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The 2019 KPMG Future of HR Survey asked 1,200 international HR leaders to define the HR function for success in the 21st century.

The KPMG Global Energy Institute is pleased to announce that we can now offer the survey results with a specific focus on the energy sector. The Oil & Gas report can be downloaded here, while the report for Power & Utilities is available here.

Oil & Gas sector findings

Oil & Gas HR executives are confident about the strategic value and performance of the HR function and believe that the HR function is seen as a core value driver by senior leadership, but there is a disconnect between expectations and actions in many areas.

Key findings include:



Although the need for workforce transformation is generally accepted among Oil & Gas HR executives, with wide recognition of the need to transform workforce skills (86 percent) and how the HR function operates (92 percent), fewer than half are very confident in HR’s ability to transform.

67 percent of respondents in the Oil & Gas industry agree or slightly agree that their organization has initiated or recently completed a digital transformation of the HR function, however only 40 percent have a digital work plan in place.

Nearly all (95 percent) of Oil & Gas HR executives feel that artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning can drive significant value for HR, yet only 54 percent of HR functions have begun to introduce AI.


Please click here to read more.


Power & Utilities sector findings

Power & Utilities HR executives feel that HR is valued by senior leadership. They also feel that HR functions related to employee learning & reskilling and attracting employees bring the most benefit to their organizations.

Key findings include:



A majority (72 percent) of Power & Utilities HR executives recognize that their workforce will need to be transformed, yet only 31 percent are very confident that HR can lead that transformation.

Technology investments have prioritized people management and performance management.

A majority (63 percent) of Power & Utilities HR executives believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning (ML) can drive significant value for HR, yet only 41 percent have started to introduce AI. They also believe that their primary role in preparing the workforce for AI is in change management and training.


Please click here to read more.

KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here  to follow.

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?

“Alexa, what is Pink Petro?”


You know you’ve arrived when your 7-year-old daughter asks that question, and Alexa has an immediate answer from Wikipedia. That’s just one of many accomplishments founder/CEO Katie Mehnert shared during the Global Community Council’s last meeting of the year.


“We’re creating the new future of energy,” says Mehnert.




Thanks to the Global Community Council which currently represents 24 member companies of all sizes, it has been quite a year. Case-in-point, Pink Petro now has 11,000+ members in 120+ countries; a verified profile on social media and more than 15 million organic impressions across all platforms. This year Pink Petro grew its careers site, Experience Energy; culture consulting; and launched support for mentoring by forming a non-profit with  Plus, more than 75,000 people participated in the GRIT Awards and HERWorld18 combined. 


Not too shabby for the first online community for women in energy, which began as scribbles on a cocktail napkin!


“We’ve got momentum globally because change happens not by talking about it, but by taking action and socializing it” Mehnert told the GCC last Tuesday, December 4.


The Pink Petro community believes: the energy world needs to eliminate the gender gap; individual companies need to build better diversity and inclusion initiatives; and, companies need to retain and attract top talent.


The other shared belief? The only way to get there is together.


That’s why the channels of communication are wide open. Everyone is connected and everyone has a voice. That’s Pink Petro’s doing. “We elevate what resources are available and we meet people where they are, online,” says Mehnert. The global council helps steer relevant programming and policies for Pink Petro’s at-large community. But, “Conversation doesn’t stop just because a meeting is over. Members are talking to each other through the member app, social media, and the experiences we offer throughout the year.”


“It feels so good to be part of something so relevant,” says GCC member Shara Hammond of Marathon Oil. “Everything Pink Petro is doing feels so fluid and organic. It’s very powerful.”


Mehnert says the council’s work is a progressive movement for change. She calls 2018 the year of “insane growth.” In addition to the stats above, the media is also taking notice. On a regular basis, Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes, Fortune, FOX, CNBC and CBS contact Pink Petro for industry insight.




“This is where decision-makers and influencers come together,” says Mehnert, “And we’re the ones putting everyone in touch.”


