"Pink" Oil and Gas Social Platform

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By Jordan Blum  –  Reporter, Houston Business Journal

Originally published in the Houston Business Journal

Women in the energy sector

The oil and gas industry has always been a male-dominated sector, but a new for-profit, industry-backed social media platform is hoping to change that.

Houston-based Pink Petro, which will officially launch in November, is being touted as the first online social media platform built by the energy sector for "women, girls and diversity advocates."

"Industry is serious about getting women in the energy sector, and more importantly, into power. Social media is totally where it's at in the digital age."

Katie Mehnert, Founder/CEO of Pink Petro

Pink Petro is a for-profit, business-to-business venture with Houston-based Halliburton Co. as an early partner. Its leader is the founder, CEO, and publisher Katie Mehnert. She is an energy veteran who has worked for BP PLC and the Shell Oil Co. Her vision is for Pink Petro is to become a relevant niche digital channel for female networking and mentorship. Furthermore, with the presence of men assisting to help women "bust the glass ceiling."

A network of support

Energy companies are jumping on board in support. In part, because the sector needs more diverse and quality employees. During the ongoing boom and the energy transition, women and minorities will become increasingly critical components of the workforce. Currently, no energy company in the Fortune 500 is led by a woman.

"We're not getting ready, we're in the middle of the crew change," Mehnert said. "We don't have enough people. There's a crane on every corner.

"There's all this noise about STEM, (science, technology, engineering and math) and women getting a seat at the table. This is what's going to bring it all together," she said.

Being in a for-profit business

Women in the energy sector do a lot with nonprofit networking but more is needed, Katie emphasizes.

"Women are, traditionally, not very good at tooting their own horns."

Pink Petro is launching as a new division of Brown Technical Media Corp., which has new ownership through co-owner Noah Davis. He has taken over the the longstanding Brown Technical Book Shop in Houston and started the new Brown Petro. According to Davis, Brown Book Shop struggled to adjust to the digital age, being an oil and gas bookstore. Now, the new ownership is working to change all of that.

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