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Pink Petro Partnership Aligns with “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™” Pledge

ST. LOUIS (August 16, 2017) – Emerson (NYSE: EMR), the global engineering and technology company, has partnered with Pink Petro to support women professionals in energy industry jobs. Based in Houston, Pink Petro is a global community of men and women aimed at ending the gender gap in the energy industry.

Earlier this year Emerson CEO David Farr pledged his support of the “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion” initiative to work with other U.S. companies, large and small, to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The partnership with Pink Petro is one example of Emerson’s commitment to support the professional development of women working across the energy sector.

“One of Emerson’s core tenets is our dedication to creating a global workplace that supports and promotes diversity, and that’s particularly true for women in the largest business segment we serve: the energy industry,” says Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions. “It is critically important that we build a diverse and inclusive workforce that values and respects one another and can share their talents with our global customer base.”

The partnership with Pink Petro will provide live and on demand professional development, coaching and mentorship opportunities for Emerson professionals and executives – men and women – as well as participation in Pink Petro University, a resource that meets the needs of the mobile workforce.

“The energy industry transformation is driving a shift in culture and our workforce,” says Katie Mehnert, Pink Petro founder and CEO. “Emerson’s C-suite commitment to building an inclusive workplace makes them a perfect fit for Pink Petro. We’re thrilled to have them a part of our community.”

Ranked #139 among the Fortune 500 of America’s largest corporations, Emerson has more than 74,000 employees around the world. Emerson’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes support of Society of Women Engineers, Women in STEM, Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, military veterans, and other localized programs around the world.

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit

About Pink Petro

Pink Petro is the leading global community and social enterprise aimed at ending the gender gap in energy. Using social technology, its mission is to elevate and connect individuals, companies, and industry to create a connected inclusive workforce and supply chain. The community has a presence in 120 countries in nearly 500 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, LNG, renewables, and nuclear. For more information visit

Winston & Strawn has been named to Working Mother magazine’s 2017 list of the “Best Law Firms for Women.” 

The annual list, now in its tenth year, recognizes 50 U.S. law firms for their commitment to creating women-friendly workplaces through policies that support work-life balance, as well as the advancement, retention, and promotion of women.

This remarkable recognition results from Winston’s significant investment in its Women’s Leadership Initiative, Sponsorship Initiative, and gender-neutral Parental Leave Program, among other industry-leading efforts. 

The award joins a string of "firsts" for the firm in 2017, which includes being named “Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion” by Chambers USA and receiving the inaugural “Flex Impact Award” from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

Kudos to Winston & Strawn from Pink Petro and all of the firms listed here.

By Lydia DePillis, Economics Reporter, The Houston Chronicle. @lydiadepillis

The tech industry gets a lot of attention these days for being unfriendly to women, with sexual harassment seemingly rampant and the small share of women in computer science declining.

But the oil and gas industry also has a serious - and perhaps worse - gender gap. Women make up only 14.5 percent of the workforce in the industry, according to the Labor Department, compared with 25.5 percent of computer and mathematical occupations and 47 percent of the workforce overall.

The reasons those gender divides exist are different across the two industries. But the remedies, according to a comprehensive study by the consulting firm BCG, are similar: Upper management needs to be dead serious about the problem and convey it's a priority to people doing the hiring.

"It's not going to work its way out," said Andrea Ostby, the head of BCG's Houston office. "Just talking about it is not going to fix the problem. What I think we haven't seen across the board is that rigor and focus."

The study, which was conducted in conjunction with the World Petroleum Congress and included all of the major national and international oil companies, found that the already-small proportion of women in oil and gas worldwide are concentrated in non-technical, non-supervisory positions. That's important, because being promoted through the ranks usually requires field experience, ideally in engineering or operations, and many companies still consider separate facilities for women on well sites a "discretionary expense."

Jenny James is a production/operations engineer for Occidental Petroleum.

BCG's surveys and interviews also indicate that women and men see obstacles to advancement differently. For example, when asked why women didn't reach upper levels of management, women identified a lack of support and female candidates being overlooked. The top reasons for men: There aren't enough women to choose from, and women tend to be less flexible than men.

