One of the fastest growing organizations within this male-dominated industry is comprised largely of women. Women in Energy was founded in 2017 to give women in our industry an arena to connect, learn, grow, and succeed.
In 2016, when Marjorie Feinman, Associate Director of Fuel Merchants Association of NJ, and Judy Garber, Executive Director of Oil & Energy Professionals, collaborated on the new Eastern Energy Expo, they agreed that the industry needed more programs for women. Richard Larkin, of Hedge Solutions, had hosted a successful one-day event for women in New Hampshire in 2015. When he heard about their plan, he offered his support.
In just a few short years, the organization boasts membership from 17 states, numerous events across the country, a weekly webinar and ample opportunity for leadership development and networking within the energy industry.
Above (left to right): Erin Holohan Haskell, Judaline Cassidy, Judy Garber, Roberta Fagan at a Women in Energy event held last August at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, in New York City. Photo credit: John Cataneo
If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more, Women in Energy will be hosting an event coinciding with the Eastern Energy Expo in May.
The following is a Q&A session with Women in Energy’s Vice President, Erin Holohan Haskell, and Executive Director, Judy Garber:
What are some of the organization’s most important events each year?
WE: Our largest event is our Annual Women in Energy Conference. It features an empowering two-day program filled with education and networking. The 2019 conference will take place from Sunday, May 19 to Monday, May 20 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.
The organization has an exciting program planned. The theme is “Connecting, Empowering, and Succeeding.” Attendees will make valuable industry connections and gain strategies to take their careers to the next level.
We will start with a panel discussion about empowering the next generation of energy professionals. This will be followed by networking and dinner with a keynote presentation by Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, whose unique experiences range from a showdown with Saddam Hussein to saving an American engineer from a Soviet kidnapping. She was one of the first women to enter an experimental class for women in the U.S. Army ROTC at Penn State and train as an equal with men. Colonel Morgenthaler will discuss how to lead with confidence.
On Monday morning, communications expert Ann Ward will give a seminar called Tough Conversations Made Easy. In the afternoon, we’ll have a roundtable session about time-saving technology tools, a discussion about savvy investment strategies, and a session on best practices for running your business.
In addition to this large conference, we host smaller events throughout the year in various parts of the US. For example, in August, Women in Energy hosted a special event at the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, in NYC.
What are some of the organization’s programs?
WE: We’re committed to providing women with career resources to help them succeed and our programs reflect that.
Guest speakers are often invited to join us and share their experiences. For instance, we’ve had Judaline Cassidy, tradeswoman and Founder/Director of Tools and Tiaras, speak to us about overcoming discrimination in the workplace, as well as gaining equal pay and access to the plumbers union. She also discussed how she is introducing young women and girls to the trades.
We’ve had seminars about taking charge of your financial future and panel discussions on leadership.
The organization collects feedback from our members and tailor our programs accordingly. For instance, our members requested webinars, so we started Webinar Wednesdays. Every Wednesday at 12:15 PM, we host a different webinar presented by leaders in the industry.
What is the Women in Energy mentorship program?
WE: This year, we are launching a mentorship program to help encourage more young people to join our industry. We will connect with high schools, trade schools, and colleges to find motivated individuals who are interested in pursuing a career within the energy industry. We will invite five students to join us at our Annual Conference and connect each of them with a mentor who will guide and advise them as they embark on their career path.
Who are your members?
WE: Our members include women and men working in various areas of the energy industry, including HVAC companies, manufacturing, fuel dealers, fuel truck and equipment sales, insurance agencies, media organizations, technology firms, and more.
What is exciting about the future of WE in the coming year?
WE: We’ve had incredible membership growth over the past few years and have met many strong and inspiring individuals. We look forward to continuing on this path, connecting and empowering women working in our industry and encouraging future generations of energy-industry professionals.
To learn more about Women in Energy, visit www.WeWomenInEnergy.com