The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and the New Mexico Energy Forum recently hosted “Women in Power” at the University of New Mexico. Nearly fifty young women from different areas of study attended the event to hear stories and advice from the expert panel of leading women in the oil and gas industry.
The keynote speakers and panelists included Lisa Winn of XTO Energy, Tara Anderson of the American Petroleum Institute, Jennifer Knowlton of Agave Energy, Claire Chase of Mack Energy, Amanda Trujillo-Davis of Concho Resources and Keri Hutchins of ConocoPhillips. Each woman plays an important role within their area of expertise in the oil and gas industry. They were eager to share their stories and inspire more young women to consider a career among them.
With 1.3 million new jobs expected to be created in the energy industry by 2030, the panelists were excited to welcome more women into the field.
“It’s the person, not the gender, that makes a good leader, mentor or coach,” Winn said. “The opportunities are yours for the making. Every year there are more and more women joining me.”
The panelists were asked a number of questions including how they got to their current job, challenges they’ve faced, and what their favorite aspect of working in the oil and gas industry is. Most of them agreed that the best part about the industry is how dynamic each day is.
“I cannot remember the last time I sat in an office for a full work day,” Hutchins said. “I’ll spend part of my day drafting a contract and the other part of my day in a hard hat and steel toe boots.”
A special focus was placed on the variety of jobs available for women who are pursuing degrees in fields not traditionally affiliated with the industry.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Anderson. “I’m a political science major that works successfully in oil and gas.”
Ultimately, the six “women in power” were inspirational and optimistic about the future of women in the oil and gas industry.
Winn said, “Women as a collective source of connective energy, are limitless.”