Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Women Charge into Energy Sector

July 2nd, 2014
Posted by: YPWE

It’s no secret the energy sector is a male-dominated field, but women are working to shift the ratio.

Jobs in the industry can range from engineers to pump operators and underground miners to office staff, but women have had the tendency to be more predominantly found in the office positions.

“Women can and do, do a little bit of everything. I see woman welders, truck drivers, sales associates, petroleum engineers, drilling superintendents, analysts,” said Amelia Papapetropoulos, founder of Pittsburgh-based Young Professional Women in Energy. “But when you look at the numbers and compare them to men, it’s sad.”

It was the topic of a June 19 “Women with Energy” forum at the Charleston Town Center Marriott.

The Facts

In 2013, only about 13 percent of mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction employees nationwide were women, according to information published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that 13 percent, more than 50 percent were in management, professional and related occupations, and nearly 40 percent held sales and office occupations. In contrast, less than 4 percent worked in construction and extraction, and less than 1 percent worked in production, according to the BLS.

But in West Virginia, women aren’t too shy about getting involved.

West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources also saw 19 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees go to women, with 12 percent earning bachelor’s degrees and about 33 percent of those earning master’s degrees in petroleum and natural gas engineering were women. In addition, more than 9 percent of their graduates earning bachelor’s degrees in mining engineering were women.

Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont has seen almost 30 female students in the college’s Apprentice Underground Miners Course since 2010.

In the transportation and utilities sector, 23 percent of those employed nationally in 2013 were women, with nearly 50 percent of those being sales and office occupations and less than one percent being installation, maintenance and repair occupations, according to BLS information.

On a more local level, Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy employs 21 percent women, and its West Virginia subsidiary, Monongahela Power, employs about 10 percent women, according to FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers. Additionally, 18 percent of American Electric Power’s employees are women, while 10 percent of AEP subsidiary Appalachian Power are women, which includes employees in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee, said AEP spokeswoman Tammy Ridout.

Getting Involved

With the help of organizations like Young Professional Women in Energy, women are finding their way into the industry more easily.

Papapetropoulos broke into the oil and natural gas industry in 2007, and currently works as sales director at Bridgeport-based Lightning Energy Services.

After a few years in the industry, she began to wonder, “Where are all the women?” — A realization that prompted her decision to create an organization that encourages the industry to hire more women, she said.

Papapetropoulos then founded YPWE in Pittsburgh in 2010. In 2011, the organization expanded to West Virginia, and the group has plans to open chapters in Ohio and Texas.

“(Women) don’t know what opportunities are available,” Papapetropoulos said. “In my opinion, they would love to be part of the industry, they just need guidance on where to start, and that’s what I feel YPWE is doing for women.”

Papapetropoulos, said education on the industry needs to begin in high school, adding that the industry needs to work to draw people in at that age.

“We as an industry don’t educate the public enough on what’s happening around hem, so how do we expect that people in school today are going to be interested in an industry that gets a bad reputation in the press,” she said.

Panelists at the June 19 Women with Energy forum also agreed that a lot of these changes begin with education.

“You always want everybody to go to college, but college isn’t for everybody,” panelist Mary Ann Fox, vice president of land for Rex Energy, said. “There have got to be technical sides as well, and it needs to start in high school.”

Advice to Women

Women with Energy panelists, as well as Papapetropoulos, agreed women in the industry already need to be the leading example for those who are trying to break in.

“We all have to be cheerleaders for our energy professions,” said Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary, vice president and general counsel of Northeast Natural Energy. “We have to be the face the brings in new people.”

LuAnn Datesh, vice president of land resources for CONSOL Energy, asserted that women need to learn to integrate themselves into the industry rather than trying to stand out as a woman in order to make the transition easier.

“Women in all industries, including the energy industry, have to understand one thing: it is a man’s world,” Datesh said. “You can’t set yourself apart. You can’t let it scream out, ‘I’m a woman.’

“You can’t dress like that, you can’t talk like that, you can’t act like that.”

The notion went undisputed by the other panelists; however, Papapetropoulos disagreed with that statement, “100 percent.”

