Addressing the Gender Gap

Wednesday 15 March 2017 | 1745–2030

Talking Points


What does diversity really look like?

How do we promote change?

How do we proactively address the gender gap?


The 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos marked a major change in the commitment of CEO’s to ensuring the delivery of a more diverse workforce in the oil and gas industry. By signing up to a 7-point plan twenty of the world’s leading oil and gas companies and their suppliers have committed to changing the way they recruit, retain and promote talented women in the workplace.

At this special event we invite companies to tell us what good practise looks like as the industry strives to turn itself around. Participants will gain insight into what good leadership looks like and how companies set goals to deliver on aspirations. Come and see how to build a successful pipeline of talented women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Find out how top companies deliver an inclusive corporate culture and a great working environment without destroying work life balance.

These issues are important for all members of the Drilling and Completions Community and we invite you to participate in this interactive session to learn more about what you could be doing to address the gender gap.

Session Chair

Oonagh Werngren MBE, current Chair of The Girls’ Network

Oonagh Werngren is Chair of Trustees for The Girls’ Network, an award winning charity that provides mentors to girls and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds. A keen advocate of diversity in the work place she aims to highlight best practise following the 2016 Davos Agreement to address the significant gender gap within the energy industry.
Oonagh is a former Operations Director at Oil & Gas UK responsible for establishing pan- industry projects to increase production in the UKCS and had a crucial role in setting up the Government funded Seismic Programmes for Rockall and the MNSH. Prior to that she held leadership roles in Wells, Developments and Technology for BP, GDF SUEZ, Arco and Tricentrol.

Oonagh is a former President of the PESGB (the 2nd woman to hold the position in 52 years) and has held positions as Non- Executive Director for both OGIC and ITF. She was awarded an MBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the oil and gas industry.


Hege Kverneland, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for NOV

Hege received an M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science in 1990 and graduated from the General Management Program (GMP) in Harvard Business School in 2009.
Hege has more than 20 years of engineering and product management experience, contributing to quality assurance, research, and product development for NOV. While at NOV, she contributed many new product developments such as a new mud pump design, different PM-motor designs, heave compensation systems and automated drilling systems. She has served on several SPE / IADC committees, and is currently holding the position as Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NOV.

Katie Mehnert, CEO of Pink Petro, a successful start-up geared at supporting women in Energy.

Katie Mehnert is the Founder and Chief Everything Officer of Pink Petro™, the global community and career resource aimed at disrupting the energy gender gap. Supported by Shell, Halliburton, KPMG, and JIVE Software, Pink Petro has a growing list of international accolades including members in 31+ countries and over 500 companies.
Katie has 19 years of delivering change, learning, and culture transformations. A Who’s Who in Energy and Top 40 under 40 honoree, Katie has held global leadership roles with industry giants BP and Shell in health and safety during periods of financial crisis, spills, divestment, and globalization. Prior to Big Oil, she hailed consulting roles de-risking and driving change at Duke Energy, Waste Management, Entergy, and Enron. Her chaotic imperfect corporate path drove her to build Pink Petro to deal with the looming talent and reputational crisis ahead.

Katie serves on the Board of Directors of the Junior Achievement, Offshore Energy Center, and Ellevate Network. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Communications, Rice University’s Executive Energy program and The Center for Houston’s Future.

Olav Skår, Shell Global Solutions International

Building on an international career spanning some 27 years, Olav was recently appointed to the position of Global Wells Learning Manager at Shell.
His previous role was as the General Manager for Wells operations in UK/Ireland, where he also made significant cross-industry contributions through the Oil and Gas UK Wells Forum. Previous roles in countries like Qatar, Algeria, Netherlands, Syria, Norway, Thailand, New Zealand and the UK have been in diverse operational settings, covering all relevant aspects of Wells planning and operations. He maintains an active desire to work the improvement agenda cross industry.
Olav believes that Diversity and Inclusiveness are key enablers for excellence in our industry, and that we are a force for good when we get it right. His aspiration is to get the best out of what every individual brings, and looks to his team for inspiration in that quest. He has rarely been disappointed.

Olav and his partner of some 25 years, Alexandra, have 4 busy boys. Many adjectives have been used to describe the home situation, boring is not one of them! His claim to fame is to have played the Royal Albert Hall as a young(er) percussionist. The key challenge at the moment is to balance the buzz of work with love for family and a desire to stay fit. 


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