at World Gas Conference are vital to the growth of the industry. But they don’t stop at events nor do they need to be closed to our industry.  They need to continue where consumers and the next generations are hungry for information: online and in trusted communities.   


I hope you’ll join us online on social media and on our Pink Petro members only app.   The time is overdue.  It’s time we own the story in the relationship and social era, drive ongoing insights, and articulate our value to society.


To download the PDF of this post in the World Gas Daily by Upstreamonline, click here and navigate to page 16.


When I launched Experience Energy in 2017, Pink Petro's sister company,  we created the GRIT Awards.  We knew we were entering a crowded space. There are awards and honors for everything these days. Did we really need another one?


The short answer is, no. We don’t need another ceremony at another banquet hall with the same stuffy program and awful rubber chicken meal.


We created the GRIT Awards — an opportunity to showcase the difference-makers in energy. The women doing the heads-down, game-changing work of shepherding this industry into the future, and the men who support them. And it needed a way to celebrate them not just in person with one heck of a party, but digitallyallowing their stories to spread and inspire.


The truth is, we are putting a human face and voice on an industry that so many don’t understand.  From oil and natural gas, LNG to wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear, we power modern conveniences and that's nothing short of amazing.


Experience Energy is bringing the GRIT Awards back this fall, to honor a new class of energy leaders. You can nominate women and men, corporate leaders and energy entrepreneurs, individual contributors and teams from companies large and small, universities, and startups. ConocoPhillips had three finalists and we awarded winners from associations, teams at BP and Anadarko, all while 74,00 watched online.  


We've now extended our nomination deadline until July 20.


We’ve also booked two amazing keynote speakers to be held Oct. 3 in Houston and live online:

  • Geeta Thakorlal, president, INTECSEA, a Worley Parsons company
  • Crystal Washington, futurist, technology strategist, techie and author


We can’t wait to see you all there, and to meet our next class of gritty leaders. You can nominate, sponsor, or attend — in person or online.  


Everyone needs to know about the industry and people who power our society. Thanks for all you do to help the world, experience energy.



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.

It was a year ago I called out a man online who thought leveraging women and alcohol during OTC to sell his equipment was a good idea. Since then, Cosby, Weinstein and other 'facepalm' stories have followed. The fact is, our society, has said "enough". It demands to see a more equal, harassment-free world. We are more driven by social good than ever and it's hitting the bottom line. It's a unique time.


Since our global launch, we've given our influential platform to you through social media, video, live experiences and our community stories. We are changing the way people perceive our industry.  


  • We're no longer alone!  Two amazing communities online Women Offshore and Sea Sisters are creating the change too.  Check it out... digital communities are going viral!
  • Experience Energy is the only careers platform that gives energy companies options to attract new talent and find the inclusion they aim to achieve. Big thanks to Halliburton, Shell, Wellspun, GE and many others who've invested in our vision.
  • At HERWorld18, we turned inclusion on its head with 80% female speakers and an agenda focused on sustainable energy value chains, climate and policy.  Forty sites globally tuned in.  Someone even watched from a treadmill. (Pretty amazing.)
  • With FedEx, Vantage Drilling and Intecsea, we launched Lean In Energy a private nonprofit in partnership with Sheryl Sandberg's With 100+ volunteers, a diverse board and 1,000 in the community, we're providing mentoring at scale to escalate progress while encouraging more male champions.
  • We celebrated our first annual GRIT Awards with over 70,000 viewers online. Who knew energy could be so cool? We did, and now the world knows, too.  
  • Next week at OTC, we'll do it again, join us (in person or online) with energy entrepreneurs, startups and companies creating the future for energy. Our panelists are 80% female ...but hail from USA, Mexico, Africa and the UK.  We'll host nonprofit organizations who are making a mark on culture.  Make the most of it all with our annual Guide to OTC and how to prepare from our presence coach, Marilynn Barber.
  • For the past four years we've held relevant discussions ongoing -- our app, our video channel, and on this community.  OTC represents an opportunity to do that again!


Three years ago we celebrated our global launch during OTC when everyone was giving up on energy.  


If we want to change, we have to be more open. That will attract diverse talent and keep that talent engaged. This isn't about more "diversity and inclusion" panel discussions; it's about demonstrating inclusion... talk is cheap.  Seeing is believing.


We've been investing since 2014 because we know while energy is changing, it's something we all need.  We've created a real ruckus, a spark, a shift...and we cannot wait to do more great work with all of you.  


Together, we are better. 


All my best,


Katie Mehnert

CEO and Founder, Pink Petro and Experience Energy


Together we are better

Posted by katie.mehnert Champion Mar 21, 2018

Last week, two bold, incisive female reporters from Bloomberg published a story on some of energy’s biggest events of the year.


They attended parts of CERAWeek in Houston. Then they attended HERWorld18. And they documented their experiences in a story that shines a light on the persistent gender gap in energy.


To those two reporters, I want to thank you — for being brave enough to tackle a big issue in a powerful industry. For being thoughtful enough to notice we need more voices and that all voices matter.  


I also want to thank the members of the Pink Petro community. I’ve always known this community is unrivaled in its passion, connection and support, and I’ve been inundated with phone calls and emails reminding me just how powerful we are when we come together. You have shown me that you stand behind everything we do, and you have reminded me why we do it.


I don’t think I’ll ever understand why changing the statistics around women in energy has to be so hard. 


That’s not to say I don’t understand change is a struggle. As all of you know, my family was hit hard by Harvey — as so many of our families were. That storm forced us to embrace a new normal, and I fought that new normal, hard. I cried for the things I’d lost, for what I’d have to rebuild. And I fumed when I thought of all the missteps that led us to this epic natural disaster.


