Opportunities for women in oil and gas
As we work towards a world that supports gender equality, diversity, inclusivity, and celebrates the value of being different, Energy Resourcing is also taking steps towards breaking any biases and discrimination in our hiring processes that have contributed to the gender gap we see in this industry today.
As a technical recruitment agency, we give all genders the ability to find meaningful, skilled work to support their livelihoods. And while global oil demand fell during the pandemic, it has steadily rebounded, providing innumerable offshore energy jobs to those seeking fruitful careers within this sector.
A report commissioned by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization (OPITO) says the UK oil and gas industry needs to recruit over 40,000 people by 2035 to meet demand.
With so many offshore oil and gas jobs to fill, companies must shift the way offshore recruitment has been done previously talent by going after a more diverse, inclusive workforce.
Now more than ever, managing talent shortages and changing industry stereotypes can be done by recruiting more women in oil and gas positions and showcasing that offshore jobs are for both men and women.
It’s about diversity of thought
Women bring different leadership skills and behaviours. But it’s not just about diversity of gender. It’s about diversity of thought because balanced teams make better decisions.
The companies that will succeed in upskilling will be those that fully understand the advantages of having a diverse workforce. And have taken steps to ensure they have more diversity across a vast spectrum of offshore roles with room for new talent to grow both vertically and horizontally within their organisation.
More skilled women in offshore oil and gas jobs
The increase in young women studying STEM subjects, like math, science, and engineering, has provided a natural pathway into the oil and gas industry.
At present the majority of women in oil and gas companies work on land and a notable lack of women in safety, tech, and management positions when it comes to offshore roles. This makes it harder to fill open offshore jobs with women due to their being less support, bed space, and a backup person to help cover shifts.
There’s still a lack of representation in offshore jobs due to sexism, stigmas, and a “this is how we’ve always done things” mentality.
But the growing demand for a skilled and diverse workforce means facing these challenges and building a pathway for women in oil and gas.
The research doesn’t lie
Research shows that companies with better gender diversity are more productive than their less diverse competitors.
Suppose you want to attract more women to fill your open offshore oil and gas jobs. In that case, it’s essential to provide a safe work environment, flexible schedule, benefits, the opportunity for advancement, and work-life balance.
As the offshore industry has traditionally been dominated by men, shifting that reality will require open communication, training, and a firm commitment to change.
Barriers keeping women out of offshore roles
While efforts to boost the number of young women in offshore jobs have seen more women in oil and gas enter training that could lead them offshore, there are persistent challenges.
These include issues of isolation and sexual harassment, with fewer mentorship opportunities. Now add in the reality that many women with young children can’t see themselves working a long-rotation schedule that takes them away from home for extended periods.
It’s time to make a change
These barriers can be broken if employers take an active role in making sure women in offshore jobs are being hired, promoted, and compensated fairly.
Companies need to address sexism and bias against female workers, provide thorough safety training, create mentors, offer flexible working hours, and articulate clear standards within their offshore roles.
In addition, promoting strong women role models in supervisory, management, and other leadership positions can be the turning point in cultivating a more gender-balanced offshore culture.
It’s time to change oil and gas industry misconceptions as we advocate for more women in oil and gas roles.
Katy Heidenreich, author of The Oil Industry’s Best Kept Secret: A Book Full of Inspiration and Advice, says that “women who enter the UK offshore oil and gas industry, in whatever capacity, can expect to be treated with much more respect than perhaps anticipated.”
How Covid helped change the offshore landscape
While the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on global oil demand, it actually had a positive effect on placing women in oil and gas roles. Health, safety, and social distancing regulations related to the pandemic helped fuel female participation in offshore activities and make it easier for us to place women in offshore positions.
One of the main problems before Covid was having limited bed space and shared room accommodations for offshore female shift workers. But with the pandemic, workers were not permitted to share rooms, so there was no excuse why women couldn’t be placed on the rigs.
We look forward to maintaining the traction gained during the pandemic to break hiring biases in offshore recruitment while providing diversity and equal opportunity to foster more female participation in offshore oil and gas jobs.
How are you working to break the bias in your company?
Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Through changes, big and small, together we can forge women’s equality in our companies and everyday life. Together, we can all break the bias – on International Women’s Day and beyond.
Energy Resourcing supports women in male-dominated roles
We are a technical recruitment agency that’s actively helping include women in the oil and gas industry through the placement process.
Our offshore recruiters ensure that a diverse range of skilled resumes is presented to clients looking to fill offshore energy jobs. If there aren’t enough female applicants for a role, we reach out to the talent pool of qualified women to present the opportunity available.
Energy Resourcing is helping shift misconceptions in offshore working environments and change unconscious hiring biases throughout the offshore recruitment process. We actively work with new and existing clients to open the lines of communication and challenge preconceived ideas of gender in the offshore energy sector.
We actively engage our clients to discover their diversity, equity, and inclusion needs. This gives us an excellent opportunity to support women in oil and gas, and other blue-collar, industrial and technical roles in the energy sector and other industries.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. To find out more about International Women’s Day, get resources, and learn how you can participate, check out the IWD website.