The gender imbalance within the oil and gas industry is a topic of much debate and there has been a push on initiatives from individual companies and policy makers to encourage more women to enter the oil and gas sector. As employers face skills shortages globally, tapping into the female candidate pool could provide the talent needed to help grow the industry.
Tapping into the female candidate market to tackle the skills shortage.
Aside from the obvious rebalancing of the workforce there are key commercial reasons for employers to engage more women into their businesses. The Women Matter series of reports produced by McKinsey & Company, global management consultants, indicate that businesses with a higher number of women in executive positions tend to be more successful financially than those with no women at senior levels. Getting the right balance of skills, experience and leadership at the top really impacts the whole business, something employers must factor in when looking to hire into executive positions.
A significant portion of the global oil and gas employment market is within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, such as geoscientists and petrophysicists and changes within the STEM candidate markets will impact the oil and gas industry. From our Women in Life Sciences series, we know that there has been an increase in the number of women taking science programmes at undergraduate level. According to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), in 2013 women made up over half of all science subject undergraduates in the UK. Though this trend will vary in different oil and gas regions, hiring managers should take advantage of this skilled, readily available candidate pool wherever possible.
How to tackle the skills shortage has been a topic for much debate and targeting the female market to fill these positions is on the agenda for savvy employers. The Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide, launched February 2015, shows that 40 per cent of all female respondents are in their first four years of working in the oil and gas industry. Employers can access this new workforce to alleviate the skills shortage for senior positions, through effective succession planning and career mapping.
Why should women consider the oil and gas industry?
Again the Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide, gives us some interesting insights. There were a higher proportion of female respondents who are in graduate roles compared to male respondents, indicating there are good opportunities for women to get into the industry straight from education, a step which we often see being one of the most difficult to make in a candidate’s career.
Significantly, 46 per cent of the women who responded to the survey are in a senior/management to executive level role suggesting that once in the industry, women are successful in climbing the career ladder, at least up to the senior tier. There is a similar sentiment in the Women in Life Sciences study, where 53 per cent of women working in STEM fields felt being female helped their career, allowing them a higher visibility in the industry.