PITTSBURGH, Oct. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy and Young Professional Women in Energy hosted a panel Thursday night to discuss women's role in the oil and gas industry. The panel of energy executives offered a unique perspective about the challenges they believe women face in the industry and the ways in which women can "break the glass ceiling." The panelists included LuAnn Datesh, CONSOL Energy's vice president of land resources; Steve MacDonald, CEO of Noise Solutions; Michael Segura, strategic business manager for Halliburton and Gary Hlavinka, regional operations manager for Cabot Oil & Gas. Stephanie Gill, vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary for CONSOL Energy moderated, presenting the panel with questions submitted by YPWE members. "Positions in the energy industry are challenging, dynamic and provide a path of real and meaningful advancement," commented Gill. "Being a part of the process that provides reliable and affordable energy is a noble and rewarding endeavor. Events that encourage individuals, men or women, to pursue opportunities in the energy industry and/or further their existing positions in the energy industry are invaluable." Nearly 100 women attended the networking event, which was held at CONSOL Energy's CNX Center. The discussion focused on barriers, best practices and strategies to overcome challenges in order to succeed in the energy industry. Women make up 13.2 percent of the workforce in the mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction industries. The YPWE hopes that by encouraging gender gap discussions among industry leaders, these numbers will increase. "It is very important to YPWE that we leverage individuals from all stages in their careers because the energy industry is always evolving," commented Amelia Roncone, YPWE founder. "What the industry was yesterday is not what it is today, and what it is today is not what it will be tomorrow." Last week, CONSOL Energy's West Virginia Gas Operations hosted a rig tour for the West Virginia chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The panel discussion and tour illustrate the ongoing relationship between CONSOL Energy and YPWE. "YPWE is happy to partner with industry-leader CONSOL Energy to provide an evening of education, networking, and leadership," commented Roncone. "By partnering with companies such as CONSOL, we can better prepare and empower women and organizations to compete in the growing energy industry and dynamic marketplace."