Pink Petro membership has its benefits. Here are some highlights:

  • Invitations to exclusive professional development opportunities.
  • Access to the community through the members-only app and experiences live or on-demand.
  • Access to accomplished coaches, mentors and experts monthly via Coach’s Corner live and on-demand.
  • And corporate members can join the Global Community Council.


Interested? Click here to apply!

As the country continues to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, laid to rest last week, Pink Petro would like to recognize the man who shared our values. He was a friend of energy and supported diversity within the industry.


Before launching his political career and after marrying Barbara Pierce, the Yale graduate took a sales job with an oil and energy firm in Midland, Texas. Dresser Industries was owned by a Bush family friend and decades later it merged with Halliburton, an early believer in Pink Petro.


After a couple years, and with the help of family money, Bush got his hands dirty by starting two oil drilling businesses, including the Zapata Petroleum Corporation.


By the mid-1960’s, politics came calling and Bush was elected to Congress. He sold his share of the drilling businesses but never lost his appreciation for energy and inclusion.


In July of 1992, while Bush was in the Oval Office, Linda Stuntz was unanimously confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Energy. This marked the first time a woman served in this position. Stuntz played a key role in developing and enacting the Energy Policy Act. It contained more than two dozen subtitles outlining ways to reduce dependence on energy imports, boost renewable energy production, and increase energy efficiency of buildings.


In October of 1992, President Bush signed this landmark legislation into law.


In addition to his service to our industry and in politics, he was a man of integrity, character, and had a real zest for life.  His son George W. Bush said at the funeral in this full eulogy, In his old age, dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, volume on high (laughter), all the while holding mom’s hand. After mom died, Dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was to hold mom’s hand, again.”



Rest in Peace, with Robin and Barbara, #41.

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 week on our series, Profiles in GRIT, we introduce you to Patricia Guillory, the Chief Financial Officer of Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp.


Gulf Copper provides services for the repair, conversion and refurbishment of offshore drilling rigs, construction and support vessels for the oil and gas industry, and provides marine surveying service internationally. It offers a full spectrum of services with diverse capabilities from strategically well-placed facilities along the Gulf of Mexico. They also happen to be the newest member of the Pink Petro community. And we couldn’t be more thrilled!


Patricia took her position at the age of 29, during a turbulent time with the company.


“At my interview the owner explained that he could not promise the company would be able to commit to even my job being around in the next six months,” she recalls.


She made it through — with no small amount of persistence and faith. Here’s her story.


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


PG: The biggest challenge I have faced was taking control of Gulf Copper at the young age of 29. It was at a point in the company’s history when the financial and administration arms faced many challenges.


At my interview, the owner explained that he could not promise the company would be able to commit to even my job being around in the next six months. Employees were anxious at best, and many had low morale. The question for me was where to start on the impressive list of challenges — especially having been the first controller of this 40-plus-year-old organization hired after the bleeding had gone on for some time.


I overcame it with lots of prayers and leaning heavily on my faith. It was through prayer that I developed relationships with those in operations and administration. I also developed relationships with external resources and mentors. I overcame the anxiety of the job, asked many questions, answered many questions and worked excessive hours engaging others, attending meetings and making commitments.


In the end, we overcame these terrific trials and built our way back.


Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and how did you learn from it?


PG: The one mistake I’ve made on numerous occasions is departing from my center and my faith to make decisions that do not fully consider the impact on others. An example of this is when I moved all the accounting staff from an operations site to the administration offices where I was located. It seemed practical, except it had not been too long since the assets were acquired. I failed to appreciate the full extent of everyone’s anxiety. 


What became clear later is that having the groups in close proximity was helpful to merge the distinct company operating cultures within the two groups. A few years ago, we merged the locations and the two groups. Within a few months, nearly all of us agreed that the camaraderie and productivity levels were elevated. Over the years my faith in God has helped me realize that when I fall, I can get back up.


Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


PG: The most rewarding part has been the mentorships developed (and still developing) with my team. Being able to share the experience with someone learning things they never believed they could master is rewarding.


Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you?


PG: My “gritty” role model is a business-savvy Harvard-educated gentleman who served on our audit committee for many years. He has seen us through some of our most turbulent times and has provided wisdom, knowledge and strength. And he is always pushing me to take hold of the next challenge without waiver. He has provided constructive critiques at the most important times and always wants the very best for me. I truly appreciate his contributions to my life and the growth in my career.


