Amber Shaver Joins AWE Board

AWE is proud to announce the arrival of our newest boardmember, Amber Shaver, the Chief of Staff and Legal Affairs at Stellar Energy. As a brilliant and accomplished legal executive, Amber brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our board.

Ms. Shaver’s professional career has been international in scope focusing on law, international strategic relations and academia. With experience in a variety of industries, she frequently speaks on topics such as energy, energy contracts and women’s issues. 

As Chief of Staff and Legal Affairs at Stellar Energy, Amber manages an international staff, conducts contract negotiation, leads all strategic directives and oversees all projects. Amber developed an international compliance program for Stellar Energy which works with local, state, federal and international governments to ensure the company’s quality and safety exceeds international standards. In her nine years with the company, Amber has negotiated more than $1 billion in contracts for iconic energy projects spanning 10 countries, and most recently multi-million-dollar contracts with Duke Energy, Bechtel and Pluto LNG. 

Prior to working for Stellar Energy, Amber has lived and worked in New Zealand, London, Ireland, Japan and Hawaii. As the Protocol Liaison Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, Amber received a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for Outstanding International Public Relations. 

“The Role that Women Can Play” in Energy Today

The pandemic has caused millions of people, especially women, to rethink their careers. It may have been stimulated by all that time working from home, or the shift to remote work opening up opportunities in any location, or homeschooling their kids for months while schools were closed, or the joy they found in hobbies or side hustles. It’s no wonder that a Bankrate survey found 55% of people say they are looking to change jobs over the next 12 months.

Joan Michelson – Forbes

Read the whole story at »

Video: AWE Boardmembers Join Industry Panel

Last week’s industry panel was a resounding success. Thanks to AWE Boardmembers Becky Motal and Trisha Elizondo for participating. Watch the full panel in the video below.

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Women in STEM Careers Page Updates

Since we first published our list of resources for women pursuing careers in STEM, we have received several requests from colleges and other organizations to add their articles to our page. This explosion of popularity for this post proves that there is a huge amount of interest in this topic. Visit the page by clicking the button below to see what’s new and check back often for updates.

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Industry Panel Features AWE Boardmembers: Women in the Built World

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Women in the Built World: Pioneering a Path Forward

Join us on April 15 at 10 AM PDT for an engaging conversation between five accomplished women in utilities and the built world. Learn about their journeys, challenges, and visions for a more equitable future. 

This engaging industry panel features AWE boardmembers Becky Motal and Trisha Elizondo, along with Cherri Warren, the Chairwoman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Robin G. Rosen, Senior Program Manager at the Cross Bore & Asset Protection, Southern Company Gas, and Amy Hutchins, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Unearth Technologies

What you’ll learn

Attend this event for an engaging conversation between five accomplished woman in utilities and the built world. You’ll hear energizing stories about their journeys, the challenges they overcame along the way, and visions for a more equitable future.

This session will be a guided conversation, with topics that may include:

●  Why each panelist chose to invest their career in this industry
●  The biggest challenges they faced along their journey
●  Advice for others who want to take a similar direction
●  What lasting impacts do they think COVID will have on this industry
●  Strategies for getting more women, diverse candidates and other high talent individuals into this industry.

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President’s Report — Fall 2022

The Association of Women in Energy’s mission is to provide opportunities for women to meet other energy industry professionals and to enhance their knowledge of issues facing the industry.  We focus on ways to encourage and unite women in energy.  We strongly believe the more women know and are engaged in the energy industry, the more value they bring to their own careers and the advancement of the companies they work for.  Our board members include an impressive list of women who have “been there and done that”.  We have lived through the changes, challenges, struggles, and continuous evolution of the energy sector.  We have learned to not only face adversity, but to be better because of it.  I encourage all members of AWE to reach out to each other, living out our mission to encourage and unite each other and enhance our knowledge of issues facing the industry.

A great way to get to know the members of AWE is to join us at our annual conference (finally back after two years!).  This year we will be focused on the challenges in the energy sector.  We will have panels with some of our industry’s leading experts focusing on permitting challenges that have caused delays and complications at many sites; policy changes that keep development in a constant state of change; interconnection struggles related to reform, delays, and high costs; and supply chains issues from equipment to transport, to labor.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet with other AWE members and also learn about a large amount of challenges (and opportunities) in our industry.


Trisha Elizondo
President and Board Chair

Rare Gem: Building TerraFina Energy Into One Of America’s Biggest Woman-Owned Oil Companies

“You know, little girl, I’ve been watching you,” the longtime oilman said to Marsha Hendler. “You get this business; you need to be an operator.” Some women would have taken offense at being called “little girl.” Instead Hendler saw a golden opportunity to be mentored and, in the process, gained a close friend – “my number one bubba” – until his sudden passing last December.

Despite not having a background in energy – aside from the oilfield service companies that were clients of the marketing company she owns – Hendler was intrigued with the industry and, after giving it some thought, came to the conclusion that she did indeed “get it” and want to be a part of it.