“When I first came into the industry, that’s what I thought I needed to do,” she said. “Today, I think what it does is it eats your confidence level. If you are feminine, why should you act or dress any differently to be accepted when you’re just as good for the jobs as the men are.

“To me, everything should be based on your job performance and work ethic, and not on your appearance.”

Papapetropoulos, who defines herself as feminine recently began a fire-resistant clothing line for women, which is set to launch in the fall.

“I am a woman and I am feminine, and to be the best employee, employer, mentor that I can be every day, I need to be comfortable,” she said. “I need to set an example.”

As a word of advice to women trying to move up in the industry, Papapetropoulos highlighted the importance of staying true to yourself and being confident in your own abilities.

“Be aggressive, be who you are and always move forward.”

To read more….

Amelia Papapetropoulos, Founder

April 7th, 2014
Posted by: YPWE

Amelia Roncone

Amelia Papapetropoulos currently works at Lightning Energy Services as Sales Director. Papapetropoulos plays a paramount part in the growth of the all divisions of this Northeast Service Company. She gave up a nursing career to pursue an exceptional opportunity in the Oil and Gas industry. Catering hot meals to the drill sites and frack crews was her introduction to this industry and continues to keep her busy on the side. Papapetropoulos has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Waynesburg University. Prior to joining Lightning, Amelia was a registered Neurovascular Intensive Care nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

In conjunction to her involvement with YPE, Papapetropoulos sits on the board for the meritorious organization, Junior Achievement. Recently, Papapetropoulos launched a subsidiary group dedicated to the women in the industry, Young Professional Women in Energy. The mission of YPWE is to Empower women to lead and succeed. YPWE is working diligently with the Pittsburgh Chapter Dress for Success to place local women in jobs within the Energy industry. Papapetropoulos is proud to mention her recent acceptance to represent her professional community in the 2012 Edition of Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals. Papapetropoulos sees leadership as an avenue to aid others. With her daily example of initiative and goal oriented work ethic, Papapetropoulos is helping to lead the way to success for young professionals across multiple industries.


Woman in Energy of the Month: Karen Teslovich

April 6th, 2014
Posted by: YPWE
Karen Teslovich
Karen Teslovich is the President of CNG One Source, Inc., a compressed natural gas corporation headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Karen has always been interested in the Shale Industry and what it could do for our country. Her vision for CNG One Source began one evening when she and her husband were speaking with their six children about trucking companies and finding a cheaper fuel. This conversation spurred a thought, “What if we put Shale gas into our vehicles?”, and the vision for CNG One Source was born. CNG would be the “one source” for everyone’s compressed natural gas needs and would specialize in feasibility studies, research and development, fleet conversions, refueling stations, maintenance, service, and training.

Karen was significantly involved in CNG’s vision, and she became President of the corporation. As President, she is responsible for the general operations of the company as well as works with agencies on regulations, leads research and development, and assists with marketing. To date, Karen’s biggest accomplishment at CNG has been acquiring a company which made natural gas engines. Since there are regulations limiting who can provide engines to run on natural gas, the acquisition of the natural gas engine production company has been an important accomplishment and has also expedited CNG’s research and development. Karen is excited for CNG’s future, and, because the industry has minimal/few new designs for natural gas powered engines, she hopes CNG will produce a new engine design that will be both more efficient and cost effective.

Karen has plenty of energy-enthusiasm and is a passionate female leader in a fast paced and competitive industry. She has an outstanding vision for CNG One Source in relation to energy’s future in the United States and does not lose sight of her goals.

To women looking to gain insight into becoming a stronger leader, Karen recommends that they actively seek out opportunities to talk with other professional women because women have helped her build on her strengths. She also recommends going to leadership seminars, and, when “…there is a woman signing a book that inspires you, go to the book signing and talk to her!”

Ultimately, Karen believes that women in the energy industry need to continually expand their knowledge base, own their skills and sharpen them, as well as know the facts. Since this industry is male dominated, she expressed that, “Women need to equip themselves with knowledge, articulate that knowledge, and keep the guys on their toes. We are paving the way.”

 Undeniably, Karen Teslovich is a strong woman in the energy industry and is helping “pave the way” for future female leaders in the industry.

