Written by Lauren Johnson
Right now the boom in the oil and gas industry is opening doors for innovation. And in a predominantly male industry, to be innovative means to add more women to this industry in any way shape or form. The advances in the industry have allowed for more women to join both the oil and gas and energy sectors.
The energy sector is definitely a male dominated arena, for now. According to a recent study, 46% of the new jobs of the first quarter in 2013 were filled by women. In the previous quarter the figure was 30%, which is compelling evidence that the number of women in the industry is growing quickly. The face of the blue collared worker may soon include the face of a single or married mother wearing a safety vest and a hard hat out in the field. More and more women are taking on the roles of truck drivers, mud loggers, equipment operators, and dispatchers.
“Innovation is the key to success in any business,” Cindy Bigner, Senior Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Halliburton, said in an e-mailed statement. “Having women and diversity in the workplace adds a component of diverse thought and innovation that drives that competitive advantage.” – Energy Voices.
One oil and gas professional, Autumn, was inspired by her mother’s journey. She shares her take on the subject, saying, “My mother has worked in the industry for over twenty years, and I remember her being the only female in her office who wasn’t an assistant or receptionist. She is one of the best in her field, better than any male I remember her working with hired to do the same job”. Autumn is an Administrative Assistant to the Corporate Director at her company, and her mom is an Auto CAD Technician.
The oil and gas industry is a field that can bring a small town back to life and create a ripple effect among other areas of employment. Revitalization of the economies in Ohio, North Dakota, and West Virginia are seeing increases in employment. The job market of Texas is expanding as well as creating more opportunities. Some companies are following Bigner’s idea of innovation by seeking out women employees to diversify the industry.
The list of businesses and industries the energy sector reaches is greater than the average person realizes. Logistics, law, accounting, human resources, customer service, and especially sales are all jobs that help make an oil and gas company what it is.
Judging from these latest numbers, more and more women are taking advantage of the opportunities in front of them. Because of the huge growth in the oil and gas industry, Canada is experiencing a labor shortage in their supply chain positions. The Women in Supply Chain organization is an initiative to fill that void by reaching out to more women. A stigma exists there that only men can work in this industry, when training exists that anyone can undergo. Jobs such as Inventory Control Clerk, Logistics Coordinator, Freight Auditor, Warehouse Manager, Purchasing Agent, and Customer Service Representative are all great places to start in the industry.
As someone with experience in the oil and gas industry my advice is to find a mentor, someone who has been in the business for a very long time and doesn’t mind to impart their knowledge to someone new. My second piece of advice is to learn as much as you can about your position and everyone else’s, because in this field every job is connected to all the others. Learning about all aspects of any industry will help achieve higher goals.