Amelia Roncone: Working in energy — Empowering the women in Pittsburgh’s oil and gas industry

My entry into the oil and gas industry was not a traditional one — I started in the energy industry with food. My company, Amelia’s Elegant Catering, serves meals on-site to crews working on oil rigs and frac sites.

Growing in this business, I realized that the male-dominated energy industry was starting to include more and more women who needed a way to connect and promote each other in the industry.

Mentoring women

I founded Young Professional Women in Energy and began working to create an organization that would empower, promote and encourage women at all levels and positions in the industry.

I am very passionate about mentorship and strive to help those around me, while continuing my own journey in energy — first with my catering company and later with the addition of my women’s protective clothing business.
Currently, the Young Professional Women in Energy’s network includes many wonderful women who are working to leave the industry better than they found it for future generations and to see an energy industry equally led by women and men.

When I made my entry into the industry, I wanted a mentor. Today, I have become a mentor myself, and truly love helping other women and promoting an atmosphere where women can share ideas and build each other up.
Entering the energy industry

Based on my own experience, my advice to women in, or looking to enter into, the energy industry is that there are no shortcuts. Things will be hard, but if you believe in yourself and are passionate about what you are doing, then it will happen.

Persistence plays a key role in our personal and professional success — start it, follow through with it and above all, own it. Nothing happens after one attempt.

I encourage all women to be themselves. While the energy industry is very much still a “good ol’ boy’s club,” it is not about changing yourself to fit in. It is about being yourself and proving your worth as a unique individual bringing something new to the table.

Collaborate for success

Aside from passion and persistence, I always encourage men and women to expand their network. Entrepreneurship is a lonely and short path if you choose to take it alone.

There are many groups and driven professionals willing and wanting to collaborate with other motivated individuals.

You should take advantage for two reasons: It immediately displays your value as a mentor and it helps expand your network. The old saying, “what goes around, comes around” truly does apply.

So, get out there, find like-minded individuals, put your ideas on paper and go for it. But always remember: You’re never too far along to ask for help.

Amelia Roncone is the founder of Young Professional Women in Energy. Amelia is also the owner of Amelia’s Elegant Catering and Fire within Apparel, a clothing company specializing in fire resistant women’s clothing. She is the author of “Empower!: Women’s Stories of Breakthrough, Discovery and Triumph,” available on

Learn more about Young Professional Women in Energy:
Twitter: @YPWE

How to reach: [email protected],,,