Fashionable But Appropriate: Dressing for Success in the Office

March 17th, 2014
Posted by: YPWE

“Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off.” – COCO CHANEL

 Another day, another dollar, another outfit.  Some women love getting dressed for work.  So much so that they have outfits picked out for the next day or even the whole week.  Others dread it, putting it off until the morning right before they leave. This process can be quite time consuming as they may change their minds and outfits three or four times. Dressing for success is not a new concept. While some women may view it as a chore, others view it as a great way of expressing themselves.  The number of women joining the corporate world  has greatly increased in the past forty years. This means that clothing markets have a whole new  audience  of professional women in the workforce.  Powerful women in large businesses recognize this as an important factor in the careers and even employ Image Consultants or Stylists to help them look their everyday best.

In this blog, I am going to give some basic tips for the budget conscious, every day business woman. The key is to be fashionable while remaining appropriate.  Many times I’ve come across fashion websites that will categorize certain clothing as “Wear to Work”.  I’m always astonished to see what some online retailers consider okay to wear to work.  Remember, fashionable but appropriate.

Basic colors are a good place to start for the professional woman on a budget.  Black, white, grey, brown, and navy are great places to start for a wardrobe.  Why?  Because these are good starting points for the colors of suits, be it a pant suit or a skirt suit.  That way, later on you can mix with gem colored blouses and shirts such as red, purple, blue, green, yellow and pink.  For a young professional women there’s a line that should not be crossed. You want to dress in today’s styles without making the mistakes of looking too flashy, immature, unprofessional or dressing as someone beyond your years. 

Some women like suit jackets, but those may be too rigid in the certain environments.  Others may opt for sweaters or casual blazers.  Unfortunately women are judged on their appearance.  It may garner the wrong kind of attention and could affect the perception of a serious business woman. There is a fine line ladies, and you must watch it carefully.

Clothing stores such as JC Penny, Macy’s, The Limited, Express, Banana Republic, The Loft, Ann Taylor, and New York & Company have great clothing options for young women.  The Victoria Secret catalog has more than lingerie.  They also offer work clothes and blouses. Though they may be on the pricey side, the purchase will be well worth it in the future when the piece lasts for years.

Singing up for the flash sales are great ways to find great deals on fashionable clothes. Flash sales are websites that offer very fashionable, very discounted pieces.  Ideeli, Haute Look, and Gilt are flash sales that operate by acquiring excess or sample merchandise and selling it within hours at very steep discounts to their members.  Those three online stores also have apps that alert you so you don’t miss out on any sales.  For those of you who have special work occasions coming up, Rent the Runway is an alternate solution to wear clothes designed by today’s top designers.

If you walk around a lot like I do,  flats can be a lifesaver.  The same suggestions apply for shoes as they do for suits.  Using basic, safe colors allow you to have a solid wardrobe to play around with.  If you do not want to wear flats, you have plenty of options, such as high heels.  Heels with the platform in the front are more comfortable to walk in than without because less pressure is placed on the toes. Finding the most comfortable, fashionable shoe is also key to any woman’s success. 

Still having a hard time looking for fashion inspiration?  Check out Pinterest, fashion magazines, and look at TV shows for the newest fashions that can help inspire your next purchase. Walking down the street can even give you inspiration. 

YouTube is filled with videos of new fashion trends and women who give advice on makeup trends, hairstyles, and other tutorials.  Typing in “everyday makeup tutorials” provides a long list of results for all kinds of people. They show you exactly how to apply your makeup, and can’t beat that.

It could be a chore to get ready in the morning, or it could be an adventure.  Fashion is an expression of yourself and extension of  who you are. With the right outfit you can define yourself and show others who you are.

Heather Gale Graham

October 31st, 2013
Posted by: YPWE

YPWEWV Director of Events

Heather Gale Graham was named Director of Events for West Virginia’s chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy, Graham is a founding member of this organization. Ms. Graham is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Bridgeport, WV, where she focuses her practice in the area of energy law, which includes assisting oil and gas producers in determining ownership interests through real property title examinations and preparation of title opinions for acquisition of real property assets in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio; due diligence for transactions of mineral assets; and preparation of assignments and deeds.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as an Iyengar yoga instructor, and also for an international customer service corporation focusing on cloud-based technologies and services. She earned Bachelor’s degrees from West Virginia University, her first degree being in Animal and Veterinary Science and her second degree being in Interior Design. She is a 2010 graduate of the West Virginia College of Law, where she served on the Ethics Counsel for three years.

