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[Editor's note: Influential Women In Energy 2023 is a supplement to the February 2023 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Subscribe here.]

Carmen Millet entered the energy industry when the Texas electricity market was being deregulated, joining Reliant Energy in 2001. “I was interested in understanding how deregulation of the electricity supply could benefit the citizens of Texas,” she said. “Learning the nuances of how the grid and newly found retailers operated in tandem was highly exciting and something I’m still proud of having worked on even today.”

Millet remains excited about the future of the energy industry. She encourages young energy professionals to step out of their comfort zone, find their own mentors and dive into the industry’s history for themselves, noting how the industry has innovated over time.

As the head of the U.S. energy marketing team at KPMG LLP, she is responsible for the marketing strategy and execution across the firm’s audit, tax and advisory services, focused on growing the KPMG brand within the U.S. energy sector.

"Technology and innovation will play a vital role, but at the heart of it, the energy transformation is about people." —Carmen Millet

Transforming the story

“The story of the energy transformation is about collaboration and impacts every corner of the globe. I planned and executed the 2022 KPMG Global Energy Transformation Conference in November. More than 500 attendees from eight different sectors came together to collaborate and discuss ESG, decarbonization and the future of the energy industry. Why use the word ‘transformation’ in the event name instead of ‘transition?’ Because ‘transition’ doesn’t capture the breadth of the effort underway. This is a transformation that requires everyone to come to the table and focus on the sustainability, availability, reliability and affordability of our energy system.”

New horizons

“People outside of our industry looking in often have preconceived notions of what we do and what we’re about. ‘Not forward thinking, not innovative,’ are among the phrases I’ve heard. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The energy industry is one of the most innovative and fascinating industries out there."

“For example, look at electric vehicles (EVs) and the infrastructure being designed to support the massive growth of EVs. The people working on this are designing new ‘highways’ for how people will move around using electricity. The partnerships among oil and gas supermajors, power and utility companies and automakers to achieve this new infrastructure is really exciting, and just one component of the energy industry. It’s just one piece of collaboration to get us to the next phase of the energy evolution together.” 

The ‘possibility of you’

“I’m grateful to the incredible mentors I’ve had throughout my career. I have been blessed to learn from incredibly talented individuals who took an interest in me both professionally and personally, and who were focused on raising up the next generation of energy industry leaders. They never hesitated to listen and provide input. These mentors invested in me—and continue to do so—and have made a lasting impact on both me and my organization by giving me the confidence and guidance to succeed. I encourage everyone to find a mentor and engage with them because mine have been invaluable to my career.”

The heart of transformation

“At a very basic level, it’s going to take a lot of people in a lot of industries collaborating and driving forward in the same direction to truly transform the energy industry. Technology and innovation will play a vital role, but at the heart of it, the energy transformation is about people."

“Upskilling people, keeping people in the energy workforce and, more importantly, attracting new professionals to the industry will be key to the transition. The ‘S’ in ESG—the social component—and how companies will manage their own workforces, including issues such as gender diversification, health equity and pay equity; their financial stakeholders and stockholders; and the communities in which they operate will all play critical roles in the overall transformation. The story of the energy industry continues to be written, and it’s exhilarating to watch the future unfold right before our eyes.”

Three more things

1. I take dance classes five days a week.
2. I serve as a captain in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade Committee (Howdy sub-committee).
3. I am a board member of the Nature Discovery Center.

25 Influential Women in Energy

View the full list of this year’s honorees at Hart Energy LIVE.