April 8, 2014
Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Women and Minorities.”
The energy sector provides stable, well-paying jobs with an average salary much higher than other sectors. The hearing examined the growing opportunities for women and minorities in the energy field and how their role will continue to grow.
A study released last month found significant job potential for women and minorities. The study found that under a pro-development scenario, America’s energy industry could create up to 1.3 million new jobs by 2030. Of those 1.3 million jobs, almost 408,000 positions are projected to be held by African American and Hispanic workers. The report also estimated that roughly 185,000 new jobs would be filled by women.
“The recent American energy renaissance provides an exciting opportunity for all Americans, including women and minorities, to have well-paying, stable jobs in a growing sector of our economy. Everyone can benefit from the expanded development of America’s energy and mineral resources and Congress should continue to advance policies that promote an all-of-the-above energy strategy for our nation,” said Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).
Witnesses at the hearing highlighted their personal stories of success in the energy sector and challenges they faced as women and minorities. All of the witnesses agreed that progress still needs to be made to encourage and educate young women and minorities on the opportunities being created in the United States due to the energy renaissance.
– Lynne Hackedorn, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, Cobalt International Energy started her career as a secretary for an oil and gas company in Dallas, Texas. After completing a college degree to become a landman, Ms. Hackedorn worked as an onshore and offshore landman before taking an opportunity with Cobalt energy. Working her way up from a secretary to Vice-President, Ms. Hackedorn found opportunity for women in this growing sector.
“It is vital that our nation’s young people, including young women and minorities, are encouraged to consider the abundant and diverse career opportunities that our industry provides so that they can prepare themselves for these exciting career opportunities.”
– Emily Arthun, Director, Talent Management, Cloud Peak Energy works for one of the largest coal producers in the United States. Ms. Arthun began her career in the recruiting department of a mine in Texas out of necessity, initially refusing to work at the mine because of misperceptions of the mine. Working with employment and new talent shaped her career and exposed Ms. Arthun to the depth of opportunities mining offers women and minorities.
“As an industry we need to work together to promote the opportunities created by American energy production. We must do a better job of helping individuals learn about the number of great opportunities that exist. Getting this information at a younger and younger age will help provide a goal and help the, prepare for these rewarding careers.”
– Dale LeFebvre, Founder and Chairman, 188.8.131.52 Holding Company went to college to become an electrical engineer but after meeting an important mentor became interested in private equity. After business and law school, Mr. LeFebvre worked with deals in various areas of the economy before working with the energy sector. Having faced many challenges, now Mr. LeFebvre invests in other minority owned energy companies to help influence change and diversity in energy ownership.
“The numbers may obscure the fact that both minorities and women are underrepresented in America’s energy sector today and will be in 2030 If we simply let current trends continue. America’s energy boom can be a transformation force on several fronts central to our nation’s future, including on job and broader economic opportunities for women and minorities.”
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