The biggest challenges to the energy industry over the next 10 years will be people and technology. In many segments the average age is near 50. The influx of diverse candidates including women is not happening as quickly as it needs for the industry to truly be able to make the advances that it will need to make over the next 10 years. This is a critical time period for the changing the way that work is done. It is also a time that technology will make major leaps. The energy industry is generally slow in adapting to change. However, industry-wide there will need to be a concerted effort to attract young girls as well as minorities into the industry. This will need to start in early education to get young girls and minorities interested in STEM subjects so that they are prepared to take on the nearly 1 million jobs that will be available in energy over the next 5-10 years.
I also think the industry needs to get behind disruptors such as Pink Petro because disruption is what is needed to get the industry to innovate and make the technological advancements necessary. For instance it will become increasingly more important to rely on clean energy choices. There is still a need to improve technology to make increased reliance feasible. The industry (or those companies) that look for ways to disrupt the standard way things are done will be the ones advancing the industry into the future.
I am a firm believer in teams and teamwork. When you look at those who accomplish the most, who innovate the most, who make advances that seem to jump levels - these efforts are advanced the most through diverse teams. There is tremendous value to having people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives approach and solve a problem. Diversity is why America has advanced to its place as leader in the world. Continuing to value that diversity and inviting everyone to participate is the way we will remain great into the future. This is the way that the energy industry will advance is by harnessing the exponential power they can gain from inviting women and minorities to the team listening to their voices, changing the way they approach problems and looking at them from these varied perspectives. Diversity and inclusion is the way that the industry will make the technology advances needed to propel the industry into the future.