I was honored recently to serve as the Moderator for the 3rd Annual Oil & Gas Women in Leadership Symposium (WILS) hosted by the Oil & Gas Diversity Council, which is a member of the National Diversity Council (NDC).  Capgemini proudly served as a sponsor for this event.  The Oil & Gas Diversity Council is committed to enhancing the appreciation for and understanding of the value of diversity and inclusion in today’s global society.  The Council strives to transform workplace communities into environments where people are valued for their uniqueness and differences and are confident that their contributions matter.

This event was hosted at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and the theme was “Remarkable Women:  Leadership Strategies for 2016.”  Given the current challenges faced by the oil & gas industry, the WILS provided a unique venue for women from diverse backgrounds to receive coaching and advice from female executives who are in key leadership roles within their organizations. 

The esteemed panelists for this event were:

  • Eileen Gallagher Akerson, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for KBR, Inc.;
  • Naomi Coxwell, Vice President for BP America
  • Grace Holmes, Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Chief Governance Office for Cameron International Corporation;
  • Dana O’Brien, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for CenterPoint Energy; and
  • Jennifer Stewart, Senior Vice President, Tax & Treasury for Southwestern Energy Company.

The audience, comprised primarily of women at varying stages of their careers, garnered advice and insight from each panelist on the follow topics:

  • Top Leadership Competencies;
  • How Women Can Leverage Power in the Workplace;
  • Leading with Confidence;
  • My 3 Lessons Learned; and
  • Developing Political Savvy:  Hard work and Talent Are Not Enough.

As the moderator, I enjoyed facilitating the lively exchange between the panelists and audience, and I walked away with several great reminders, advice, and tips that will continue to guide my own career development.

  • Know your business.
  • Be here now.  Be present.
  • Work hard.  Work smart.  Results matter.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Give myself permission to speak up.
  • Take leaps of faith.
  • Be an advocate.  Have an advocate.
  • Ask for what I want.  Be careful for what I ask for.
  • Volunteer outside of my core expertise.
  • See a need and ask how I can fill it.

Thanks to the National Diversity Council for allowing me to moderate an event that gave so much to those who participated.  Capgemini values our partnership with the NDC.  The NDC is the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. The National Diversity Council is a forerunner of community-based, national organizations that champion diversity and inclusion across the country.  The vision of the National Diversity Council is to cultivate a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance diversity and inclusion by transforming our work places and communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential.  The mission of the NDC is to be both a resource and an advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion. The NDC serves as the umbrella organization to support our statewide and regional affiliates, which foster an understanding of diversity and inclusion as a dynamic strategy for business success and community well-being through various initiatives.


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