"It indicates that the workforce doesn't even really see that there's an issue," Ostby said.

But it's likely to become a bigger problem, as much of the industry's workforce approaches retirement. Even today, companies are scrambling to find workers for active drilling areas like the Permian Basin in West Texas and are still drawing on mostly men.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association, which represents many oil production and services companies in Texas, declined to comment.

Katie Mehnert who runs Pink Petro, an organization for women in oil and gas, said the way to move the needle is to convey that female representation is a priority, setting baselines for recruiting and evaluating them based on whether they meet their goals.

But, studies show, Americans tend to react negatively to anything seen as a quota. While Europeans respond well to gender ratios, according to forthcoming research from BCG, Americans see them undermining merit-based hiring.

Ostby said that can be dealt with by setting goals that are enforced on a case-by-case basis.

"You don't have to use them in a quota-esque way," she said. "But what you can say is, 'Hey, Mr. Male Manager, you haven't promoted any females in the last five years, why is that, and what are you going to do to address that?"

Rerun with permission. The original story can be found here or in the Sunday July 22 edition of the Chronicle.  Photos by Jon Shapley and James Durbin, Staff  

Author:  Polly Mosendz, Bloomberg NY

“This ain’t your daddy’s oil,” the commercial proclaims, cutting to shots of spray paint being made and a wall covered in fanciful graffiti. “Oil strikes a pose. Oil taps potential. Oil pumps life.”

Oil, in short, is cool, the industry’s branding braintrust has declared. The 30-second spot rolled out this year is part of a broader American Petroleum Institute campaign  to “raise awareness about the role natural gas and oil has in economic growth, job creation, environmental stewardship, and national security.” Dubbed Power Past Impossible, the ads by the lobbying arm of America’s oil giants are all about millennials, the generation of roughly 21 to 35 year olds which out-sizes any other and makes up the largest chunk of the American workforce. 

“It’s a shift in our messaging and our target that’s been in the works for several years,” says Marty Durbin, the institute’s chief strategy officer.  “There isn’t a company out there that isn’t chasing the elusive millennials.”

That may be true, but there are few with the kind of uphill battle the oil industry faces in catching them. Millennials often frown on companies whose main products play a key role in global warming. A 2016 poll by the University of Texas found that 91 percent of those under the age of 35 said climate change is occurring and just over half supported a carbon tax. About two thirds of millennial-aged voters said energy issues influenced how they vote and that they plan to by an alternative fuel vehicle.

Oil and Gas Millenials Pink Petro Bloomberg

“What exactly were you guys thinking making a commercial aimed at young people?”

The spray paint ad, it turns out, got a decidedly mixed a reaction.

“What exactly were you guys thinking making a commercial aimed at young people,” tweeted one viewer. “Every time I see it I’m reminded of how [expletive] of a resource petroleum is ecologically and how dumb it was to advertise ... that way.”

Millennials prefer brands that come across as “conscious capitalists,” explained Jeff Fromm, an expert in marketing to younger Americans. “Any mature industry has to think about the fact that there’s a new sheriff in town with new values, new spending habits,” he added, referring to millennials. “Legacy brands often have that challenge.”

Beyond reintroducing the brand, the Big Energy ad blitz has a more daunting task: convincing millennials to work for the industry. In the coming years, fossil fuel companies expect “to see a big turnover, sometimes called ‘the big crew change,’” Durbin says. “We started to reach out to different demographics—women, veterans, minorities—to educate them on what the industry does and to learn what would pique their interest.”

Getting millennials to take these jobs, which tend to pay well but come with their own risks, won’t be easy for an additional reason. Unemployment is at a 16-year low and talented engineering graduates are flocking to Silicon Valley for internships and first jobs that pay more than the median national wage. This adds even more pressure on the oil industry to spiff up its image, insofar as it can, to lure young workers with lots of choices.


Asking a millennial to work for an oil company instead of Tesla is a tough proposition.

