It’s no secret that the Oil & Gas industry has been primarily dominated by men ever since its humble beginnings. However, things have been changing. Women’s roles in the oil and natural gas industry have become more important than ever before. With a rapidly growing workforce and the need for new recruits, companies are looking towards women to fill crucial positions. With infrastructure being built in schools to allow for easier transitions into the oil and natural gas industry, the rate of women working in the industry is rapidly increasing. For more information on women in the industry continue reading our article below.
The first women in the US oil and gas industry started appearing after WWII. During the war, many women became skilled factory workers and enjoyed collecting a paycheck. When the men returned from war, they replaced women in the workforce. Across the oil and gas industry, even office jobs were filled by men. However, in the 1970s when oil and gas companies were forced by federal civil rights laws (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to hire more women to work offshore, those women who ventured offshore likely did it for the great pay.
The first offshore jobs for women were in the galley under male supervisors. Women typically prepared food, washed dishes and changed beds. When they wanted to advance their offshore careers, a few went into drilling, but a majority of those who wanted to advance went into production positions.
Big Oil’s macho image has begun to fade as male domination of the energy industry has yielded to the realities of the workplace. Increasingly, women can be found on the rigs, at the refineries and, more significantly, in positions where their authority and influence can have a substantial impact on the industry’s future.
Unquestionably though, a gender gap still exists and the hiring initiative is lacking. Women currently represent a fraction of the oil industry’s workforce and are even scarcer in engineering and other technical fields. More importantly, progress varies significantly from country to country and tends to reflect how women are viewed in a region’s society.
It’s also no secret that the oil and gas industry is facing a labor shortage. In fact, it’s a major motivator for recruiting, retaining and developing women in the industry. This labor shortage is resulting, in part, from layoffs that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s when crude oil prices plummeted. More importantly, however, the industry’s workforce is ageing. The average worker in the oil field is over 50, and a significant percentage of older employees are expected to retire within the next decade. With this exodus looming, energy companies are looking for bright, talented people to fill the void. That means casting a broader net and recruiting more women.
Recruiting and retaining women in for this industry is critical. A number of energy companies have taken steps to recruit women, to make the workplace more hospitable for female employees and to foster their professional development. There are two keys to a successful effort to hire women. First, it’s just convincing women to apply at all. Next, is to increase their visibility and access to advancement opportunities. Women who have climbed the corporate ladder in the oil business admit it wasn’t – and still isn’t – easy. Although, many of the challenges they struggle with are no different than those their male counterparts face.
Wrapping it Up
Women are not subject to the discrimination they once used to be. Oil and Gas companies understand that women provide a fresh perspective that has been missing for years. We at Tiger General salute and support all the women who provide quality work in the Oil and gas Fields each and every day.