This week, Houston–based Occidental Petroleum Corporation named Vicki Hollub as its next CEO, making her the first woman to lead a major U.S. oil exploration and production company. That’s a big deal in an industry where women are underrepresented.
Katie Mehnert is the founder of Pink Petro, a group trying to get more women in executive positions in the field. She joins the Texas Standard to talk about Hollub’s success and why it’s a big milestone.
Why there aren’t more women in senior positions across the industry:
“I think it’s a combination of factors, really. You’re looking at shifts going on in the workplace from a demographics perspective, [there’s] a lot of generational changes going on. Before this downturn, we were really seeing a tight pipeline for technical positions and functional positions in the business to start with. So, there’s a shortage of women. But I’m finding out, interestingly enough, that there are more women out there than we think.”
On the purpose of Pink Petro:
“It’s designed to unite, connect, develop and grow women working across the energy value chain. Ultimately Pink Petro is a resource to help correct the gender imbalance.”
On why diversity is important to the industry:
“Corporations are really starting to look at this seriously. They understand that when you’ve women in senior positions and executive roles, that they outperform companies that do not. So the case for diversity is not a political correctness case – this is really about results.”