About WEN

The Women’s Energy Network (WEN) is an international organization of professionals who work across the energy value chain. Our mission is to provide networking opportunities and foster the career and leadership development of women who work in the energy industries.

WEN’s vision is to be the premier global organization that educates, attracts, retains, and develops professionals working across the energy value chain. WEN offers educational, networking and leadership opportunities to more than 6,000 professionals nationwide through networking events, conferences, community initiatives, social outings, and mentoring programs.
WEN was founded in 1994 by Karyl White with the purpose of fostering the development and advancement of women in energy by developing a strong network. After years of being the sole woman on energy transactions, Karyl believed that many women energy professionals were in the same position, but unable to connect with each other. More than 25 years later, WEN remains committed to providing high-caliber events and networking to its diverse membership from across the energy value chain.
Each month, WEN chapters hosts luncheon events for members and guests, with content featuring exceptional leaders in energy or other relevant businesses. Over the years WEN has added happy hours, leadership seminars, webinars and mentoring groups. WEN also offers growth opportunities to members through participation on chapter and national Boards of Directors. WEN is based on the model of the premier Texas women’s leadership development program, Leadership Texas, which focuses on networking, education, and community.
WEN chapter volunteers are very active in their communities. Chapters frequently provide members with opportunities to give back to others through volunteering and charity oriented events. We especially have focused on young women through programs such as Young Women Energized and events focused on promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

WEN is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit business organization. WEN does not engage in any political campaign activity, supporting or opposing any candidate for public office. WEN believes that we play an important role in helping to educate our members regarding the issues that affect the energy industry and WEN may from time to time invite elected officials to speak at WEN events for educational purposes only. Membership dues are used to support the activities of WEN. Dues or any of the association assets are not used as campaign contributions.

Karyl White, Founder

Karyl White is a retired energy attorney with over 30 years of legal, executive and governmental affairs experience in the energy industry.  Karyl retired from Phillips & Reiter, PLLC where she practiced mid and downstream energy and construction law.  Prior to private practice, Karyl was General Counsel of Freeport LNG and CMS Marketing, Services and Trading Company, as well as Assistant General Counsel for MidCon Corp.  While with MidCon, Karyl served as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Alan Dixon in Washington DC in the Congressional Assistant Program and was head of MidCon Corp’s D.C. office. Karyl graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and Bradley University, summa cum laude.

Karyl initiated and chaired the development of the first model natural gas sales/purchase agreement, which the Gas Industry Standards Board (now the North American Energy Standards Board) adopted as a standard in 1996, and which is still used, as amended, today for the majority of natural gas sales in the US.

In 1994, Karyl founded the Women’s Energy Network (WEN) to connect professional women across the entire energy industry and to address their need for leadership, development, education, mentoring and a network. In the male dominated energy industry, women lacked access to an educational and mentoring forum where they could be exposed to successful female leaders and colleagues who shared their career and life issues. In addition to empowering women energy professionals, Karyl also included a charitable mission of giving back to underserved women and children as a key part of WEN’s core values.

  • Inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame (2018).
  • Chosen as one of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women” by Houston Woman Magazine (June/July 2008)
  • Honored as one of the “Top 50 Women in Energy in the World” in 2002; only General Counsel so honored that year, by Commodities Now and Accenture.
  • Honored in 1995 by the Houston Chronicle as “Woman on the Move,” one of the top 10 business/community leaders in Houston.