The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) recently hosted “Women in Energy” events at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Nearly fifty students from a wide variety of fields, as well as department heads and STEM professors, attended the events, where they heard from an expert panel of leading women in the oil and gas industry on careers in the energy sector.
NMSU’s keynote speaker, Jennifer Knowlton of Agave Energy, was joined by panelists Alexis Street of Chevron and Claire Chase of Mack Energy. At the UNM event, Keri Hutchins of ConocoPhillips was featured as the keynote speaker. Gabrielle Gerholt of Concho Resources, Theresa Wisda of Encana, and Marcia Brueggenjohann of WPX Energy served as panelists. Tara Smith Anderson, Director of External Mobilization at the American Petroleum Institute (API), served as the moderator at both events.
Each presenter and panelist plays an important role in a variety of areas within the oil and gas industry. They were eager to share their stories and inspire more young women to consider a career in the field.
With 1.9 million new jobs expected to be created in the energy industry by 2035, the panelists were excited to welcome more women into this ever-diversifying field.
The panelists were asked a number of questions including how they got to their current job, the ways they use creativity on a daily basis, and what it’s like to live and work in an oil-and-gas-dominated town. Most of the panelists agreed that a career in the industry is ideal for those with families given the good benefits packages as well as the ability to create a schedule that works best for the individual.
The panelists also were both energized and challenged by the wide variety of activities and skill that each were able to utilize on a daily basis. The ability to use their creativity and problem solving skills was also emphasized.
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.
“It’s not just petroleum engineers and land men,” said Tara Anderson during her opening remarks at New Mexico State University. Opportunities for everyone from attorneys to marketing and PR professionals abound in the industry.
Ultimately, all of the “women in energy” were inspirational and optimistic about the future of women in the oil and gas industry.
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