Spotlight on Progress – Industry-wide Resilience and Opportunities for Growth
Posted December 18, 2020
Last week, I was honored to participate in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) Energy Week and present at the State of Energy Industry Webinar, alongside a distinguished group of panelists representing every segment of the natural gas and oil industry to discuss the challenges facing the sector, as well as the opportunities for natural gas and oil operators in the year ahead.
This industry, like many others, has navigated the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s racial reckoning, the election season and the ongoing economic fallout from widespread shutdowns. Across the board, API members have demonstrated unwavering resilience, finding ways to deliver essential energy products while protecting the health and safety of our workers, communities and the environment.
Though the natural gas and oil industry has weathered market downturns before, this year’s energy supply shock and historic demand destruction came as somewhat of a surprise. Global and U.S. data have reaffirmed how the economy and energy demand have continued to go hand-in-hand from record highs in 2019 to sudden lows earlier this year as well as through the recovery that has emerged so far.
Based on the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) short-term energy outlook, U.S. petroleum demand is likely to recover alongside the domestic economy, and energy-related activity will be indispensable to our broader economic recovery and long-term growth. Americans also rely on energy to power our homes and hospitals and serve as the building blocks for everyday objects – everything from electronics to hand sanitizers to clothing.
Looking ahead, we are approaching the new year with cautious optimism, drawing inspiration from the entrepreneurs and small business owners that round-out our supply chain and keep our industry moving forward. While economic progress is a key indicator of our industry’s success, so is the diversity and resilience of our workforce and supply chain.
Together, with the support of organizations like WBENC, we can contribute to the development of women-owned businesses and lead the business community on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. WBENC believes that “diversity promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy” – and I could not agree more. In addition to diverse suppliers, a diverse workforce is critical to the future success and evolving needs of the natural gas and oil industry. That’s why we are focused on increasing awareness around industry opportunities and investing resources for educational and business development programs to ensure increased diversity in the industry’s workforce and supply chain pipelines.
We’re an industry of problem solvers, and we’re always looking for innovative global suppliers and diverse individuals to join us in meeting the challenges of today, while delivering the energy to power tomorrow.
About The Author
Amanda Eversole is API’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, and leads efforts to integrate API’s diverse functions and develop and implement a strategic plan. Eversole came to API from JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she was managing director and head of public affairs, building the organization’s public affairs function and creating the framework for the firm’s philanthropic activities. Prior to JPMorgan Chase & Co., she served in a number of leadership positions at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including president of C_TEC, the Chamber Technology Engagement Center. Before joining the U.S. Chamber, she worked for RTC Relationship Marketing in business development. Eversole graduated cum laude from the College of William & Mary with a bachelor of business administration and a minor in French, and she earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where she was a Palmer Scholar and graduated first in her class. She lives in Virginia with her husband, their two daughters and their dog, Gus.