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Mom creates social network for women in oil industry

"Three years ago I launched Pink Petro on International Women's Day," said Katie Mehnert. "So that we could get a voice. We could be seen. We could be heard and we could be valued."

HOUSTON - A woman is using the empowerment behind International Women's Day to fuel a new idea: a social network for women in the oil industry.

Three years after the creation of Pink Petro, Katie Mehnert is now hosting the HERWorld Global Energy Forum.

"We are talking, a lot today, about the culture change that we’re seeing happening in our industry," said Mehnert, who was introduced by Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg.

Sandberg, who created the Lean In movement, welcomed forum attendees in a video.

The purpose of Pink Petro is, "so that we could get a voice," said Mehnert. "We could be seen. We could be heard and we could be valued."

The social network also helped during Hurricane Harvey. Mehnert used the Facebook group to organize rescue and relief efforts, "distributing supplies. Making sure that we can get people moving and getting people back on their feet again." she said.

Mehnert and Sandberg say women make up about 22 percent of the energy workforce. They're both hoping forums like HERWorld and groups like Pink Petro help women excel in the industry.

"And hopefully, that will help attract younger people. My daughter’s seven. And if she can’t see, she can’t believe and she can’t see." Mehnert said.