Women in Leadership (May 24-25)

The utility energy workforce is typically only about 25 percent women, as compared to the general population where women make up roughly half of the total workforce. Organizational efficiency is characterized by a balanced workforce both in terms of skill sets and perspectives. This mentorship program addresses some of the opportunities and challenges that women face working in the energy industry, advocates for workplace inclusion and teamwork, and discusses critical issues related to attracting and maintaining a diverse workforce. Formal opportunities for mentorship provide women in the industry with support for increased retention and satisfaction. Mentors and mentees are matched up across utilities, and then connect over an eight month period with two in-person meetings, once at an executive forum in May and once at the WEI Annual Meeting in September.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Jill Tracy, Director-Environmental Services, Southern California Gas Company

    • Program Location
    • Southern California Gas Company
    • 555 W 5th St
      Los Angeles, CA 90013
    • Who Should Attend
    • Mentors consist of female executives including utility company presidents, vice presidents, general managers and senior directors who have significant experience in the utility industry and an in-depth understanding of various utility functions.

      Mentees consist of female directors, managers, supervisors and front-line employees who want to develop their leadership skills, gain a broad perspective of the utility industry, and discuss workplace challenges for experiential learning.

      WEI has several programs supporting diversity and inclusion in the utility industry. Visit here more information about WEI’s Women in Energy Symposium.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $1,299 USD
    Mentoring materials, registration for the Kickoff Executive Forum and Annual Meeting (includes all specified meals).

    Space is limited for mentees. To apply for participation as a mentee, please fill out this formYou can find more details about the program here.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Registration and Check-In

Please grab lunch before you arrive. Materials will be available for participants to pick up. 

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Welcome to Women in Leadership
Facilitator(s): Jill Tracy, Director of Emergency Services, Southern California Gas Company

Get to know the other mentors and mentees of the 2017 Women in Leadership Cohort. Attendees are encouraged to share their background in the energy industry and individual goals for what they hope to get out of the program.

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Mentor + Mentee Kickoff Session
Facilitator(s): Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute

Mentors and mentees will have an opportunity visit face to face during this time. Through a series of thoughtful icebreaker questions, you'll gain a better understanding of who your mentor or mentee is, and what perspective she will bring to the relationship. 

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Networking Break

3:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Executive Panel: Experiential Learning + Career Journeys
Moderator(s): Jill Tracy, Director of Emergency Services, Southern California Gas Company
Panelist(s): Annette Gardiner, Vice President of Gas Strategic Development, Itron, Inc., DaVonna Johnson, Chief Administrative Services Officer, Seattle City Light, Rodger Schwecke, Senior Vice President, Gas Transmission and Storage, Southern California Gas Company

A panel of male and female executives will join us for a discussion on navigating the traditionally male-dominated utility industry. Hear about their journey, lessons learned, and how they leveraged mentors, coaches, and sponsors along the way. There will be an opportunity for the panel members to respond to questions from the audience at the end of the facilitated portion.

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

WEI Hosted Networking Dinner

Cafe Pinot
700 West 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Thursday, May 25, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

Catered at Southern California Gas Company

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Strategies for Successful Mentoring
Speaker(s): Denita Willoughby, Vice President, Supply Management and Logistics, Southern California Gas Company

Learn best practices for working with your mentor or mentee from an energy executive.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Mentorship Expectations Breakouts
Facilitator(s): Jill Tracy, Director of Emergency Services, Southern California Gas Company, Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute

During this session mentors and mentees will participate in breakout groups and engage in roundtable conversation. Mentors will discuss best practices around providing feedback, expectations of mentees, program specific goals, and leveraging the mentoring relationship for future growth. Mentees will discuss expectations for mentors, receiving feedback, and how to leverage the mentoring relationship for development.

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Mentorship Expectations Debrief

Mentors and mentees will come back to the table and each group will share what they discussed and learned in the breakout session. We will conclude the session with a group dialogue around best practices and expectations of the mentoring relationship.

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Working Lunch: Action Plan Development + Meeting Wrap Up

Mentors and mentees will have a mentoring session around developing a mentoring agreement and plan for next steps over lunch. Program goals, follow up sessions, and topics for future meetings will be discussed.

Hotel + Travel

  • This 1923 beaux arts-inspired grande dame is a 10-minute walk from both the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and 2 blocks from the Pershing Square rail station. Refined rooms with plantation shutters offer WiFi (fee), satellite TV and marble baths.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (213) 612-1575 to reserve your room, or complete your reservation online. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute and use the discount code ‘1705WEI017’ to receive a special rate of $199/night. This rate is guaranteed until May 2, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Jill Tracy

Southern California Gas Company

Director of Emergency Services

Anna Sanger Reed

Western Energy Institute

Director of Customer + Corporate Programs

DaVonna Johnson

Seattle City Light

Chief Administrative Services Officer
Learn More

DaVonna Johnson is the Chief Administrative Services Officer at Seattle City Light and has been there since 2004. She is responsible for the development of Utility-wide Workforce strategy, policy and programs designed to attract, develop, train and support a highly skilled diverse workforce to meet the Utility’s needs now and in the future. She provides leadership transforming the Utility into a safe, high performance organization through excellence in talent management, organizational development, apprenticeship, technical training, employee services, employee relations, labor relations, safety and health and wellness, security, facilities and emergency management. DaVonna is a native of Seattle, has three teenagers with her husband Del, and true to her Seattle roots she enjoys reading, coffee and a good weekend rain storm.

Annette Gardiner

Itron, Inc.

Vice President of Gas Strategic Development
Learn More

Annette Gardiner joined Itron in September 2016 as its Vice President, Gas Strategic Development. Prior to joining Itron, Annette held leadership roles in the gas utility industry including Vice President at Consumers Energy and President of New Mexico Gas Company.

Gardiner has held leadership positions in engineering, operations, rates and regulatory affairs, and president of a natural gas utility in a career spanning over 25 years.

Gardiner has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University. She is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and New Mexico.

In 2014, Gardiner was awarded the Maverick Award from Midwest Energy Association’s Energetic Women group for advancing opportunities for women in engineering and operating roles in the utility industry. In 2013, Gardiner was inducted into the Academy of Engineers at Michigan Technological University for career achievement.

Rodger Schwecke

Southern California Gas Company

Senior Vice President, Gas Transmission and Storage

Denita Willoughby

Southern California Gas Company

Vice President, Supply Management and Logistics