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. 


We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Global KPMG CEO Outlook Survey with a specific lens on the Energy sector which reflects the outlooks and positions of senior industry executives in the Power & Utilities (P&U) sector. The P&U report can be downloaded here. In the survey, we examine the ongoing growth trends, emerging strategies, as well as some of the risks and challenges facing CEOs.


Power & Utilities Outlook

Amid an environment where cyber security is under intense scrutiny, power and utilities executives are feeling the pressure. Forty-eight percent of CEOs showed concern that becoming the victim of a cyber-attack is a matter of “when” and not “if” and not all CEOs are well-prepared to manage such an event. Please click here to read more.


KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here to follow now 

This week on Profiles in GRIT, we are featuring Lindsay Sander, one of the winners from the 2018 GRIT Awards on October 3rd. Lindsay is the Principal of Sander Resources, L.L.C. in Austin, TX.


Sander Resources is a consulting firm that helps its clients address developments in state and federal policies that impact their businesses, and implement programs to comply with them. Sander Resources uses innovation and information to influence policy, drive business, manage risk, and ensure compliance.


Lindsay is originally from Edina, Minnesota. Moving to Texas and entering this industry has had its share of challenges for her, but she’s loving every minute of it. Here’s more of Lindsay’s story:


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


LS: Being underestimated, and there is nothing that I enjoy more. This occurs on a regular basis and has been the greatest challenge. It has likely benefitted me more than whatever specific challenge was facing our client or team. It has provided me with opportunities to demonstrate dedication, determination, hard work, problem-solving, and resolve. And it has resulted in great partnerships, wonderful friends, and a network of people who want to make a difference in moving issues and our industry forward. I truly hope people continue to underestimate me as it will only drive me to accomplish even greater things in the future.


Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?


LS: We took on a client with a CEO who had an oversized ego for the purpose of accomplishing a VERY difficult assignment. Despite successfully delivering what the client requested (a miraculous accomplishment with potentially fantastic outcomes), the CEO was uncooperative, unappreciative, and, ultimately, disrespectful to our team. The company is my life and the people who work for me are family. I will never tolerate poor treatment of either. It was a good, but hard lesson to learn: I realized that we are not looking to work with just "any" client; we are looking to partner with clients with whom we can do our best work.


Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


LS: When clients are appreciative of the hard work and efforts of our team to accomplish their goals and make a difference.


Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


LS:  I have been incredibly blessed to have a number of incredible people guide and mentor me. One of those is Alice Ratcliffe. She is a client who became a close friend. Alice pushes me to be a better person, take the higher road, and helps me navigate through some of the stickier issues - personally and professionally. Alice puts everything she has into what she does, loves her family, helps others and does it all with a smile on her face regardless of what has just happened in her world.

The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership study in the world, with almost 4,000 respondents across 84 countries.

We are pleased to announce that we can now offer our survey results with a specific lens on the energy sector. The Power & Utilities report can be downloaded here, while the Oil & Gas report can be downloaded here. In both surveys, we examine key topics, and highlight several areas where this industry’s responses differed significantly from those across all industries.


Oil & Gas sector findings

Oil & Gas CIOs have embraced the digital revolution and are currently exploring multiple ways to digitize their operations.

Key findings include:



Of next-generation technologies, Oil & Gas companies are most likely to have invested in the Internet of Things and robotic process automation.

Oil & Gas companies view having an innovative, experimental culture as a critical component of the success of their digital strategies, with 87 percent viewing it as very or quite important.

The transition to digital remains a challenge for Oil & Gas companies and CIOs and the industry could benefit from more aggressive digital strategies. To achieve this, companies should further invest to pilot and deploy digital solutions.


Please click here to read more.


Power & Utilities

Power & Utilities CIOs look to digital technologies to improve business process efficiencies as their top priority followed by enhancing the customer experience.

Key findings include:



Power & Utilities are placing a higher priority on improving cyber security.

Power & Utilities companies have invested more heavily in the Internet of Things than any other industry.