“Oil and gas companies may need more profound changes to meet demands for meaningful work and social responsibility to attract the next generation of top engineering and leadership talent,” McKinsey & Co. wrote in a September 2016 report on the future of the oil sector. Asking a millennial to choose between a green-tech company like Tesla Inc., which makes cars that don’t pollute, and an oil company, which fuels those that do, is a difficult proposition.

The consulting firm found 14 percent of millennials would reject a career in oil because of the industry’s image. That’s the highest of any industry it polled. Only 2 percent of American college graduates list the oil and gas sector as their first choice for a job, according to research by Accenture, a professional services company. 

Even among those unsure of their path, the news isn’t good. Less than half of millennials without a set career find appeal in oil and gas, according to the recently released EY U.S. Oil and Gas Perception poll. Women were more likely to reject the industry than men. And its only going to get worse as time goes on: The generation after millennials, commonly referred to as ‘Z’, turned their nose up at oil jobs even more frequently. 

Part of the issue, EY found, was a disconnect between what millennials want from a job and what oil executives think they want—and it has nothing to do with the environment. Asked what they prioritize in a job, 56 percent of millennials said salary, followed closely by work-life balance, job stability, and job happiness. Industry executives thought far more millennials were driven primarily by salary, an anachronistic viewpoint that may illustrate the generational challenge faced by their  branding campaign.

Millennials have a similarly dated outlook. EY found they view the oil industry as packed with roughnecks, and the work as “blue-collar, dangerous, and physically demanding,” despite much of the sector being office-based and engineering-focused. 

In a recent report, Accenture said most sectors facing a professional talent crunch can rely on new college graduates to fill vacancies.

“That’s not the case for oil and gas operators,” the firm said. “Many millennials believe the sector is lacking innovation, agility, and creativity, as well as opportunities to engage in meaningful work.”

At the very least, this perception is what the American Petroleum Institute says it hopes to change. “Millennials are interested in innovative, high technology industries,” Durbin says. “If they don’t have that view of our industry, we have the opportunity to change that. If you want to go into high-tech engineering, look at our industry.” 

Durbin concedes the ad campaign won’t change the mind of every millennial. “ There are those out there who we are never going to get,” he says. “ There are some who are going to say ‘I don’t like the industry.’”

But Durbin, and oil companies in general, may be happy with just letting people know there are jobs to be had, even if the campaign invites abuse from some young people who see fossil fuels as a blight.

“ It’s a very different flavor from what we had done before,” Durbin says. “ It’s gotten people talking.”

To contact the author of this story: Polly Mosendz in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at

Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg


Earlier this year the OGTAG (Oil and Gas Trafficking Advocacy Group) was formed out of a need to help combat sex trafficking in the industry.  It's mission is to bring awareness to the O&G Industry for the prevention of sex trafficking in the US and abroad. The term “sex trafficking” not only references the people being sold, but people soliciting sex, or buyers, hence the need to address both the “supply” and “demand” side of the issue to combat trafficking.


Alexandria Gerbasi, Chief Administrative Officer of the OVS Group sees a great need for O&G companies to raise awareness about the issue to drive prevention.  


At its recent meeting, Todd Latiolais, Associate Director of Prevention & Policy of The Texas Governor’s Office shared about Texas Legislation passed in 2015 to establish the Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program. This program was designed for businesses wishing to prevent and combat human trafficking by voluntarily enacting policies and measuring employee compliance to reduce demand. Participating Texas companies can apply for a Certificate of Recognition from the Secretary of State.


Mar Brettman, Founder & Executive Director of the BEST Alliance shared with the group the business risks trafficking poses, in addition to the harm it causes victims. He also provides strategies for addressing the issue, policies, employee communications, trainings, as well as how to engage other stakeholders to actively address human trafficking.  


Several O&G Companies are joining the Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program and BEST Employer Alliance to combat human trafficking both locally and abroad as zero tolerance policies are rolled out to address human trafficking and sex buying. To facilitate this process, The Texas Governor’s Office and BEST Alliance are available to help companies enact policies. By raising awareness, we can reduce demand and curb “supply” which in this case is not a product, rather, human beings coerced and often-times trapped into the commercial sex industry.


