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.