When she founded San Antonio-based TerraFina Energy, LLC, in 2003, Hendler was on her third career. A graduate of the University of Houston (‘73), Hendler has a bachelor’s degree in business management, specializing in hotel and restaurant management, and was in the hospitality industry for many years before going into marketing. Of the three careers, she has found energy to be the most challenging and also the most rewarding. Contrary to what some might think, she also has found it to be the least sexist.

Read the Full Article on Forbes »

President’s Report — Winter 2019

We will soon close another great year for AWE.  In 2019 we continued to grow our members and corporate sponsors supporting our mission “to help women in the energy industry to enhance their knowledge of issues facing the industry and meet other energy professionals”.  The AWE Board represents some of the most outstanding women professionals in all aspects of the energy industry with executives of all disciplines from the renewables, fossil fuels, transmission, oil and gas, national and international companies as well as privately owned by Board members.  Their collective expertise covers the gamut of the broad energy industry.  In 2019, we were pleased to welcome Hunt Oil U.S, Quanta Services and Entergy as corporate sponsors for AWE.

This past October 2019 we had our annual Power Matters Conference in Austin with a broad range of energy topics from cyber security issues, competitive market challenges, financing issues, the role of gas markets and their challenges and incorporation of renewable mandates in a competitive market, grid modernization and changes for consumers (just to name a few!!).  This proved to be AWE’s most successful, substantive conference to date and well attended by energy professionals throughout the country.  Our keynote speaker, Kristine Schmidt, Director, PG&E Board offered a real-time perspective of the challenges facing PG&E with the California fires and resultant impacts to the utility.

We are planning for 2020 to be as exciting as any other and will continue to reach out to members throughout the country for particular energy issues in their areas.  Please reach out with ideas and suggestions!

Becky Motal
President and Board Chair

AWE Boardmember Julie Parsley Named One of Austin’s Best CEOs

ABJ Staff – Austin Business Journal – Oct. 3, 2019

Imagine in your mind’s eye a Central Texas nonprofit — do you think of an electrical utility providing power to thousands of customers spread across the Hill Country?

Perhaps not. But Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a nonprofit, and a successful one at that. It serves more than 320,000 accounts and provides electricity to more than 1 million residents. Since Julie Caruthers Parsley took over as CEO in late 2017, PEC has added more than 14,000 meters.

PEC is the largest distribution electric cooperative in the United States, and one of the country’s fastest-growing electric cooperatives. For some context of Pedernales’ size, consider that it had more than 700 employees in 2017. As of 2018, PEC had more than $1.7 billion in plant assets and posted a net margin of more than $60 million. Total revenue topped $638 million.

Parsley hasn’t simply been content with the status quo at PEC. She made over the nonprofit’s executive team, eliminating silos to foster more collaboration. To create more transparency she hired an executive vice president role to oversee public affairs, communications, community engagement and legislative affairs.


Shortage of Women in STEM Careers

Only 1 in 4 individuals working in the computer and mathematical workforce are female. Additionally, only 1 in 6 people working in architecture and engineering occupations are women. As the numbers prove, there is still underrepresentation of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce. This page collects articles and guides from around the Web to help women pursue careers in STEM fields.

Women and Careers in STEM

In an effort to make information focused on STEM education and careers more accessible to women, has curated a Women and Careers in STEM series for those considering the field. Included are degree overviews, job boards, and perspectives from female professionals already in the industry. Take a look here: 

Where Women Study STEM:

Women in STEM:

STEM Careers:

Maryville University Guide for Women in STEM:
This comprehensive guide from Maryville University aims to educate readers about the gender and diversity gaps in STEM fields:

A Guide for Women in STEM: Closing the Gender Gap
This guide from highlights some of the issues women getting into STEM face, why women should pursue STEM careers, groundbreaking women in STEM and helpful resources for women interested in STEM.

35+ initiatives to get more women into cybersecurity
Explore this deep dive into 35+ initiatives that should prove helpful for women exploring a career in this rapidly growing area.

High Schoolers’ Guide to Preparing for an Engineering College
The demand for STEM jobs and qualified individuals is expected to keep increasing. Here is an article with you that has some great information for high schoolers preparing to advance into a career in STEM fields.

A Guide for Women to Break Into Information Technology
The tech industry is one of the fastest-growing industries and is projected to grow 12% in the next decade. While the tech industry can provide fulfilling careers and abundant paychecks, research has shown that IT and computing jobs are dominated by males. Despite the imbalance, there are many resources for women interested in STEM, including this guide. Atera’s guide includes information on the challenges women face in the industry, a list of different careers related to IT, and resources for tech training for women.

A Profile of Computer Scientist: Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper was a computer programmer who pioneered the development of the compiler, which paved the way for her creation of the COBOL computer programming language. Hopper was also a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. She was born in 1906 in New York City and died in 1992. In 2016, President Barack Obama posthumously honored Hopper with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Industry and Career Resources for Promoting Diversity in Engineering
We strongly believe that a better balance is necessary within STEM fields and more women and underrepresented minorities must be included in the engineering workforce. With that belief in mind, we created a comprehensive list that details the many advantages gained from diversity, demographics of the engineering industry, and an overview of the different types of engineering careers. Furthermore, our article covers financial resources like grants and scholarships that are targeted toward minorities, engineering internship opportunities, and professional associations and organizations that exist to help improve diversity in engineering.