August 2016, Vol. 243, No. 8

Company & Association News

Energetic Women Empowering Utilities

Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal
Mary O’Toole receives the 2016 Maverick Award. Left to Right: Erin Inman, Primer; Mary O’Toole, Primera; & Michelle Trapp, Michels Corp.

Are you a leader?

Female leaders have a unique perspective and set of skills to empower teambuilding, problem solving, and decision making – abilities that are beneficial to all industries, including energy delivery. MEA’s Energetic Women, a resource group for women in the energy delivery industry, makes it their mission to help prepare women for leadership roles in operations and engineering.

The record-breaking 435 attendees at the 9th Annual Energetic Women Conference in Houston recently provided the opportunity for honest and inspiring discussion on being a female in the male-dominated energy industry.

Throughout the conference, attendees were asked to step out of their comfort zone to create their own network of “Wing Women” using Janel Anderson’s L.E.A.R.N. model (Look for someone to meet; Exchange information; Ask questions, Respect the clock, Network later during follow up).

The new Leadership in Action panel allowed women at all stages of their careers to hear from female leaders established at Xcel Energy, ComEd, Vectren, CenterPoint Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Primera, and DTE Energy. During the question-and-answer session, these professionals shared nuggets of wisdom about developing oneself, helping others, balancing work with personal life and taking risks.

Helping others was a recurring theme at the conference, especially in regards to Mary O’Toole, vice president, Primera, and the 2016 Energetic Women Maverick Award recipient. She said, “I, along with others in Energetic Women, am using our talents to help other young women. You don’t find a group like this very often in the industry. [We] should pull up others along with [ourselves].” Mary and Energetic Women believe in inspiring others to lead by encouraging collaboration and compassion. She is an example of the power of Energetic Women and its reach into the companies that invest in their employees.

The conference has quadrupled in size since its inception. The Energetic Women leadership team anticipates even higher attendance at the 10th Annual Conference, June 14-16, 2017 in Chicago.

Tiffany Woodyard, a field engineering leader with Columbia Gas, explained, “Energetic Women has served as a resource for me and my company. I bring back the presentations and share them with my fellow teams. The community of great women, sharing information and knowledge, has helped me to improve my skills and helped me earn a promotion. I look forward to returning again.”

For more information about the conference and the group visit Energetic Women is a program of Midwest ENERGY Association.

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