Pink Petro

Via a follower on Twitter, I came across an outfit called Pink Petro. I first assumed it was something to do with the gay lobby, but it turns out it’s an organisation purportedly aimed at boosting women in the oil industry. The first thing that struck me is this outfit is going to run into trouble if it encounters some proper lefty feminists; they’ve been trying to shed the “pink for girls” maxim for decades.

So what is Pink Petro?

Pink Petro is a global community of energy leaders and disruptors committed to busting the diversity gap and creating a new, inclusive future for energy.

Ah yes, the diversity gap:

The energy industry ranks second to last when it comes to gender diversity, with a workforce that’s just 22% female.

Firstly, so what? Perhaps 22% female participation is the optimum balance? Secondly, how many of those 22% are in admin and overhead positions? Judging by the makeup of the Pink Petro management, it seems to be dominated by over-educated power-skirts from HR and marketing with very few having any engineering or technical experience. Do energy companies really need more of these?

The whole thing looks to me like a racket aimed at enriching the founders by shaking down companies for sponsorship and hoodwinking young women into paying to listen to feminist boilerplate. Naturally, like all good SJWs, they claim to be working for the greater good:

3/4 of industry employees are 50 years of age and older, meaning the need for talent is now.

I’ve been hearing this lament for at least 12 years (see also here and here). The fact is oil companies have no idea how to recruit, largely because they’ve taken the responsibility away from the technical management and handed it to sprawling HR bureaucracies filled with the sort of people who now are running Pink Petro. Amusingly they say they are “disruptors”, as if those who bang the diversity drum while climbing the greasy pole of giant multinationals are non-conformists. You’d see more disruption in an abbey full of Trappist monks.

The need for change is now. That change requires a new way of thinking that focuses on community, connection and purpose.

Do you reckon you’ll hear “new ways of thinking” in a conference organised by this lot? In their next one the headline speaker is Randi Zuckerberg, who is rich and famous due to the efforts of her brother Mark. That’ll inspire young female engineers, I’m sure.

Funnily enough, I actually know one of the keynote speakers and have worked with her. By all accounts she’s a very good senior manager, although the myth built up around her probably wouldn’t stand up to serious scrutiny. I know lots of men who worked with her who said she was a great boss, as well as a good personal friend to some. But I recall a young woman who worked with her who told me that while she was a good boss, she made it very clear that all achievements on the project must be hers and hers alone: nobody else could take any credit. She also said that if challenged she could quickly turn childish, making personal remarks which anyone with experience would recognise as overcompensation for insecurity. This was particularly the case with young, ambitious women who crossed her path. That said, this was some time ago; hopefully she’s changed since then.

So what’s the conference about? Well, you tell me:

The Pink Petro HERWorld Energy Forum is an innovative experience that addresses new frontiers in the energy industry where business, workforce, innovation and policy intersect. Powered by creative disruptor, Pink Petro, our forums are hybrid in-person, digital simulcasted experiences built on a firm belief that energy education is changing and needs to be accessible to everyone, everywhere in classrooms, the field, office, and the C-Suite.

Are you any the wiser? The only effect that word salad had on me was to make my teeth grate at the term “C-Suite“. I first heard it during one of my lectures a few weeks back and it makes a firm’s senior management sound like a bunch of status-seeking egomaniacs whose first order of business is safeguarding their own power and privilege. Does anyone know how long this term has been in use?

HERWorld is proud to boast the contribution of women and minorities in energy. Seeing is believing. For us it’s not about talking about diversity, it’s about socializing energy by tapping the diverse faces and voices in our industry.

Because nothing will boost the prestige of women in the oil industry like paragraphs of woolly guff from a bunch of power-skirts with MBAs from Ivy League business schools.

Since the forum’s inception, our focus has been to put a focus on reverse-representation. Most industry events include 95%+ male speakers. HERWorld reverses that and does better. We include women and minorities in our panels and keynotes (on average 85%) and have over 20% male attendees.

I know lots of very good female engineers working in the oil industry, some of whom do face difficulties because of their sex (see here, for example). Women in the oil industry would be better served by rewarding competence and delivery rather than sheep-like compliance, bootlicking, and an ability to enthusiastically embrace every idiotic management directive. Self-serving, discriminatory outfits like Pink Petro might be able to charm or scare the PR managers of major companies into sponsoring them and have HR managers singing their praises, but they will do nothing to help normal women navigate a career in the oil industry. On the contrary, they are more likely to do them considerable harm.

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25 thoughts on “Pink Petro

  1. I first heard it during one of my lectures a few weeks back and it makes a firm’s senior management sound like a bunch of status-seeking egomaniacs whose first order of business is safeguarding their own power and privilege. Does anyone know how long this term has been in use?