Next step is to find new and innovative ways to create insight from this data to create micro offers and enhance the customer experience which is an area of opportunity for them.


Please click here to read more.


KPMG Energy LinkedIn showcase page

KPMG’s Energy LinkedIn showcase page is designed specifically for those interested in the energy industry. As part of our online energy community, you’ll be able to read today’s most important topics, access content affecting your industry or organization, share your perspectives on critical business topics and industry issues, post comments and more. Visit or click here to follow. .


This week on Profiles in GRIT, we meet Dionne Auguste. Dionne is the operations manager for NES Global Talent in Perth, Australia. NES is a workforce provider that provides staffing solutions across the Oil & Gas, Power, Infrastructure, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Mining sectors globally. NES offers a diverse workforce and technical recruitment across major projects around the world. 


Dionne moved to Australia 6 years ago, she did not know anyone and moved without her friends and family, but through perseverance and grit, she overcame the challenges to build a successful career and a personal brand.


She focused her efforts on networking and became involved in programs like a local lean in circle, Women in Oil and Gas Australia where she is a mentor. Today, she runs the lean in circles for her region and mentors other women and young professionals.


It was a pleasure to honor Dionne at our 2nd annual GRIT Awards in October. And we’re excited to share more of her story with you.


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

DA: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced both personally and professionally was moving from the UK to Australia. Not only was it a challenging personal transition, but I also had to learn the WA market, major projects and the technical aspects required for working in resources.


When I made this move, I was about to turn 30. I was broke and trying to make a new life for myself away from my family and friends. The self-doubt I had during this time period was like nothing I had experienced before. I wanted to run away and go back home to my comfort zone. Fortunately, the thought of failing gave me the drive I needed to kickstart a new life and career.


I knew I had to learn the market quickly so I began networking with professionals in the industry. I asked candidates and clients for their feedback and I looked after those who believed in me. In return, I was able to build a reputable personal brand in a competitive market.


Pink Petro: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?

DA: One of the biggest mistakes I made was underestimating how hard the move would be. I moved without much planning. It was very stressful, but I did it. I believed in myself and I worked hard to achieve success. I also had support from sponsors and mentors who I still seek advice from today.


Pink Petro: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?

DA: I love being a people manager and enjoy seeing success in others. One project that sticks out in my mind is the indigenous drive we did for a large LNG operator in Darwin. Their indigenous workforce was 0 and they wanted us to assist them in employing some indigenous candidates in their business. Darwin is a very remote location and it is difficult to source local candidates. However, we were able to provide a shortlist of 22 candidates of which 16 were from an indigenous background. The client put 12 of our candidates through their assessment day and employed 6, of which 3 were indigenous and 1 was female. This was an incredibly rewarding opportunity for me and NES Global Talent.


Pink Petro: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?

DA: Oprah Winfrey is one of my all-time role models. I come from a diverse background myself. My father was born in the Caribbean and my mother is from Scotland. So I can relate to some of the challenges Oprah has faced throughout her career. The strength which Oprah has shown to the world is phenomenal. She has touched the hearts of thousands of people and has not been afraid to bare her soul, emotions and imperfections. It has been inspiring to follow her career and what she has achieved.


Pink Petro: Which community service activities/organizations have you been associated with and in what capacity?


  • DA:  Women in Oil and Gas Australia - This is a lean in circle lead by Veena Mendaz who is a category manager for Chevron. I have been part of the membership since Veena founded the organization 5 years ago and I am now honored to be part of their mentoring program. I am currently mentoring a female project controls engineer.
  • Wirrapanda Foundation - This foundation is an indigenous non-profit organization. We work with the foundation to assist them in placing suitable candidates within the resources industry who have gone through their mentor program.
  • SCLAA - I have had a relationship with this organization for about 5 year. We regularly reach out to them when we are seeking young professionals within the supply chain industry who have completed their degrees and looking for their first full-time position in mining and oil and gas.
  • Leadership - I am the internal diversity rep for APAC at NES Global Talent and run our lean in circles across the region.
  • Pat Thomas Women’s Refuge - I regularly donate clothes, cosmetics and other items to this women’s refuge.
  • Women in Mining - I am currently a member of this organization and am in conversations with them to present at their sundowner later in the year.
  • Brightwater- I am a volunteer as part of their “Music Pharmacy Program” the program works with Dementia patients to engage them in music programs such as personal playlists, group sessions and harp playing.  

