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The panel specifically focused on the importance of young, mid-level and even senior professionals in having mentors and supporters (of both genders) to provide constructive feedback and counsel throughout a woman's career. Panelist Carol Lloyd, Vice President of Engineering at ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, admitted how she didn’t see the value in networking early on in her career, but grew to recognize the importance of fostering relationships in addition to mastering her engineering skills.
“Networking has to be genuine,” added panelist Dolon Gundoju, Managing Consultant of Leadership, Learning and Performance at Williams. She went on to explain that networking can also help you achieve a work-life balance, through joining social groups outside of your professional community.
“Networking is a buzzword for increasing your sphere of influence,” said Carri Lockhart, Senior Vice President at Statoil US Offshore. Certainly, there is relationship aspect to networking, but there is also a transactional aspect to it, explained panelist Rachel Clingman, Vice President of Legal at BHP Billiton Americas. Clingman went on to encourage attendees to not shy away from that aspect, as it can be intimidating at times.
Pierpont also served as a sponsor of the 2016 Women's Global Leadership Conference in Energy (WGLC), which is one of the largest women’s events in the industry–and the only one focused on discussing key environmental, economic and professional development issues in oil and gas. Targeted specifically to matters of women in leadership, WGLC empowers meaningful discussions on all aspects of responsible stewardship ranging from energy, security and geopolitics to personal career development.