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By Jordan Blum – Reporter, Houston Business Journal
Originally published in the Houston Business Journal
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.”
Pink Petro is a for-profit, business-to-business venture with Houston-based Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) as an early partner that is being led by its founder, CEO and publisher Katie Mehnert, an energy veteran who has worked for BP PLC (NYSE: BP) and the Shell Oil Co. (NYSE: RSDA). Her vision is for Pink Petro is to become a relevant niche digital channel for female networking and mentorship, with men assisting as well to help women “bust the glass ceiling.”
“Industry is serious about putting women into power and getting women into industry. Social is totally where it’s at in the digital age.”Katie Mehnert, Founder/CEO of Pink PEtro
Energy companies are jumping on board in support, in part because the sector needs more quality employees during the ongoing energy boom, and many of them will be women and minorities. No energy company in the Fortune 500 is led by a woman.
“We’re not just 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.
Women in the energy sector do a lot with nonprofit networking but more is needed, she said.
“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.
Davis said Brown Book Shop struggled to adjust to the digital age as an oil and gas bookstore and that the new ownership is working to change all of that.