BOOM Film: Play on Vimeo


iEmpathize produced a training video to highlight how trafficking presents itself within the O&G Industry. BOOM can be used to make a business case for raising awareness and enacting policies internally and externally to address trafficking.  


OVS Group invites all O&G colleagues to join these efforts. The OGTAG meets bi-monthly in Houston. For more information about these efforts and more, please contact 

ICYMI (In case you missed it ....)


On Friday, our friends at Baker Hughes, a GE Company were on Wall Street and rang the bell to commemorate their first trading day on July 5 2017.    Thanks to member, and Chief Information Officer, Jen Hartsock for the photo of BHGE ladies on Wall Street. Watch the bell event live here.


Baker Huges GE Pink Petro


Mid-week, tech exec Mark Zuckerberg visited the North Dakota shale, furthering rumors the mighty millennial is running for office.  In a lengthy Facebook post, the Facebook CEO wrote that it is "important" to understand "different perspectives" about the energy industry. According to Zuckerberg, the workers he met "believe competition from new sources of energy is good, but from their perspective, until renewables can provide most of our energy at scale, they are providing an important service we all rely on, and they wish they'd stop being demonized for it."


We couldn't agree more. Read the story here.


Marck Zuckerberg energy pink petro 


And, finally all week long, the World Petroleum Congress was held in Istanbul, Turkey.  The 22nd congress brought 6000 delegates from over 90 countries.  And the gender balance discussion was a highlight.  Read our piece on Untapped Reserves: Bridging the Gender Gap here and check out the full report on the BCG website.  Watch our segment on Pink Petro TV with Leigh-Ann Russell and Yassmin Abdel-Magied to hear their perspectives.


Make sure the perfect opportunity doesn't pass you by.  Inclusive Workplaces are hiring today!


Create a personal job alert on Experience Energy and new jobs that match your search criteria will be emailed directly to you!


  • Receive newly-posted jobs matching your specified criteria
  • Set how often you would like to receive these alerts
  • Focus your time elsewhere and let your next job come to you
  • Sign up for job alerts today on Experience Energy to be notified as soon as the job you're looking for is posted!

Increase your chances of being contacted for your dream job.

Pink Petro is offering a complimentary resume review.


This service gives you the opportunity to have your resume sent to a resume-writing expert.


Within 48 hours of opting-in, you will receive an evaluation outlining your strengths, weaknesses and suggestions to ensure you have the best chance of landing an interview.


Here's how:


To submit a resume when uploading it to Experience Energy:


1. Visit the "MANAGE RESUMES" section of your job seeker account
3. Choose the file to be uploaded
4. Click YES next to SUBMIT my resume for a free evaluation from a trusted resume expert at TOP RESUME.
5. When you receive the pop-up, click EVALUATE MY RESUME
6. Proceed with the upload by clicking "UPLOAD RESUME.


To submit a resume already uploaded to your account on Experience Energy:


1. Visit the "MANAGE RESUMES" section of your job seeker account
2. Locate the resume you would like to have evaluated
4. When you receive the pop-up, click 'EVALUATE MY RESUME'


You will then receive email confirmation from your personal resume expert.




From PRWeb:  Cheniere Energy extends its commitment to diversity and inclusion through Pink Petro.


Houston-based Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSE MKT: LNG) announced today that it has joined Pink Petro, the

global community aimed at ending the gender gap in energy, in a partnership that extends membership benefits

to employees and provides events to foster professional development.


Cheniere Energy, Inc., is a global energy company primarily engaged in LNG-related businesses. Cheniere has received broad recognition for being the first company to export LNG from the lower 48 states in more than 50 years. The company has nearly 1,000 employees with offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, Louisiana, Washington, D.C, London, Singapore, and Santiago, Chile.


“A diverse workforce is key to maintaining a solid market position and remaining competitive,” said Hilary

Ware, Chief Human Resources Officer, Cheniere Energy. “At Cheniere, we are always exploring ways to

enhance our existing talent management and professional development networks. Joining Pink Petro will enable

the company and our employees to tap into a vast network of like-minded companies and individuals who share

Cheniere’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”


Cheniere recently launched its women’s employee resource group, WILS (Women Inspiring and Leading

Success), aimed at enabling and empowering careers for women by providing development and leadership

skills and creating a culture that promotes inclusion and diversity. While the group is geared towards the

professional development of women, all Cheniere employees are encouraged to participate.


