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For The Few Women In Oil, This Site Creates Community

Pink Petro has gotten support from large companies in the industry.
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For The Few Women In Oil, This Site Creates Community

Women are few and far between in the oil industry. So one woman set out to change that by launching Pink Petro, an online community for women in oil and gas.

Since it was launched two years ago, Pink Petro has attracted support from big players in the industry. It's a niche social media platform that can be accessed through an app or on a desktop. Users sign up in order to access community boards, post their resumes and connect with other members.

Women in the industry are up against some stark stats. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows women made up about 20 percent of oil and gas extraction workers in 2016.

A 2015 survey of LinkedIn profiles found the number of women in oil and gas is even lower than in tech, which is often criticized for not being inclusive of women.

NPR notes low representation of women and minorities in the field may have to do with a history of sexism and racism.

Some managers in the industry say the rural locations of work sites already make it less welcoming for women and minorities. Oil and gas companies now say they're trying to be more representative.

"We don't handle our messaging. We don't do a good job of branding ourselves as the good guys that we really are," Kathryn Hanneman, former vice president of operations for S & B Plant Services, said.

Pink Petro could help that messaging issue. While Pink Petro caters specifically to women, anyone can join. Beyond the site, the organization also hosts in-person events for members.