It was fitting that energy thought leaders met on International Women’s Day to recognize the contributions that women make to the energy sector and their future. Pink Petro HERWorld Energy Forum is a place for women to discuss key issues and challenges they face within the industry. The forum addressed the energy transition, digital technology, workforce needs and opportunities, and the gender gap.
A day of networking, panels, and speakers
CU Denver’s Global Energy Management (GEM) program and J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities co-hosted the Denver event in the Business School Laube Commons. Networking opportunities, various panels, and keynote speakers filled the agenda.
Panelists discussed various topics like the resilience of your company, innovation with retaining talent, and adapting to the future in regards to climate change. A live broadcast from the main event in Houston allowed women in energy to connect with one another from across the nation.
Panelists and speakers consisted of men and women from various local companies, including Solar Panasonic, Sunnova Energy, Clearvont, PDC Energy, DCP Midstream, and Xcel Energy.
The importance of mentorship and grit
Jeannette Jones, Engineering Manager at Noble Energy, touched on the event’s theme of GRIT: Growth, Resilience, Innovation, and Transition. She encouraged women to get outside their comfort zones to grow and stressed the importance of mentors in the industry.
“Seek nontraditional mentors like peers, self-help books, mentors at other companies, and unofficial mentors,” Jones stated. By noting how leaders within your company perform under pressure, how they make decisions, and how they interact with people can be an unofficial form of mentorship.
“Seek nontraditional mentors like peers, self-help books, mentors at other companies, and unofficial mentors.”
Jones expressed, “One mentor isn’t enough. Find several mentors because one person doesn’t have all of your answers.”
The importance of staying in the industry
There’s a lack of women leadership positions in the energy sector. Therefore, Jones stressed the importance for women to stay in the industry for at least 20-30 years because the longer they stay, the more likely they are to be promoted.
Four out of the 25 most powerful women in Colorado are from the energy industry.
Four out of the 25 most powerful women in Colorado are from the energy industry. They show GRIT every day. Jones’ advised women to watch them, learn from them, and follow Jones’ motto of doing good work and getting noticed.
Facing her fears and stepping out of her comfort zone has allowed Jones to succeed in various leadership positions. Being promoted to manager at the age of 28, she has had to step up to not disappoint herself or others.
One of her greatest accomplishments was being a leader in the state coalition and getting every industry leader to come to a consensus regarding the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration. She successfully led the coalition to help resolve one of the industry’s most pressing problems that was left unresolved for 30 years.
She shared that you can let others’ negativity draw you down or you can let it drive you. Use your character to overcome negativity.
“Use your character to overcome negativity.”
A program to develop future energy leaders
Innovation and technology are opening doors for new opportunities in energy. Green technology and sustainable energy are necessary and lucrative for growth opportunities. Through the MS Global Energy Management program, we are hoping to continue bringing more women to lead in the energy industry.