Collaborative efforts with Pink Petro will include participating in formal and informal events, utilizing the Pink

Petro online community, and serving on the global energy community board, an industry inclusion think-tank

that collaborates with external organizations and initiatives.


“We are very pleased to have Cheniere Energy join Pink Petro, as a first mover LNG company,” said Katie

Mehnert, Pink Petro Founder and CEO. “Their commitment to building a diverse workforce and talent pipeline

make them a perfect fit. We welcome them to our community and look forward to working together to change

the energy conversation.”


About Pink Petro

Pink Petro is the leading global community and social enterprise aimed at ending the gender gap in energy.

Using social technology, its mission is to elevate and connect individuals, companies, and industry to create a

more diverse and inclusive workforce and supply chain. The community has a diverse audience of women and

men in 120 countries in nearly 500 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, LNG, renewables, and



About Cheniere

Cheniere Energy, Inc., a Houston-based energy company primarily engaged in LNG-related businesses, owns

and operates the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana. Directly and through its subsidiary, Cheniere Energy

Partners, L.P., Cheniere is developing, constructing, and operating liquefaction projects near Corpus Christi,

Texas and at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, respectively.





Contact Information


Eben Burnham-Snyder

Cheniere Energy 



With the Oil & Gas industry having faced a major downturn since 2014, it is now more imperative than ever that Oil and Gas Companies take steps to show our Employees their value on a Global Scale and continue to support Diversity & Inclusion.  As such oil Diversity Global has launched Quarterly Awards which will be run by World Class Judges to celebrate our employees and promote our successes on a Global Stage.  We are therefore asking companies to become involved and nominate their employees for our Diversity Awards  as per below.  Please join us and contact for application forms today.


Oil Diversity Global was launched at the beginning of 2017 in response to an urgent need by companies globally to drive efficiency, reduce cost and celebrate success.  The concept of our site is to provide several global business functions in one system for companies, whilst also addressing diversity and Business Collaboration, which are to become key tools in today’s ever changing market.














Pay Scale released a report today about salary history disclosure.  Between April and June 2017, they interviewed 15,413 respondents who were evaluating job offers through PayScale.


The full data can be found here. 


  • 43% of respondents reported being asked about their salary history. Nearly one quarter of those declined to answer. 
  • People seeking higher incomes are more likely to be asked about their salary history, but those who were asked and refused tend to make the most.
  • A woman who is asked about her salary history and refuses to disclose earns 1.8% less than a woman who discloses.
  • If a man refuses to disclose salary history, he gets paid 1.2 percent more.
  • Salary history is more likely to come up in an interview as you move up the ladder; 54 percent of Individual Contributors indicated that they did not disclose their salary history and were not asked, vs. only 36 percent of VPs and Executives. VPs and Executives are the group both most likely to volunteer their salary history and with most likely to refuse to disclose.
  • Refusal rates are lower for younger workers. 28% of Boomers refused to disclose their salary history when asked, vs 22% of Gen Xers and 18% of Millennials



Some interesting stats specific to energy and utilities:


52% job candidates say that in the interview process, they were not asked about their salary history nor did the candidate offer.  However 28% of those who were asked, refused to disclose.  Energy ties with the tech industry on that stat which begs to wonder, why did they refuse to share?


What say you? Would you disclose salary history in an interview?  Why or why not?  




About PayScale

Creator of the world’s largest database of rich salary profiles, PayScale offers modern compensation software and real-time, data-driven insights for employees and employers alike. Thousands of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, use PayScale products to power pay decisions for millions of employees. 

From the Houston Business Journal, edited for length.


We congratulate members Maria Borras, Jennifer Hartsock, and Jody Markopolous for their leadership appointments announced today.


As Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) and Boston-based General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) near the closing of their megadeal, the companies have released a list of executives who will lead the newly combined energy company.

