The oil and gas industry has traditionally always been a very male dominated arena but a recent statistic makes for interesting reading. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the first quarter of 2013 women filled nearly half of all roles. It is true that as a stat this does need to be taken with a pinch of salt – women do still make up 18% of all roles in the oil and gas industry as a whole. However, it’s most certainly a step in the right direction.
A recent survey by the Royal Academy of Engineering asked 300 female engineers about their opinions on the industry. One of the most revealing figures to come from this was that 98% found their job rewarding.
Here at Fircroft we’ve followed this trend closely as it’s a cause close to our hearts; we want to help encourage more women into the oil and gas industry. Indeed, speakers at the 2013 Offshore Europe Conference in Aberdeen last week, highlighted that the British oil and gas industry must play its role in encouraging more females into oil and gas. The Princess Royal, Royal Patron of Women Into Science and Engineering (WISE), said: “Our mission is to increase the number of women in the UK in the science, mathematics, and technology workforces … there is a need to raise the profile of these areas in general, and if you’re doing it for women you’re doing it for everybody.”
Monica Costa, one of our Account Managers, spoke about how women have in the past been put off by the un-known quality of these roles. They were unsure about how they’d fit in with the culture and how the roles would work with their family, so we wanted to put together our own set of answers to frequently asked questions in this area.
Q – As a woman what can I bring to the oil and gas industry?
A- You are of value because you have different perspective and it’s very important to be able to think through several solutions to problems before putting forward an answer.
Q – I’d like to travel, are there opportunities to do so?
A- Yes! One of the best things about working in the oil and gas industry is the opportunity to travel – both in terms of where you’ll be placed (which could be anywhere in the world!) to the amount of time off you get. You also get to experience working amongst many different cultures.
Q – How will I fit in my work around my family?
A – It’s undeniable that you may have to go where the work is. The oil and gas industry can be brilliant for those who are looking to travel and experience different cultures. You could be on location but be on rotation (e.g. four weeks at work and four weeks off) meaning you’ll be able to spend real quality time with your family when you’re home – which isn’t often in offer on other jobs.
Q- I don’t want to work on an oil rig, is there anything else can I do?
A – The areas that women are currently most found to work in in the oil and gas industry are often on shore, in office based roles and these have great areas for progress. These include buying, logistics and environmental affairs.
Companies are also making a real effort to be part of this change. For example Exxon Mobil now has an active policy on hiring women in their company.
The bottom line is that although, yes at the moment it can be quite male centric, the industry is changing and there’s never been a better time to start looking into a role with oil and gas industry. Why not check out our currently available roles below.
What have your experiences been as a woman in the oil and gas industry? What would you add to our frequently asked questions?