Women In Energy
LCA Houston attended the Women’s Leadership Series: Women In Energy luncheon on September 22nd where the event was held at the Asia Society Texas Center where a panel of distinguished female executives discussed issues faced by women in the workplace.
Moderator Emma Cochrane, a VP at ExxonMobil, led the panel through a thoughtful and informative discussion. Speakers Linda Castaneda (Ernst & Young), Sabrina Watkins (ConocoPhillips), and Morag Watson (BP America) spoke openly about their experiences and challenges as both young girls growing up in a less than encouraging educational atmosphere and as women in a less than encouraging work environment.
But instead of focusing on negative stories and historical inequality, this group spoke of the changing landscape for women and the progress that has been made since they first began their careers. They offered some very insightful and helpful words of advice for the attendees and for corporate America in general.
Inclusion before diversity. Any company can hire a diverse group of people but only with an atmosphere of inclusion can diversity become productive. Secondly, sponsorship and mentorship are important in fostering a work environment where guidance can lead to success for women entering the corporate arena. And finally, having a corporate culture centered around learning will keep minds open to acceptance of new ideas and change.
This discussion ended with a question and answer session from the audience. Very often, speakers will focus on the historical negatives and offer little advice that is of any real use. It was refreshing to hear a group, any group, speak in such a positive and uplifting manner, reminding listeners that though the struggle continues, progress has been made and the future is bright and worth fighting for.
The Women’s Leadership Series events celebrate influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.
Story By Sandeep Khandelwal