The deal to combine Baker Hughes with GE Oil & Gas, which is based in London but has regional headquarters in Houston, could close around the end of June or early July. The combined entity will be called Baker Hughes, a GE Company, and will have dual headquarters in Houston and London.


As previously announced, Lorenzo Simonelli, the president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas, will be CEO of the new company, and Brian Worrell, CFO of GE Oil & Gas, will become CFO of the new company.

The rest of the combined leadership team will consist of nine execs from GE Oil & Gas and four from Baker Hughes:


  • Maria Claudia Borras, currently GE Oil & Gas’ chief commercial officer, will become president and CEO of oilfield services of the new company.
  • Belgacem Chariag, currently Baker Hughes’ president of global operations, will become chief global operations officer of the new company.
  • Rod Christie, currently head of GE Oil & Gas’ Turbomachinery & Process Solutions business unit, will become president and CEO of turbomachinery and process solutions for the new company.
  • Harry Elsinga, currently vice president of human resources for GE Oil & Gas, will become chief human resources officer of the new company.
  • Jennifer Hartsock, currently chief information officer for GE Oil & Gas, will become CIO of the new company.
  • Matthias Heilmann, currently head of GE Oil & Gas’ digital solutions business, will become president and CEO of digital solutions for the new company.
  • Jack Hinton, currently vice president of health, safety and environment (HSE) for Baker Hughes, will become Chief HSE Officer for the new company.
  • Nicola Jannis, currently head of business development at GE Oil & Gas, will become chief business development officer at the new company.
  • Derek Mathieson, currently Baker Hughes’ chief commercial officer, will become chief marketing and technology officer for the new company.
  • Jody Markopoulos, currently vice president of operations at GE Oil & Gas, will become chief engineering and supply chain officer for the new company.
  • Will Marsh, currently vice president and general counsel of Baker Hughes, will become chief legal officer for the new company.
  • Neil Saunders, currently GE Oil & Gas’ president and CEO of subsea systems and drilling, will become president and CEO of oilfield equipment for the new company.
  • Uwem Ukpong, who currently leads overall integration planning for GE Oil & Gas, will become chief integration officer for the combined company.

GE and Baker Hughes also previously announced the board of directors for the combined company. GE CEO Jeff Immelt will be chairman of the new company’s board, while Martin Craighead, currently Baker Hughes’ chairman and CEO, will serve as vice chairman. 


The combined company will have about 70,000 employees worldwide and operations in more than 120 countries.



Summer is almost here in the USA and it's time to keep the kids engaged in activities that will nurture their minds. Here are a few of our staff picks.


1. Make STEM a part of your daily routine.



2.  Start your own camp or attend a few of these great ones in energy cities across the USA



3.  DIY: Do it yourself. 



What are some of your favorite STEM activities?

GE is renowned for its Crotonville leadership institute. Pink Petro, CEO, Katie Mehnert was invited last week to attend GE's Leading and Learning. This annual event has brought together senior female executives from prominent companies around the world to discuss global trends, innovation, growth, challenges, and leadership.  


On the agenda this year were some insightful and amazing speakers.  Here's a recap.


“Know Your Value” MIKA BRZENSKI
Mika joined us for dinner Monday evening and gave perspective on the current political environment in the U.S. and around the world. She encouraged every woman in the room to embrace their inner strengths & remain resilient during difficult times, key tenets of her Know Your Value campaign – a nationwide effort focused on empowering women in business. Check out more here.


“What difference does it make if you have a seat at the table, but act like everyone else and use your table manners? ” MAE JEMISON

Echoing Mika’s sentiments, Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go to space, kicked off day two with a message to all, no matter your sex, ethnicity or background, to work hard towards your “seat at the table” and once achieved, have an opinion and a voice to make sure your thoughts are valued. She also gave us an inspiring look at her history with NASA, the100 Year Starship initiative, and her guest appearance on Star Trek. And finally, she reminded us that space isn’t just for rocket scientists, and that we need to push harder for radical innovation.