    A while. Have you ever heard of an ‘HR business partner’? I had to look it up when my company hired one. As best I can gather it just means ‘head of HR’ except that heads of HR were annoyed that they didn’t get to have fancy titles due to HR being essentially a support branch of the company, not a profit centre, so they demanded a rebranding to make it sound like they are on a par with the other chiefs.

    Why they didn’t go for ‘Chief HR Officer’ I don’t know, other than ‘CHRO’ is a bit of a mouthful and would probably quickly become ‘CHROny’. I bet they regretted changing from ‘Personnel’ at that point becaise ‘CPO’ actually looks and sounds quite good (if it hasn’t already been taken by Purchasing I guess).

    But then I also think that if HR have time to organise yoga classes and wellbeing seminars they clearly don’t have enough real work to do.

  2. According to progressives, isn’t the petrochemical industry responsible for global warming and the destruction of life as we know it? Is this Pink Petro just setting up more women to be blamed by other progressives?

  3. I worked for 23 years in the oil industry (oil major – the red and yellow one). The very senior folks have deep experience and that means they’ve been around the block – Nigeria, North Slope, Aberdeen, Qatar, etc – for much of their career and managed shit at the coalface. This is HARD and takes a deep toll on family life. (An HR report into expat divorce rates was supressed). There just aren’t that many women who fancy spending 4 years in Port Harcourt trying to get flowstations in the delta to work while the heavily armed criminal community tap in and steal to their heart’s content, whilst also negotiating with deeply corrupt and power crazed and toxically masculine politicians in Abuja. The oil industry is inherently non-PC. The confluence of enormous flows of money with African / Muslim cultures and power structures is not like a day in Cupertino! I did 3 years in Luanda and 3 in Lagos (where there was, incidentally, an engineer named Tim Newman!). Wife said that was enough.
    The Pink Petro chicks want to run oil? Then they need to spend a few decades in the swamp and not get eaten by the crocodiles. Until then they’re not candidates for the top job.

  4. Tim

    If you want to know how long the term has been in use, this is an opportunity to use the university databases. You should have access to a news database such as factiva or Lexis-Nexis. You can search for the term and see when it first cropped up in a news article. You can also see how frequently it is used and where.

    This is a research method which is helpful in knowing how important a topic is (at least in terms of the media) and when a term first surfaces etc.

  5. “The whole thing looks to me like a racket aimed at enriching the founders by shaking down companies for sponsorship and hoodwinking young women into paying to listen to feminist boilerplate.”

    So some clever guys got together and said lets make some money out of this gender racket. Plus our clients get to demonstrate that they are on board with it as well in their annual reports, highlighting gender stretched target, budget setting, spend rate and next three year look-aheads. Also provide a low cost generic module on measuring, budgeting and reporting on gender balancing and how it improves the bottom line. I could help them out here with this, the shareholders would love it.

    Not a relatively big capital outlay with relatively small running costs. Given that it is mostly a virtual business the website could be done a lot better some key staff just have cartoon image and no photo, wtf! Just need to get as many online members as possible with annual paid membership and subscription revenue streams cash flowing the business and the provision of employees as the real earner.

    They could even set up an online nail bar and partner with kosher stylish office uniform suppliers.

    It is common in mail dominated industries when colleagues or head hunters are referring to high flyers as being C level or would be C levels that is about as much as I have heard the term used.

  6. You should have access to a news database such as factiva or Lexis-Nexis. You can search for the term and see when it first cropped up in a news article.

    Very good point. Thanks Ken.

  7. So some clever guys got together and said lets make some money out of this gender racket.

    I admit, it does look like a nice little earner. But as I pointed out the other day, filling the heads of young women with nonsense seems to pay well.

  8. “I admit, it does look like a nice little earner. But as I pointed out the other day, filling the heads of young women with nonsense seems to pay well.”

    In my line of work we would take out a contract with the devil himself if there was a bob to be made in it.

    Trousering some coin on the back of some daft sheilas and the burgeoning demand of being seen to be getting the gender balance right, particularly in public companies, which the first page of their directories were, is just filling a big niche with an in demand product to the big end of town.

    Maybe that is what you should do, if you cant beat them, sell them.

    But this thing of theirs with cartoon images only of some key staff on their web bio, that’s new age in my books and means that you are either away with the fairies or not as pretty as you would like to be to the outside world.

  9. Tim, yes I seem to remember the other Tim had a role in Wells – so assume there are only two not three Tim Newmans!

    (Gratuitous Niger delta story: The local partner was dodgy as fuck. We were observing an inexplicably high water cut in some of the oil received (net of theft volumes) at the terminal. Turns out they were taking advantage of the HSE no-no of being on site at a swamp flowstation at night. Their (armed) boys were simply pumping swamp water into the oil flowlines all night so that recorded oil volumes were higher and said dodgy local company’s share was inflated!). 10/10 for inventiveness.

  10. yes I seem to remember the other Tim had a role in Wells

    Yeah, that’ll be him!