Ms. Graham is a member of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and the National Association of Lease and Title Analysts. She recently spoke at an energy conference on the topic of ethics.

Allison J. Farrell

October 31st, 2013
Posted by: YPWE

YPWEWV Secretary and Treasurer

Allison J. Farrell was named Secretary and Treasurer of West Virginia’s chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy, Ms. Farrell is a founding member of this organization. Ms. Farrell is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Bridgeport, W. Va. Her practice is focused on the energy industry, and she routinely represents the oil and natural gas industry in all aspects of litigation.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a print journalist in New York and Montana, and served as Public Relations Director for Glenville State College. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Montana, a Master’s Degree from SUNY Buffalo, and is a 2009 graduate of the West Virginia College of Law.

Ms. Farrell serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the Arc of Harrison County, is a member of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. Ms. Farrell was recently named a Super Lawyers® Rising Star for 2012.

Amanda Casini Wright

October 31st, 2013
Posted by: YPWE

YPWEWV Vice President, Marketing Director

Amanda Casini Wright, a Morgantown native, brings over 12 years of experience in Marketing and Fundraising efforts. Amanda graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Amanda has been very active in the Oil & Gas Industry, including her extensive planning and coordination for industry B2B and Career Expos in WV and OH. Amanda is also very passionate about promoting Group B Strep Disease awareness in the community and has coordinated fundraising efforts to further promote this passion.

Amanda is the Vice President and Marketing Director for the West Virginia Chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy. Amanda is also an Alum of Leadership Monongalia and has been involved with the Generation Morgantown Events Committee, Morgantown Chamber of Commerce, and numerous non-profit organizations.

Amanda Marks-Cunningham

October 31st, 2013
Posted by: YPWE

YPWEWV Founder-President

Amanda Marks-Cunningham is the Founder and President of the West Virginia chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy. Mrs. Cunningham is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Waste Management, in Bridgeport, WV. She manages government affairs, community, customer, media and employee relations for the companies West Virginia operations.

Prior to working for Waste Management she was the Marketing Communications Manager for Reliable Environmental Transport Inc. She is a native of West Virginia and has been in the Oil and Gas Industry for 4 years. She is an active member of WVONGA, IOGA and Leadership Harrison alum. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Fairmont State University and a Master’s Degree from West Virginia University in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Women Booming in the Energy Sector

August 23rd, 2013
Posted by: YPWE

Written by Lauren Johnson

Right now the boom in the oil and gas industry is opening doors for innovation. And in a predominantly male industry, to be innovative means to add more women to this industry in any way shape or form. The advances in the industry have allowed for more women to join both the oil and gas and energy sectors.


The energy sector is definitely a male dominated arena, for now.  According to a recent study, 46% of the new jobs of the first quarter in 2013 were filled by women.  In the previous quarter the figure was 30%, which is compelling evidence that the number of women in the industry is growing quickly.  The face of the blue collared worker may soon include the face of a single or married mother wearing a safety vest and a hard hat out in the field. More and more women are taking on the roles of truck drivers, mud loggers, equipment operators, and dispatchers.


“Innovation is the key to success in any business,” Cindy Bigner, Senior Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Halliburton, said in an e-mailed statement. “Having women and diversity in the workplace adds a component of diverse thought and innovation that drives that competitive advantage.” – Energy Voices.


One oil and gas professional, Autumn, was inspired by her mother’s journey. She shares her take on the subject, saying, “My mother has worked in the industry for over twenty years, and I remember her being the only female in her office who wasn’t an assistant or receptionist. She is one of the best in her field, better than any male I remember her working with hired to do the same job”. Autumn is an Administrative Assistant to the Corporate Director at her company, and her mom is an Auto CAD Technician.


The oil and gas industry is a field that can bring a small town back to life and create a ripple effect among other areas of employment. Revitalization of the economies in Ohio, North Dakota, and West Virginia are seeing increases in employment.  The job market of Texas is expanding as well as creating more opportunities.  Some companies are following Bigner’s idea of innovation by seeking out women employees to diversify the industry.