But in a crisis, there’s no time for any of that. I had to wipe away my tears, stiffen my spine and get to work — because this city needed help, and all hands on deck. It was a crisis, and — like it or not — crisis puts our values in stark relief and our shortcomings on full display.


Energy, too, is in a state of crisis. Not the crisis of years past, but a crisis of talent and culture. We’re facing a talent shortage, like competing industries, as the bulk of our industry veterans approach retirement. We need innovative people and new ideas to fill those gaps in a fast-moving world. And we need a culture that will embrace transparency, authenticity and inclusion to keep those people where they are.


While I’m grateful to Bloomberg for seeing the value in HERWorld and Pink Petro, I also know the value CERAWeek and its organizers bring to the industry. We don’t have to live in a world where its one or the other. The new world order for capitalism is collaboration.  We are both committed to making this industry better and stronger. So let’s support each other at every step of the way.


Together we are better.  Now, let’s all get back to that work.


We're pleased to announce the finalists for the 2018 Audi Central Houston Experience Energy GRIT Awards.  


From the classroom to the field, conference room to the board room, we received nearly 200 nominations across the globe.  This year we will be proud to honor energy professionals, entrepreneurs, executives, and of course, our male champions.  Diversity is bigger than the Energy Capital.  It goes beyond gender and extends to different parts of our industry and includes a wide range roles, backgrounds, and people.  


Nominations were submitted from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Asia, Russia and the Middle East.  


I'm so proud to call this industry mine.  Our big thanks to those who put forward these deserving finalists.  


Our winners will be announced live on International Women's Day, and our 3rd birthday, March 8 at HERWorld18.  Join us for the day to celebrate our industry and learn from experts in person in Houston, in person in Denver, host your own experience, or just watch the awards via Pink Petro TV on Facebook at 5:00 PM CST.  In person seats are expected to sell out, so don't delay if you want to come in person!


The Finalists:


  • Aimee Lafluer, Process Evaluations Engineer, Shell 
  • Amy Bowe, Director, Upstream Consulting, Wood Mackenzie 
  • The Anadarko Stakeholder Relations Team 
  • The BP HR Resourcing Team
  • Dana Pasquali, Product Line Leader - Cyber Security, Baker Hughes, a GE Company
  • Dena Lund, Executive VP of engineering and operations, Sterling Energy
  • Elijio Serrano, Senior Vice President and CFO, TETRA Technologies, Inc
  • Elise Knudsen, Major Capital Project HES Advisor, Chevron
  • Erin Larner, Process Supervisor, Aera Energy
  • Erin Reuber, L48 Exploration Appraisal Manager, ConocoPhillips
  • Flor Dimassi, CEO, GlobalSpeak Translations
  • Jack Gerard, CEO, American Petroleum Institute
  • Jay Copan, Executive Director, World Gas Conference & Special Advisor to the President, International Gas Union, 
  • Jaime Glas, CEO, Hot Stuff Safety Wear
  • Jennifer Walsh, Head of Communications, Covestro, LLC
  • Jerri Babin, Vice President Sales Operational Strategy, NOV 
  • Julia Reinhart - Vice President of HR, Valero
  • Kaitlyn Bunker, Senior Associate/Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute 
  • Katherine Stokes, Executive Director, West Texas Energy Consortium
  • Lameka Ross, HR Advisor, Aera Energy
  • Linda Ibrahim, VP - International Tax, Vantage Energy
  • Lindsay Alaniz, Exploration Strategy and Portfolio Coordinator, ConocoPhillips
  • Lisa McAlister, Learning Advisor, Aera Energy 
  • Maria Angela Capello, Executive Advisor, Kuwait Oil Company
  • Marti Powers, External Relations Manager, Shell 
  • Marwa Abdelhamid Hassen, Technical Manager - HQ, Schlumberger 
  • Michelle Lewis, Chief Strategy Officer, SVP, Corporate Development & Investor Relations, DistributionNOW 
  • Mike Adams, Co-Founder, Norwell EDGE 
  • Monica Baistrocchi, Area HSE/PESQ Manager - Continental Europe, Halliburton
  • Monica Suman Krishnan, Technology and Deployment Manager, Chevron 
  • Myriam Gateault, Process Control Technology Engineer, Covestro LLC
  • Nooshin Yazhari, Managing Principal, Optimum
  • Paige Donnell, Founder and CEO, Paige PR
  • Patricia (Pat) Guillory, Chief Financial Officer, Gulf Copper Manufacturing Corp.
  • Sara Ortwein, President, XTO Energy Inc., an ExxonMobil subsidiary
  • Sarah Castro, Senior Associate Director, IPAA
  • Sharon Rich, Manager of Engineering, INTECSEA, a Worley Parsons company
  • Skyler Obregon, Regional Compliance Counsel for US and Canada, Weatherford
  • Souzi Weiland, Learning & Development Manager, Southwestern Energy Company
  • Suganthi Subramaniam, Malaysia IT Country Chair, Shell
  • Susan Morrice, Co-founder and Chairperson for Belize Natural Energy 
  • Sylvia Garcia, Consultant Services Manager, OPC USA LLC
  • Tameka Ramsey, Manager, Global Compliance & Ethics, ConocoPhillips
  • Tina Harmon-Carmona, Information Specialist, Aera Energy LLC
  • Tina Peters, Owner, Mallard, Inc.
  • Tracee Bentley, Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council 
  • Ugochi Akwiwu, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company
  • Vera Verdree, PhD, Sr. Global Competence Manager, Baker Hughes GE
  • Victoria Shterengarts, Head of Directorate, Gas Marketing and New Markets Business Development at Rosneft