New Mexico is the 5th largest producer of crude oil and the 7th largest natural gas producer in the United States. Because of that, more than 105,000 jobs are currently supported by the oil and gas industry in New Mexico. Additionally, 1.3 million new jobs in the energy industry are expected to open up by 2030. However, a harsh reality was realized when it was revealed that only 15 percent of these jobs would go to women. This outlook sparked NMOGA, the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the Energy Forum to make a concerted effort to welcome more women into a predominantly male-dominated field.
API’s ongoing Women in Power initiative seeks to attract, retain, and develop life-long careers for women who work in any number of professional sectors, including science, engineering, technology, law, accounting, public relations, and more. Initiatives such as this are critical in order to recruit more women into the industry, while simultaneously making more women aware of the available opportunities in the industry. With New Mexico’s position as leader of oil and gas production in the U.S., it made perfect sense to bring the Women in Power initiative to college students around the state.
Planning and execution of a Women in Power breakfast and networking event, complete with panel discussions and keynote speakers, was up to TWC. The inaugural Women in Power event took place at the University of New Mexico (UNM) on January 27, 2016 after planning begin in October 2015. The success of the event resulted in two additional events, including an expansion into a new area at New Mexico State University on November 15, 2016, and a repeat event at UNM on November 16, 2016. Planning for these events began in July 2016.
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