Women Mean Business featuring Michele McNichol and Ingrid Robinson

Media Files

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Photography by Bijay Dixit


Article by: Manu shah

Wood Group CEO Michele McNichol was once told she could never lead a project because she was a woman. Ingrid Robinson was singled out of 200 applicants for the position long held by Houston’s Father of Diversity – former HMSDC President Richard Huebner.

These remarkable women not only beat the odds to succeed but proved that they could do so without compromising on their personal values and putting family first. At the Women Mean Business event held at the Junior League of Houston, the two Keynote speakers shared their remarkable journey with the gathering of over 60 IACCGH members and guests.

The economic impact of diversity in Houston is a staggering $22.8 billion. Ingrid Robinson, President of HMSDC, an organization that provides certification for women owned enterprises, shared several statistics that highlighted the phenomenal growth and leadership of firms owned by women of color over the last decade. Women, she noted, are not only leaders in Corporations but are increasingly embarking on an entrepreneurial path. Houston, she continued, is far ahead of its times and is showing “other cities the impact of encouraging diversity.” She wrapped up her talk by emphasizing that every woman who aims to be a successful entrepreneur must “set their own value, communicate that value to the world and not settle for less.”

In an equally thought provoking address, Keynote Speaker and CEO of Wood Group Mustang Michele McNichol underscored the importance of “Finding Your Purpose” – a practice which involves defining your life and vision. Her advice: Look deeply into what inspires you, define your best qualities and never lose sight of personal values which can be found by “digging into your soul.” As women and “nurturers,” she continued, we tend to neglect ourselves but it is important to invest time in any activity that is energizing, which for her, was as simple “as watching the waves on the beach.” These are questions that may take a bit of “soul searching” but when applied to life’s challenging moments can help you make conscious decisions that lead to success.

The program was chaired by Joya Shukla who was instrumental in launching the Women Mean Business Series. Shell representative and CIO Amy Suhl proposed the vote of thanks and presented plaques of appreciation to the Speakers.