Pink Petro Elevates Women in Energy During OTC

On the first day of The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, May 4, Katie Mehnert, founder and chief executive officer of Pink Petro™, a social media channel designed to help women professionals in the energy industry advance in their careers, moderated a panel discussion focused on the shortage of qualified female talent in the oil and gas industry and what women in this industry can do to manage their careers.

The panel was held during OTC’s Women in Industry Sharing Experiences (WISE) Networking Event. Panelists included Christina Sistrunk, currently the vice president of Production Assets Gulf of Mexico at Shell Upstream Americas – Deep Water, who will become the chief executive officer of Aera Energy, a joint venture between Exxon and Shell, in July; Angela Knight, global diversity leader, GE Oil & Gas; Gabriela Arias, chemical engineer, Halliburton; and June Ressler, chief executive officer for Cenergy International.

In addition to moderating the OTC WISE Panel, Mehnert and her seed founders, Shell, Halliburton and Jive Software threw a sold-out reception with 200 guests in attendance for the launch of Pink Petro™ on Tuesday, May 5th, at The Junior League of Houston. Proceeds from the event benefit Girls Incorporated of Houston and their STEM programs.

Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker was the keynote speaker at the reception. She proclaimed Tuesday, May 5, as “Pink Petro Day” in Houston. Several industry executives from Shell, Halliburton, GE Oil and Gas, Chevron, Cameron, Jive Software and Pink Petro members joined in the celebration.

“Pink Petro is something our industry needs, “ said Cindy Patman, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs and Global Diversity Initiatives with Halliburton. “We are a proud industry founder along with Shell and Jive Software.”

As part of the proclamation for Pink Petro Day, Mayor Parker said, “Pink Petro’s members represent the diversity of the sector, which includes oil, gas, power, water, utilities and other supporting functions. The City of Houston commends Pink Petro, its founders and seed funders for their dedication to the advancement of women in the energy capital of the world and beyond.”

“Every so often, something comes along that is a completely disruptive technology. The value of Pink Petro is that it creates a platform to have real conversations with real people,” said Mayor Parker. “It’s important we have women engaged in the energy sector.”

Mehnert, an oil industry executive based in Houston, launched Pink Petro™ publicly in March. Mehnert said. “I started Pink Petro because we have a huge gender imbalance in our industry. A March 2014 study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute notes that women make up 19 percent of the workers in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors. Yet overall in the U.S. economy, women account for nearly half the country’s workforce. Our goal at Pink Petro is that we are a resource to help correct our industry’s gender imbalance.”

Since launching less than two months ago, Pink Petro™ has already amassed hundreds of members in 16 countries, including the USA, Colombia, Norway, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, China, and Australia. It has been covered in trade media, national media, and international media. The social media channel received seed money from Halliburton, Shell and Jive Software.


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