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The Oil and Gas Industry? It's #NotJustForBoys

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As mentioned in my last blog, the oil and gas industry has traditionally always been a very male dominated arena, with females working in the US oil and gas sector amounting to just 0.2% of employees in 2013. However, things are looking up for women in the technical sectors in the UK, with the number of women working in engineering up 10% since 2011.

The Government recently launched their “Not Just for Boys” campaign, aiming to support and encourage women to develop their careers in sectors which are stereotypically male-oriented. The campaign itself is targeted towards numerous industries, one of which is engineering, leading the oil and gas skills and standards body OPITO to back the campaign. They are looking to spread the word in the UK, particularly due to the lack of women in the oil and gas industry. By using the hashtag #NotJustForBoys on Twitter, OPITO has been promoting the campaign and using examples of women in the industry who have progressed to senior management. Many other well-known names in the UK have been supporting the #NotJustForBoys campaign on Twitter, including Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The current Government campaign isn’t the only encouragement women are receiving in recent years. The Oil and Gas Diversity Council launched their list of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas” last year, and have now opened nominations for 2015. Women in the 2014 list include Beth Bowman, Senior Vice President of West Region at Shell Energy; Ursula Burns, Board of Directors at Exxon Mobil; Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice President of Policy and Planning at Chevron Corporation; and Crystal Ashby, Senior Vice President of Strategic University Relationships at BP Americas.

When nominating a woman for the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas” list, the criteria includes, “An effective role model who inspires other women and is active in mentoring the next generation of women in the industry.” Not only do the Oil and Gas Diversity Council promote diversity, but they acknowledge women in the sector who are doing the same; leading by example, proving women can work at all levels in the oil and gas industry, alongside men with similar qualifications and experience.

Some of the biggest businesses in the industry have also been promoting their efforts to actively employ women within their companies. For example, Exxonn Mobil’s worldwide percentage of female management and professional new hires in 2013 was 39%. With the numbers continuing to grow, it won’t be long until the percentages between men and women in the oil and gas industry will balance out. At the end of 2014, BP also promoted their support of the Institute of Public Policy Research report stating that Britain needs to more than double its engineering graduates, as well as to attract many more women into the profession.

Fircroft continues to recruit for some of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry, and we are actively encouraging more women to apply for roles that they are qualified for. The myth that oil and gas is a male dominated profession is slowly but surely being cast aside by the numerous female professionals in the sector, and hopefully with our help these numbers will continue to grow.

To take a look at our current oil and gas opportunities, click here.

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