Companies in the energy industry are paying attention to inclusion and diversity. But beyond awareness, what are they doing about it?


Recent studies like the Energy and Diversity Inclusion Index and the Women in the Workplace 2018 asked employees pointed questions on these issues.


So how do women in the workplace, and in energy, feel about their experiences? Since companies are acknowledging the need for inclusion and diversity, have things changed?


Over 64,000 employees in the U.S. completed the Women in the Workplace survey. And more than 450 people in the energy industry responded to the EDII survey.


Let’s take a look at what the data from these reports reveal.


Diversity Should be Treated as a Business Priority


According to the Women in the Workplace study, companies are experts at setting goals and tracking data to achieve them, in most cases. However, only 38% of companies set targets for gender diversity, and only 42% hold senior management accountable for making progress in this area.


20% of employees believe that their company’s commitment to gender diversity is lip service.


One female vice president and member of her company promotion team noted that “when women are given more scope and responsibility, then they deliver success, it takes 6 months to a year for them to be recognized. Whereas when men get a new responsibility, I’ve seen them immediately get promoted or get recognized without creating any deliverable.”


According to the EDII report, nearly 70% of the people polled in the energy industry believed that they belonged at their companies, yet only 31.13% either agreed/strongly agreed that promotion decisions were handled fairly.


37.18% of energy employees felt that gender diversity was NOT a priority to senior management.


Company Culture Needs to Change


Employees participating in these surveys believe that women still face various forms of discrimination and many have experienced it. In fact:


  • 64% of women experienced microaggressions.
  • 55% of women in senior leadership were sexually harassed.
  • 45% of women in technical fields were sexually harassed.
  • 48% of lesbian women were sexually harassed.
  • 71% of lesbian women were subject to microaggressions.


Only 32% of women believe that their company quickly addresses disrespect towards women.


In the EDII report, while 77.41% of employees agreed/strongly agreed that they were respected and valued by fellow employees, only 69.54% felt that management valued and respected them.


As our friends at Gapingvoid Culture Design Group say “inclusive is the new exclusive”.  But it starts at the top, and clearly, more work must be done. 


The EDII report shows that 81.03% of energy employees place a high priority on diversity.


Data from the Women in the Workplace report shows that even though more women earn bachelor’s degrees than men, they are still:


  • Less likely to be hired into entry-level jobs.
  • Less likely to be hired into management positions.
  • And far less likely to be promoted into management roles.


Right now, men in the workplace hold 62% of all management positions. Women hold 38% of them.


It’s Time to Fix the Only Factor


Often, when women do land the job or get the promotion, they discover that they are the only woman in the room. According to Women in the Workplace, one in five women are Onlys.


40% of women in senior level or technical roles said they are an Only. About 7% of men reported this.


Being an Only doesn’t just affect women at work. It happens to people of different backgrounds and ethnicities too. As one mid-level administrator put it: 


“I feel like I have to represent the entire race. I need to come across as more than proficient, more than competent, more than capable. I have to be ‘on’ all the time. Because in the back of someone’s mind, they could be judging the entire race based on me. And I don’t want anybody else’s opportunity to be ruined because I messed it up. I know that seems really heavy, but that is often how I feel. I am pretty sure that when most white people make a mistake, they don’t feel like they’re representing all Italians or all Irish. But a lot of Black Americans do feel like that.”


Let’s Move the Needle in the Right Direction


Lip service doesn’t hold much weight and people see through it. Hiring a diverse workforce is a start, but it’s not enough. What is your company doing to ensure that all employees have a sense of belonging?


The data is here. Two different reports, two very similar sentiments among women in the workplace.  


It’s time to go beyond acknowledging the data and use it to drive real change in the energy industry and beyond. 


Let’s start addressing these issues like the business priority that they are.

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!

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.