As the oil and gas industry playing field evolves away from its traditionally male-dominated arena, Hart Energy and Oil and Gas Investor held their first annual Women in Energy luncheon to recognize 25 female pioneers as they pave the way for future leaders.
More than 650 E&P founders, engineers, geologists, and high-power oil and gas executives were in downtown Houston Tuesday to applaud the career achievements of these influential oil and gas industry players.
Keynote Amy Trask Urges Gender Neutral Industry Outlook
In her inspiring keynote address, Amy Trask, CBS Sports analyst, and the NFL’s first female CEO, advised attendees to view the oil and gas industry as gender-neutral moving forward.
Trask described facing gender bias on a daily basis throughout her almost 30 years with the NFL. Rather than embarrassing her male counterparts, she let them learn from their mistakes at their own pace.
In one story about her first NFL owners’ meeting, Trask said a male NFL owner asked her to get him a coffee. She happily got him his coffee, took her seat at the head of the table, and started leading the meeting.
“We each get to handle these situations as we choose to handle them,” Trask said. “Don’t let anyone tell you how you have to handle a moment like that. Handle it in a way you feel will be effective.”
Trask concluded by advising future leaders to communicate, cooperate, collaborate and coordinate. “If you do those four things, you are going to be in a pretty terrific spot to succeed.”
Being A Female Petroleum Geologist in the 1970’s
Peggy Williams, Hart Energy’s Editorial Director, spoke about what it was like working as a petroleum geologist in a largely male-dominated environment.
As the first female geologist in her company in 1972, Williams described the major changes she has seen regarding gender in the industry across the years. In the early days, the men were unsure whether “a woman could actually tell shale from limestone.”
Thriving Via Strong Support Network, Optimism, and Confidence
Myra Dria, President and CEO of Houston-based Pearl Resources LLC and Doctor of Petroleum Engineering describes the numerous “speed bumps” she faced in the male-dominated industry.
“The attitudes driving this hit home in one of my first university engineering courses, when the professor announced on the first day of class that ‘women do not belong in engineering and I will do my best to keep it that way,’” said Dria.
For her first engineering job, Dria was asked to answer the phone. Since that time, Dria has held high-ranking positions with Royal Dutch Shell, Schlumberger Geoquest, Western Atlas Software, BP Amoco and Amoco. She has also founded three companies, including Pearl Resources.
“In order to survive in this industry as a woman you need to be tough, but more importantly, to remain optimistic and confident in your abilities and past success,” Dria said. “It’s crucial for women to have a strong support network and surround themselves with people who can keep them confident and optimistic.”
“Hope is on the horizon,” Dria said. “Many more men are becoming aware of the barriers presented to their wives, partners, and daughters. This creates a population of sensitized and sympathetic male leaders to these issues.”
Next Generation Looks to Female Industry Leaders
Diligence and passion for the industry have changed the role of gender in oil and gas tremendously over the past 40 years. While many areas within the oil and gas industry have a long way to go, the horizon is shifting fast. As more women are recognized as having an impact on the industry, future generations will feel more confident moving into energy-related fields of study.
The following 25 energy industry pros were recognized as 2018’s Top 25 Influential Women in Energy:
- Alexandra Pruner – Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. – Perella Weinberg Partners, Houston
- Ann Fox – Nine Energy Service Inc., Houston
- Ann Massey – Wood PLC, Atlanta
- Beth McDonald – Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Irving
- Cindy Taylor – Oil States International Inc., Houston
- Claire Farley – KKR & Co. LP – Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Houston
- Deanna Farmer – Enable Midstream Partners, Oklahoma City
- Deborah Byers – EY, Houston
- Dori Ginn – Range Resources Corp., Dallas/Ft. Worth
- Dorothy Marchand – Compass Bank, Houston
- Helen Currie – ConocoPhillips, Houston
- Holli Ladhani – Select Energy Services, Houston
- Janeen Judah – Chevron Corp., Houston
- Janet Dietrich – Macquarie Group, Houston
- Jennifer Hartsock – Baker Hughes, Houston
- Kathryn MacAskie – Zarvona Energy LLC, Houston
- Laura Schilling – Superior Energy Services – Pumpco Energy Services
- Lisa Stewart – Sheridan Production Partners, Houston
- Melody Meyer – Melody Meyer Energy LLC – Women With Energy LLC – BP, AbbVie, NOV, Houston
- Myra Dria – Pearl Resources LLC, Houston
- Nancy Jo House – Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Denver
- Regina Mayor – KPMG, Houston
- Stacey Olson – Chevron Appalachia LLC, Pittsburgh
- Tiffany Thom Cepak – Energy XXI Gulf Coast – Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., Houston
- Vicki Hollub – Occidental Petroleum Corp., Houston
Sponsor Schlumberger and Hart Energy granted the inaugural lifetime achievement honor, the Pinnacle Award, to Ramona M. Graves, dean of the Colorado School of Mines’ College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering.
Hart Energy gave a special thanks to the companies who have supported women within their organizations and to educational programs like STEM that help to introduce the industry to future generations.
Click here to nominate someone you know for Hart Energy’s 2019 Top 25 Influential Women in Energy.