    The local partner was dodgy as fuck

    Surely not.

  11. Does anyone know how long this term has been in use?
    Google’s N-Gram gives 1993 as the starting date, but usage is so low it is referenced.

  12. Some Factiva hits from 1981 onwards, but almost all not actually about the C Suite. First one that is about executives I found dates to 1998.

    “Part of a larger study of more than 1,700 senior executives at big companies in 19 countries, the study found that about 90 percent of denizens of what Andersen calls the “c-suite” essentially chief executives, chief operating officers, chief financial officers and chief information officers have Internet access. Only about one-quarter of these executives log on every day, but 71 percent use the Internet at least once a week.”

    Andersen Consulting appear to be the creators of this abomination.

    BY Mitchell Martin
    WC 460 words
    PD 6 August 1998
    SN International Herald Tribune

  13. the “c-suite” essentially chief executives, chief operating officers, chief financial officers and chief information officers

    It’s the IT industry to blame for this one, I’m afraid. Once upon a time, there were only three such positions: CEO, COO, and CFO. Then t3h Internetz came along and suddenly there was a CTO, or a CIO depending on who you asked, and once that floodgate opened we had Chief Diversity Officers and Chief Wellness Officers and Chief Compliance Officers and all that rot. As if all of it, including CTO, didn’t roll up under COO in the first place. So they needed a term to encompass “all the various CXO titles we’ve made up to make ourselves seem important”.

  14. Patrick +1.

    I’ll bet a penny to a barrel of pigsh!t none of those Pink Petro bints have gotten their hands dirty working on an oil rig or pipeline maintenance in Siberia.

    Seems like no Chief Exec these days has the gumption nor the balls to tell these organisations to feck off.

  15. Daniel Ream, I find it most amusing that those with “Chief” in their job title are all in favour of employing Indians.

  16. This is envy, pure and simple.

    The flawed logic flow here is – these are good jobs. Our {insert victim group here} need and deserve good jobs. So we should carve out some spots.

    No consideration about the talent, drive, physical capability needed. I see it all the time in IT. It’s wearisome.

    Here’s the deal, the one I told my son when he was getting into computer science – it’s who you are. In many cases, the men in these jobs do work like this even when they aren’t at work. I know dudes that program for fun. I’ve never met an engineer that didn’t tinker – fix cars, fix motorcycles, built clocks, build out their houses.

    Never seen a woman in Tech do that. Not one, not ever.

    The technical ability, curiosity, and drive are built in. You can’t teach it, only cultivate. James Damore had an excellent point – Discover the talent and cultivate it rather than exclude.

    This BS is nothing but a pink bozo explosion.

  17. CPO is in use. I first heard it about 6 months ago.
    Chief People Officer.
    Yeah, I know…
    C-Suite seems to be being deprecated in favor of Top Team (= all direct reports to the CEO.)

  18. TechieDude,
    Back in the 90s i knew and worked with a fair number of women techies, at Adobe and similar places. The good engineers were lifers – one was building (not remodeling) her own house.
    But “fair number” was still a small fraction, both of the women employees as a whole, and of the women trying to be engineers. Most of the latter ended up in Program or Product Management, where some thrived. I am thinking especially of the woman who led Adobe’s Level 2_Postscript project (a bet-the-farm proposition) and the manager of Acrobat product.
    Then there was the ” what? You didn’t know she’s been sleeping her way up the ladder? ” .

  19. Company I worked for…like a fungus

    CEO
    CFO
    COO (global and regionals)
    CTO
    CAO (administrative)
    CPO (performance)
    CISO (information security)
    CS (strategist – multiple flavours)
    CIO (investment – multiple flavours)
    CRO (risk)
    Chief of Staff (ok, not quite the same thing, but a big title for an executive assistant)
    CCO (compliance)
    CTaO (talent)
    CMO (marketing)
    CLO (legal)
    CTS (tech strategist)

  20. Never seen a woman in Tech do that. Not one, not ever.

    This. Women do it because they’ve been told it’s a good career and they have to have one; men do it because it’s a passion.

  21. “ Henry Crun on November 20, 2018 at 4:53 pm said:
    Patrick +1.

    I’ll bet a penny to a barrel of pigsh!t none of those Pink Petro bints have gotten their hands dirty working on an oil rig or pipeline maintenance in Siberia.

    Seems like no Chief Exec these days has the gumption nor the balls to tell these organisations to feck off.“

    One of those women built the first LNG Plant in Russia then the worlds, ahem, 2nd floating LNG. I have great admiration for her, strongest Leader I ever met.

  22. TechieDude

    “I’ve never met an engineer that didn’t tinker – fix cars, fix motorcycles, built clocks, build out their houses.

    Never seen a woman in Tech do that. Not one, not ever.”

    You’re saying you’ve never met a woman who tinkers.
    Just wow.

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