Ever since we launched Pink Petro, people have asked why we built it as a for-profit business, rather than a nonprofit organization.
The answer is simple: Women are not a charity case. They are a business imperative for the future of energy. And it is our business to help them and the companies that employ them succeed.
Building global community means listening to our members and understanding their needs and finding impactful measurable solutions. In our 2015-2016 member survey, our community indicated it was craving mentorship programs that were inclusive of men that give women access to the external world. Pink Petro needed a world-class way to provide that, at scale to meet the needs of the energy industry, sector wide and world wide.
Sandberg's Foundation not only provides a world class research driven programming, but her work, OptionB, has extended to building resilience in people, companies and communities. It was a natural fit, and well, I'm a bit biased. Sheryl is amazing.
Since then, a thousand of you have signed up to join or create Lean In circles around the world. We are so grateful to all of you for embracing this opportunity, and for Sheryl and her team for giving us the platform we needed to make it work. In the coming weeks and days, we'll have our circle teams reach out to those women and men who signed up to get a progress check, reassign circles and get a health check.
"The response to the program has been overwhelming and that's a good thing! We're working with all circles now to check on the progress, reassign and align needs and commitments. We're excited to help women connect in a way that leads to their growth and empowers them, " says Yetunde Okediji, Director of Circles.
We have filed our paperwork to turn Lean In Energy into a 501c3 organization. After receiving numerous requests to donate funding to our chapter, I attended a global conference to connect with Lean In leaders worldwide. I collected best practices and even met with the Lean In architect herself, giving Sheryl my daughter’s fidget spinner (you read why here) and confessing that she was my superhero for all that she has done for working women everywhere.
With that strong foundation in place, 2018 is going to be dedicated to growth, scale and engagement. Lean In Energy has secured working capital donations from Power Mentor, Linda Ibrahim and Vantage Drilling International, myself and Pink Petro.
We're forming our Executive Advisory Board in the USA and Europe and in oil and gas, power, and alternative energy companies and our working board to fulfill the mission of circles, education and awareness. A website will be launched in the new year and I'm even giving a portion of the proceeds from HERWorld Energy Forum to directly benefit Lean In Energy. Big thanks to Yetunde Okediji, Jennifer Roth, April Sharr, Kate Sherwood, Colleen Layman, Marianne Robak and Linda Ibrahim for their time in helping to launch the organization.
"Within the Lean In Energy community, mentorship is about more than younger people learning from others who are more experienced," Jennifer says. "What's great about a more expansive definition of mentorship is that if we accept that we can all learn from each other, every interaction is an opportunity for mentorship."
We'll announce the organization's leadership in the new year.
And with that, we are kicking off our 2018 fundraising campaign. Our goal: to raise $100,000 to support the mentorship of women and men in energy around the world. We'll be sending out details in the new year on how to support us directly, but if you're keen before 2017 ends, get in touch with us.
Mentors are vital to our professional development, but for all kinds of reasons, some still struggle to find them. Lean In Energy removes any barriers to mentorship and creates a community of support you can tap no matter where you’re at in your career. If you haven’t already, we invite you to apply to Lean In Energy. And consider supporting us with a donation as we head into 2018. With your help, we can create a new future for energy built on the power and potential of women.