The Value and Importance of Being a Mentor

There’s a Buddhist proverb that says If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your own path. Take a moment to ruminate in that truth. There is boundless potential in our industry. There is no lack for professionals with years of experience who are bursting with expertise, passion, and stories of grit. These individuals have the power to ignite a bright industry future. And you are these individuals.

It is likely that at some point in your professional career, you were mentored. And it can be said that mentoring is an imperative ingredient in the recipe to drive a successful workforce future.

However, there is a major disconnect happening in our industry. According to the Women in the Workplace research data that was recently released, women still feel like it is harder for them to advance in their careers. This data also revealed that women get less access to senior leaders than men do, and they receive less support from managers.

For every one hundred men promoted into manager-level jobs, seventy-nine women are.

It’s time to take action! Senior leaders and managers need to become champions of diversity.

When it comes to a mentoring relationship, the focus of value is often on the mentee. They receive careful council, guidance, and seemingly unlimited access to their mentor’s wealth of knowledge.

However, the value of being a mentor is often overlooked. Sure, being a mentor requires time, effort, and commitment. And understandably, as a busy professional, those things are in short supply. But what many fail to realize is that mentoring someone actually brings a lot of value to your own career.

Mentoring improves your communication and supervisory skills. It’s no secret that effective managers and leaders need to be able to establish positive and trusted relationships. Working with a mentee offers you the opportunity to hone the skills necessary to develop those relationships such as active listening and empathy.

You expand your network. A critical part of mentoring is helping your mentee establish important connections. As you support your mentee in this, you have the opportunity to continue to build your own.

You stay current on industry trends and continue to learn. Working with a mentee allows you to have conversations that keep you up-to-date on your industry. Mentees often bring great questions, new ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. These conversations offer you the opportunity for growth in your own career.

You actively contribute to industry change. The data doesn’t lie; women are still getting left behind in the workplace. But as a mentor, you have the opportunity to actively contribute to the change in industry by sharing your expertise and empowering future leaders.

Getting involved as a mentor is easy. There are mentorship programs, like the one from Lean In Energy, that are designed to match you with the right mentee.

Lean In Energy, a 501c3 non-profit, is on a mission to empower women in energy through mentorship. The program connects women and men with peers who can challenge and encourage them to charge forward in their careers, counteracting any gender bias that they may meet along the way.

At launch, Lean In Energy has three components:

  1. Communities
  2. Small Group Mentoring
  3. Flash Mentoring

Membership enrollment is now open, and the program is accepting applications for those interested in being mentors.  Lean In Energy is an independent organization, affiliated with LeanIn.Org, which works closely with LeanIn.Org to further its mission and is licensed by LeanIn.Org to use the ‘Lean In’ name.

To sponsor, contact the organization at www.leaninenergy.org.

Walking the walk: How Wood Mackenzie is driving industry change

Today, more companies are talking about the importance of inclusion.

But how many of them really walk the walk?

Pink Petro’s newest global member, Wood Mackenzie, does. And we are delighted to have them on board.

Woodmac, a Verisk company, is a research and consultancy business for the global energy, metals and mining, and chemicals industries.

“It’s not just about ensuring that the gender balance is equal, it’s about changing the culture. You’re not looking at gender, you’re looking at skills. And everybody benefits from that shift in culture.” 

Anthea Pitt, Director of Public Relations, Woodmac

She first learned about Pink Petro earlier this year when Amy Bowe, the director of upstream consulting at Woodmac, won a GRIT award in March. Prior to Amy’s nomination, neither of them were familiar with Pink Petro.

When Amy returned home from receiving her award in Houston, the two of them looked into Pink Petro further and felt that it was a fantastic organization for Woodmac to be a part of.

What led to this decision?

They loved the career development and mentoring work that Pink Petro does.

Anthea has worked in the industry as a journalist and communications adviser for the past 18 years and is fascinated by the energy sector. One of her big regrets is that she did not know that a career in geology was an option she could have pursued. “In the place I grew up, and at the time I grew up, women from my background weren’t encouraged to pursue further education, let alone a scientific career,” she says.

She is glad that there are fewer barriers these days for women to pursue careers in the energy industry.

The oil sector has traditionally been viewed as a male-dominated industry that isn’t particularly friendly towards women.  But, there are women working quietly and effectively in the background (and it can definitely feel like that at times). 

In fact, Wood Mackenzie has a team of incredibly knowledgeable, sharp women who are involved in everything from exploration and production to gas and LNG, refining and chemicals and power and renewables, to mining and metals. They are clever, diligent women at the top of their game.

Anthea is proud that Woodmac takes inclusion and diversity seriously. In fact, of the 1,382 employees worldwide, 534 are female.

Yes, joining Pink Petro is just one of the ways that Woodmac is “walking the walk.” With strong support from their parent company, Verisk, they’ve also implemented a number of initiatives for women including:

  • Imposter syndrome workshops recognize that all women suffer from imposter syndrome to some degree.
  • Gender working groups look to ensure that the company is balanced in its workplace, policies, and procedures.
  • Women in senior leadership positions including  HR, marketing, cross-research, and consulting roles within their teams and specialties.

Woodmac also emphasizes physical and mental health and well-being as a priority for all of its employees. And they promote gender balance. Within the workplace, at Woodmac there is an active awareness that you need a balance between work and your home life.

Woodmac recognizes women are no longer the exception. And that the company is actively working to be a part of that change in the industry. So, as Anthea and Amy dug deeper into discovering what Pink Petro was all about, membership seemed like a natural fit.

Anthea approached senior leadership at Woodmac to say, “this would be good for all the women working at the company, and particularly the younger women to help them ground themselves within the industry.” 

Woodmac agreed.

Through Pink Petro and Experience Energy, Woodmac employees can learn from women who have had to fight to get where they are and gain better knowledge and understanding of it.