“When you're a girl you have to be 3 times better.” TEMPLE GRANDIN 
Temple Grandin does not shy away from a challenge. Diagnosed with autism at an early age, Temple did not let the world around her determine her path. “The world needs all kinds of minds,” she reminds us. Her challenge to everyone in the audience was to be open to and create opportunities for different ways of thinking. Diverse perspectives & alternative paths to solutions provide a potential for great outcomes.


“The more people know about the natural world, the more they feel a part of it" HOPE JAHREN 
Lab Girl” Hope Jahren gave us a glimpse into her life as a geochemist, geobiologist and professor of science. Her effortless explanation of the manipulation of plant life to understand external pressures such as light & atmosphere make it clear why she is so often described as an inspiration and role model for young girls looking to get involved in science.


“Succeed not despite of who you are, but because of what you are... unapologetically.”JESSICA O. MATTHEWS 
Self-described as the perfect mix of Bill Nye the Science Guy and Beyonce, Jessica blew us away with the capabilities of the renewable energy company she founded at only 22 years old. She talked about building off your struggles to reach success, and the importance of diverse experiences and thought. Learn more about Jessica and Uncharted Play here.


“I saw an opportunity to solve a problem in the food & beverage market & I went for it .” KARA GOLDIN
Determined to find a healthier solution than soda, Kara started creating Hint Water at home while pregnant with her fourth baby. Since launching in 2005, Kara has been recognized by numerous organizations for her entrepreneurial success. She talked about what’s on the horizon for Hint, including breaking into consumer products for health & wellness, and how she stays inspired to innovate.


“Disability is never the barrier, society and expectations are.”HABEN GIRMA

Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate from Harvard Law School, talked about the importance of inclusion and her lessons learned as a fierce advocate for equal rights for those with disabilities. As Haben explained, for every situation there are alternative solutions – whether that is closed captioning for the hard of hearing or speech-to-braille translations to make attending Harvard Law a possibility – it is all of our responsibilities to create and maintain inclusive environments for every type of person.


“How is it that in a world with so much abundance, so much talent and innovation, so many go without food?"  KOMAL AHMAD

Moved by a single dinner with a homeless veteran, Komal and her company, Copia, strive to solve the world’s dumbest problem: hunger. One of Toyota’s 2016 “Mother of Invention” award winners, Komal wowed us with the inspiration behind her logistical problem-solving to develop technology to solve food excess & hunger. Learn more about Copia and how to get involved here.


“Best advice I ever got was to always take the most adventurous path” — JILL ELLIS
We fan-girled a little over the last speaker of the day, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. After being named head coach in 2014, just 13 months later she led the U.S. to the championship of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Jill talked about her passion for the game, her team, and equality for women in sports. “I’m learning to have a voice,” Jill says, “and I’m working with young women to help move the needle with them.”


Big thanks to Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE, Susan Peters, SVP, Human Resources, GE and Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE.



GE Jody Markopolous Katie Mehnert Julie DeWane Jennifer Hartsock Jeff Immelt Katie Mehnert Pink PetroJeff Immelt closed the day long learning event with a session on the future.


Immelt spoke of the disruptive times we live in and that GE is making some big bets in the new age of productivity.  


On the energy transition, he noted that the notion of going from hydrocarbons to alternatives is hard.  While it's obliterated companies in Europe, the chairman recognizes the big plays the company is making in alternatives and in fossils, citing the Baker/GE deal, a tremendous one for the company.  


On the future of work, GE is looking at who will work, how they will work, and where they will work. The company is looking at virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence and how the future of work will change organizational design and help them run more digitally with less layers.


On women and diversity, Immelt spoke about the company's "Balance the Equation" initiative with an intense focus on having 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020.   To do this, roughly 50% of all new hires will be female.


His 7 pieces of advice to the 300 female executives in the room were simple truths.  The hard part is making them happen...

