In a crowded room filled with female business leaders, Dawn Carlson, PMCI President and CEO, and Reo Menning, PMCI Executive Vice President, had an insightful conversation with Tara Anderson, Director of External Mobilization with the American Petroleum Industry (API).

“We were discussing the strong need to recruit and retain women within the petroleum industry,” said Carlson. “At PMCI, we’re fortunate 50% of our staff is female. But, that’s an anomaly when you take into consideration that 81% of the workforce in our industry was male in 2010.”

Carlson went on to say, “Our success at PMCI can be attributed to actively involving our female members. Specifically, our members have partnered with Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds on her ‘Stories of Women’s Lives Tour.’ In addition, PMCI has encouraged female college students to become part of our full-time internship program.”

(Left to Right: Reo Menning, Tara Anderson and Dawn Carlson.)

(Left to right: Reo Menning, Tara Anderson and Dawn Carlson.)

The exciting news is the attitudes and perceptions of women considering employment in the oil and natural gas industry is changing. According to a recent API study, even before hearing any specific information about the industry—positive or negative—a majority of women (53%) are willing to work in the industry.

Yet the overwhelming majority of respondents admit never applying for employment in the industry, with only 3% having applied for an industry-related job. The number one obstacle is lack of awareness and understanding about job opportunities and career development. In addition, 19% did not think they had the right background, and the same percentage believed the jobs in the industry were outside their field.

About the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores (PCMI) of Iowa

The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa was founded in 1937. PMCI represents nearly 2,000 petroleum marketing and convenience store businesses across Iowa and their vendors. Members of PMCI sell approximately 90% of Iowa’s diesel fuel, 75% of the state’s gasoline and over 90% of the heating oil consumed in Iowa. To learn more about PMCI, please visit