The list of businesses and industries the energy sector reaches is greater than the average person realizes.  Logistics, law, accounting, human resources, customer service, and especially sales are all jobs that help make an oil and gas company what it is.


Judging from these latest numbers, more and more women are taking advantage of the opportunities in front of them. Because of the huge growth in the oil and gas industry, Canada is experiencing a labor shortage in their supply chain positions. The Women in Supply Chain organization is an initiative to fill that void by reaching out to more women. A stigma exists there that only men can work in this industry, when training exists that anyone can undergo. Jobs such as Inventory Control Clerk, Logistics Coordinator, Freight Auditor, Warehouse Manager, Purchasing Agent, and Customer Service Representative are all great places to start in the industry. 


As someone with experience in the oil and gas industry my advice is to find a mentor, someone who has been in the business for a very long time and doesn’t mind to impart their knowledge to someone new.  My second piece of advice is to learn as much as you can about your position and everyone else’s, because in this field every job is connected to all the others.  Learning about all aspects of any industry will help achieve higher goals.

The Glass Ceiling

July 23rd, 2013
Posted by: YPWE


Written By Veronica Brieno Rankin, LL.M.  


The ‘glass ceiling’ is considered to be the proverbial invisible barrier that impedes those within underrepresented populations from advancing to a senior level position or higher salary base primarily because of their status of being an underrepresented individual. It can be argued that women – particularly women in energy – fall into this category and therefore may encounter a glass ceiling while pursuing an executive-level career.  With the number of women serving in the energy sector steadily on the rise, the question of how far up the career ladder a woman can successfully climb remains at the forefront. In this contemporary world, does a glass ceiling exist and, if so, what can be done to break through it?


Since the topic of glass ceilings requires businesses and professionals to explore personal mentalities surrounding gender differences and possible sexism in the workplace, it is a subject that few are overly eager to confront head on. However, in order for companies to tap into the largest pool of talented candidates, it is necessary for professionals within the company to explore all areas that may impede the business’s overall success. This includes assessing whether a glass ceiling exists within the corporate culture.       


The question of whether a glass ceiling exists for women in energy is subjective. For some women, perhaps they have genuinely encountered real obstacles that prohibited them from advancing to the next career level because of their gender. For other women, perhaps they perceived the presence of a glass ceiling in places where it truly did not exist. If there is glass ceiling for women in energy, it is likely to occur on a company by company basis as opposed to being an industry-wide epidemic. Women currently working in executive capacities within energy companies throughout the world serve as testament that it is indeed possible for women professionals to overcome any obstacles that might stand in the way to a prosperous career at the top, including a glass ceiling.


For the woman who works in a corporate culture where she suspects that a glass ceiling exists, she must first ask herself objectively, “what is the evidence that suggests a glass ceiling?” For example, is she being excluded from meetings or other events that are male-dominated when she should legitimately be included? Is she receiving a lower compensation package than her male counterparts for the same exact position in the company?  Is she consistently being overlooked for training or advancement opportunities that her male counterparts regularly receive even though she is a top performer at her company? How do her experiences relate to other women in the company? Are other women in her company having similar experiences?


For the female professional who aspires to make it to an executive-level position, she may need to conduct an honest self-assessment about personal decisions that may cause her to believe that she is being overlooked as the result of a glass ceiling. For example, does she consistently turn down every opportunity for training or advancement because it may require her to travel? While most employers are sensitive to balance between work and family, women may need to get real in the fact that executives may need to travel solely because the position necessitates it. Does she skip important meetings to complete other tasks that need tending to? Inappropriate prioritization may prove to be ill-fated for a potential executive-level career, particularly if superiors do not agree with how she is prioritizing her responsibilities.


Whether the glass ceiling is real or perceived, if a female professional feels she is being overlooked, it is best to approach the problem both amicably and respectfully. In many cases, there may simply be an honest miscommunication between the female professional and her superiors. In cases where there is legitimate concern, the glass ceiling may be unintentional and the superior may appreciate that the female demonstrated professionalism when approaching the subject. For either circumstance, having good communication can yield positive results for aspiring female executives.