Women IN Energy Conference Leaves a Lasting Impression

Women IN Energy held its third annual conference in late October, bringing together energy professionals from across several sectors to discuss innovation, technology and the role women play in the industry. The conference is held annually in Carmel, Indiana, and its 13-member planning committee consists of contributors from MISO, EDP Renewables, Microsoft, Duke Energy, IPL, ACES and Parr Richey.

The first conference, in 2017, was founded by Kelly Snyder of EDP Renewables and Tameka McNair of Microsoft. The two women wanted to encourage their female energy colleagues to pursue industry networking and innovation opportunities.

This year’s theme was Partnering to Power the Future. To kick off the day’s events, the co-founders shared why they started the conference, and communicated statistics from McKinsey on Women in the Workplace. In the past five years, the number of women in top level positions has risen, and an increasing number of companies are seeing the value of having more women in leadership.

Keynote speaker Sherina Maye Edwards then shared useful leadership advice centered around partnership. “Establish a legacy, but pass the baton,” she said. She commented that attendees should encourage every member of their team to be prepared to run.

Maye Edwards’ speech was followed by an executive panel, moderated by Kelly Snyder. Panelists Aaron Johnson, CEO of Kinetrex Energy, Lisa Krueger, President of US SBU and AES, and Mary Jo Thomas, President and CEO of Whitewater Valley REMC, shared their perspectives on partnering for diversity in leadership.

This year’s conference also featured three breakout speakers. Jon Colby, an improv expert, got attendees out of their seats and made them laugh while providing useful tips on how to be a “Yes, and…” partner. Carolyn Mosby, President and CEO at Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council, shared her moving experience with vulnerability and resilience. Author, entrepreneur and activist Nate Turner told attendees to embrace the full vision of their best lives.

After lunch was the technology session, featuring Winnie Lam of Google and Priscilla Johnson of Microsoft. Lam shared insights on how Google is helping utilities transform themselves in light of industry changes, and Johnson discussed the role of cybersecurity through blockchain.

Feedback since the conference has been tremendous. One attendee said, “the feeling of empowerment is evident in each attendee. This conference allows us the networking experience to bolster our confidence going forward.” Another said, “this conference inspired thought. I am now considering my desire in upward and lateral mobility in my company. I am also curious and motivated to learn more about my industry and utilities in general.”

Kelly Snyder, co-founder of the conference and senior origination manager at EDP Renewables North America, is proud of the turnout at each of the three annual conferences and is looking forward to next year’s event. “The Women IN Energy conference is an opportunity for us to be at the leading edge of a rapidly changing energy industry,” she said. “We’re grateful for the sponsors, speakers and attendees who make this such a special event each year.”

About Women IN Energy

The Women IN Energy Conference provides an opportunity for women to learn and engage in thoughtful, relevant discussions about innovation, leadership, diversity and technology in the energy industry. The annual conference, first established in 2017 and held in Carmel, IN, features keynote speakers, executive panels, breakout sessions and opportunities for networking. Its 13-member planning committee consists of contributors from MISO, EDP Renewables, Microsoft, Duke Energy, IPL, ACES and Parr Richey. For more information, please visit www.womeninenergyconference.org.

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