Celebrating Leadership, Resilience this Women’s History Month
Posted March 10, 2021
Every March, Women’s History Month celebrates the countless women who have changed the course of history through social movements and technological innovations. In the natural gas and oil space, women scientists, educators and other leaders have pioneered advancements that have helped drive economic growth, increased energy security and furthered environmental progress.
For example, the late MIT Professor Mildred Dresselhaus – dubbed the “Queen of Carbon Science” – was renowned for her work in carbon-nanotechnology, which has since improved the industry’s exploration and oil recovery operations.
Today, women play key roles across the industry, empowering their colleagues and preparing for a better, brighter energy future. During remarks at CERAWeek’s Women in Energy Reception, Amanda Eversole, API executive vice president and chief operating officer, highlighted the forward-looking, problem-solving approach women have brought to industry:
“What brings us together today, in addition to this great industry, is the role that women play in making it better…I can think of countless women from whom I’ve had the privilege of learning from in this industry and throughout my career.”
Eversole discussed the resilience of the natural gas and oil sector during the past year, boosted by the important contributions of women in the industry.
As Eversole noted, leadership is not exclusive to those in C-suite positions. She spotlighted Ashley S., a Millennial employee at a pipeline company whose day-to-day work is accelerating industry sustainability. During a video shown at API’s State of American Energy event, Ashley and others explained industry-led efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, while meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.
More must be done to expand opportunities for women and minorities in the natural gas and oil industry. Currently, women represent 20% of the industry’s total workforce – which is why API has launched targeted diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Eversole explained:
“We have created two pilot programs to help diversify our workforces and our supply chains through training, identifying opportunities for increasing diversity, and providing education on supplier diversity programs. We are sharing best practices and confronting hard truths so we can work the problems and find durable solutions.”
According to an IHS analysis, the share of women in the workforce is projected to grow through 2040, particularly as industry-wide efforts to attract more women to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions gain traction. Through educational partnerships, like the STEM Careers Coalition and with Minority Serving Institutions, we can broaden our workforce pipeline by preparing students for good-paying jobs our industry supports.
In this challenging time, the natural gas and oil industry will continue to rely on diverse leadership and strong talent. API anticipates female leadership successfully furthering all sectors of the industry for years to come. America’s natural gas and oil industry is dedicated to further diversifying its workforce in solidifying our commitment to a greater energy future for all.
About The Author
Olivia Culver is an intern for American Petroleum Institute in the communication department. She is a current graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, working toward an MA in Communication with a specialization in public and media relations. She has previously assisted in constituent relations for political campaigns. She currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland.