(CHICAGO) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP today co-sponsored the second annual Women's Energy Summit, a conference of about 200 top women business leaders in the energy and environment industries seeking to grow the number of women entering these sectors. The day-long meeting, led by the Illinois Commerce Commission, allows regulators, government officials and other industry leaders to discuss key issues affecting their work and challenges ahead.

"Statistics show that men are still making up more than 75 percent of the workforce in the energy industry," said Katten Environmental and Workplace Safety partner Nadira Clarke, who delivered the morning keynote address at the meeting. "This summit is an important opportunity for the female industry leaders to come together to find ways to encourage and advance more women in the field as well as brainstorm solutions to key energy concerns."

Featured speakers at the meeting, held at the Mid-America Club, included top women leaders in the energy industry: Brenda Mallory, general counsel, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, Commonwealth Edison Company; Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti; and Susan Story, president and CEO, American Water, among other key executives, commissioners and consumer advocates.

"The goal for the Summit was to continue the conversation and solidify the role of women in shaping the future for this industry. Women provide a unique perspective and brain power in the industry, and this Summit allows us to learn from one another, formulate ideas and execute plans to fruition," said Sherina E. Maye, commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission.

This year, for the first time, more than 25 women were recognized as noteworthy, up-and-coming professionals in the energy industry. Called the Rising Star Forum, the new component was designed to complement the Summit by highlighting the energy industry's best and brightest women during a half-day session held September 1.

"As a lawyer and former engineer, I understand firsthand the importance of encouraging more women to pursue careers in male-dominated industries," said Leslie Minier, Katten partner and chief diversity officer. "When women recognize other women who are on the path to leadership in these fields, you can improve diversity and foster a more inclusive working environment."

This was the second year Katten served as lead sponsor of the Summit.