Below, Women Offshore’s Rep, Elyse Knudsen, shares a recap of the 2018 HERWorld Energy Forum.

Who wants to be perfect anyway? I am not perfect and don’t want to be. I make mistakes, and I don’t always have the right answer. Instead of aiming for perfection, I strive to have GRIT:  Growth, Reliance, Innovation and Transformation. On International Women’s Day, I had the distinct pleasure of spending the day with inspiring women who displayed similar awesome qualities. HERWorld 2018, an event sponsored by Pink Petro united women in energy, and the men who support them, for a day of discussion and learning through GRIT. Through the eyes of Women Offshore, I want to share some HERWorld GRIT with you.

Women Offshore Rep, Elyse Knudsen, with the first female coach in the NFL, Dr. Jen Welter.

First and foremost, from the petit power of Dr. Jennifer Welter, the first women to coach in the NFL, stop trying to be perfect. The dynamo pronounced, “Perfect is <bleepen> boring!” The audience applauded with laughter. With stories in tow, she shared with us, “Love your brand of crazy” and “Always be 100% authentic because if you are not, the [preverbal] “they” will eat you alive!”

Another conversation that arose within her address, something in which she was very familiar: a woman making it to the top in a male-dominated industry. Men must be empowered to support women, she stated. “If it is only white men in a locked room, it is only a man who can open the door for a woman.” So we have to keep men in the conversation and recognize the ones that, as she put it, “drop kick you” to success. She also talked about how she addresses a man making an “unfortunate comment”. A majority of the time, a guy’s ill-fated comment is not intended to be harmful, it is our job to immediately set them straight but she recommended using humor to do so. If you “over react”, as it is referred to by males, the opportunity will be lost for you to put a foot in the door to make real change. However, it is very important to note that if they continue to act inappropriately, if they do not correct their behavior, then that needs to be addressed with Human Resources immediately. 

Congrats to Elyse Knudsen on her GRIT Award at HERWorld! GRIT Awards recognize women in energy. Elyse is a role model in the industry, who is always reliable and committed to get the job done safely and efficiently. Congrats, Elyse!

And then we had the conversation about women supporting one another. We must lift each other up because as Jen says, “When we elevate each other, we all rise.” There is enough success to be shared for all the motivated women in a male dominated industry. Angie Gildea, a KPMG leader, challenged us to find the early career women and pull them up through “sheer grit, motivate them, advocate for them, serve as role models and be an ambassador.” I loved hearing this because for me this is what we are doing withWomen Offshore! Shout out to our founder, Ally. You got GRIT, girl!

Overall, I felt extremely motivated by the transparency in the day’s conversations. Often, I am underwhelmed by the protection of words from our corporate and industry leaders, the liability of it all. At HERWorld, we got down and gritty with honest conversations about the Paris Climate Agreement, the challenges of the technology revolution, cyber security, sharing the energy play book with renewables and of course the power of the single tweet.

Then near the end of the day, the question came, can we see real change? The answer from our leadership panel was yes. But they cautioned, that it won’t come without continued energy from women AND men. We must continue to make structural changes, talk about gender pay, evolution of parity laws and the benefits companies offer women. 

Bottom line,Pink Petro rocks for promoting so many awesome women with energy and sharing these women with other women and men. I left with high energy and more GRIT then ever! I hope my words leave you with this GRIT: Don’t be perfect! Be your authentic self. Be transparent. Make every interaction, a connection. And finally, together, let us us lift each other up to all be leaders offshore! There is enough awesome to go around!

Elyse Knudsen

About The Author: Elyse Knudsen

Elyse Knudsen, a Montana native, graduated from Montana Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health. She has worked as a safety advisor on an offshore installation in Angola, Africa. At its height, the installation had over 1500 people (Elyse was one of 6 women) from 16 different countries. Prior to her work experience in Angola, Elyse worked Deepwater Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico on a drillship and on land for gas production assets in Pittsburgh, PA. Before her career in energy, she was a professional figure skater, performing on cruise ships. Elyse is honored and excited to contribute to Women Offshore to promote women’s contributions in the field!

Pin It on Pinterest