1.  You have to balance finding good ideas versus building good businesses.  (Means there are bad ideas too--)
  • Know the bus that’s going to hit you.  You cannot dabble into too many things and must SAY NO.
  •  Good idea v good business: Are they investable?
2.  Good companies have long term attention spans and are principled.
3.  Innovation is technology + (plus) the business model, which Immelt says is harder.
4.  Move from “Strength to strength” …challenge legacy; go deeper NOT broader
5.  Harness platforms + CAPability (horizontal versus vertical) … Can you accomplish this through training or is it a part of the culture?  When do you work as a platform versus a vertical?
6.  Don't confuse tailwind with good management.
  • Good leaders know how to tell between tail wind and management. You learn a lot through bad cycles.  
  • You should be more worried about things in good cycles and look at people extra hard in the worst times.
7.  Let things come to you (the “happy briefcase” Syndrome). 
  • Immelt says some people want to know all of the answers but that we have to be okay with letting the story unfold. We don't know and we don't control much.  Wait till Episode 10 says Jeff.



Photo: Pictured Left to Right:  Katie Mehnert, Pink Petro, Julie Dewane, Jennifer Hartsock GE, Jeff Immelt, GE, Marie Mouchet, Colonial Pipeline andJody Markopoulos, GE


From KTRK: ABC Houston 13

Step by step, her pink boots have led to the Energy Corridor, but it's a bike that gets Katie Mehnert to work every day.


One word can pretty much sum up Mehnert's personality: energy. It's also the industry she has spent her life advocating on behalf of.


"It powers everything. It moved us into the modern age," she said. "The reputation is terrible and that's such a challenge to me."


Mehnert's father, an oil and gas engineer, felt the pain of the bust of the 1980s.


"When my dad was let go, I remember him telling me do not get into this industry. It's a dead end," she said.


Now a wife and mother, she defied his advice and learned about tough times in her first job at Enron. From there she worked her way up within several more energy companies.


"I've been blessed to have crisis in my life because that has helped me grow into the jobs I've had since," she said.


Then came the question on a flight from London that sparked a new fire.


"I was sitting next to a gentleman who said, 'What's a pretty young lady like you doing in a dark, dangerous business like oil?' I thought women, energy, what are the stereotypes right here," she said.


PinkPetro was born on a cocktail napkin. As oil was plunging, she launched her company in 2014, trading in her big corporate chair for a pink one. The idea picked up steam.


"It just overnight became this thing and then it was like, I can't stop. There's no going back," said Mehnert.


What was born is a company to promote women and minorities in energy, educate the public about the industry and tell the stories to help change the perception.


"I don't even like using the word oil. I saw energy, because it's all energy. Oil is a dirty word," she said.


"I think the biggest misconceptions about energy and energy companies truthfully is that companies don't care and that's just so far from the truth," she added.


"We're at an inflection point where there's a huge encouragement to get women and girls to take risks. The stats in oil and gas and energy are horrific, we're dead last," she said of women in the energy industry.


It will take a lot of steps in those pink boots, but she has no intentions of walking slowly to get there.


"Find a place where you can make a difference. Don't run into something safe. Run into the fire a bit. Take some risks," said Mehnert.


13 things you didn't know about Katie Mehnert


  1. What's your Starbucks order? - Double tall peppermint non fat latte with one Sweet and Low
  2. On your days off, do you sleep in or wake up early? - Days off? I'm a Startup CEO. I'm always up! If I had days off I'd sleep in!
  3. Where is your favorite place to shop? - Some women like purses and shoes. My vice? Hermes scarves.
  4. What's one food that you absolutely hate? - Raw tomatoes. I'll eat salsa, ketchup and pizza sauce but don't ask me to eat them raw!
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? - I'm a big Sheryl Sandberg fan
  6. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? - Cookie Dough
  7. Where did you grow up? - I'm part Cajun... born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  8. Do you sing in the shower? - Yep. Life's too short not to!
  9. What's one thing you can't live without? - I cannot live without coffee in the morning, my admin Linda at work who keeps my head on straight and my amazing family at home!
  10. What's a superpower you wish you had? - The ability to create more time.
  11. What do you order on your pizza? - Ham and pepperoni if I'm splurging.
  12. Where is the best place to take a date in Houston? - House of Pies.
  13. What would your walk-up song be? - Anything by U2