It’s no secret that women have faced an uphill climb in most professional sectors. Nowhere is this truer than in the oil and gas industry. Although women make up almost half of the energy sector workforce, they only account for about 22% of all oil and gas industry jobs

As we move further into the Digital Age, women will continue to play a more central role in the oil and gas industry, adding to the diverse, collaborative efforts that power innovation. The most competitive companies will be looking for more ways to recruit women into their organizations because it is through diversity that the most innovation takes place. 

At One Tech Engineering, our engineering recruiters work with energy sector employers in the Twin Cities area and beyond to match the best engineers with great teams. 

Let’s discuss how your organization could benefit from recruiting gender diversity.

Understanding the Gender Gap 

The gender gap within the oil and gas industry has been stagnating for decades. From antiquated beliefs to few women holding senior positions to lacking diversity and inclusion policies, these perpetuating influences prevent women from entering, rising, and improving gas and oil companies. 

In order to compete in a data-driven, low-carbon world, companies need to adjust their strategies for hiring, promoting, and maintaining a diverse talent pool that includes women. Doing so, they will find more innovative solutions to complex problems and relevance in a changing industry. 

Why are companies not achieving much progress in closing the gender gap? 

Here are some challenges that still need work: 

  • Representation in entry-level positions

  • Representation in technical and operations roles

  • Unconscious biases for gender-related challenges

  • Current D&I policies not working 

Low Representation in Entry-Level Positions

Despite the fact that 44% of women and men STEM graduates and young professionals are interested in working in the oil and gas industry, only one-quarter of the entry-level positions are occupied by women. 

This limits the pipeline for women to be promoted from within. 

Underrepresentation of Women in Technical & Operations Roles

Women have always been and continue to be underrepresented in these areas. Even with a willingness to travel and relocate for positions, including internationally, women are still not being selected for these roles.

What makes this even more harmful is how women are then overlooked for senior positions because they appear not to have the credentials expected to improve their career paths. 

Unconscious Biases for Gender-Related Challenges

Women and men differ in their views about the career challenges that women have, and that perception gap negatively impacts women pursuing promotions. 

With 80% of executive-level decision-making positions being held by men throughout the oil and gas industry, there is persistent neglect toward understanding the actual barriers women face in career advancement. 

Current D&I Policies Aren’t Working

Most men and women in the industry have reported not using their company’s Diversity and Inclusion programs. In some instances, it was because it took too much effort or time away from their work. 

In other cases, they still felt unsupported unless their supervisors were also from diverse backgrounds. 

Very Low Representation in Senior Roles

Because of all the above factors, the higher the position within the company, including business and administrative roles, the less likely women will be represented. 

The proportion of women in decision-making leadership roles is half that of those in mid-level positions.

Ways to Close the Industry’s Gender Gap

The case to close the gender gap is clear. Businesses, including gas and oil companies, perform better with inclusive and more diverse cultures. 

Study after study has shown that with more women and people of diverse backgrounds at all company levels, the company benefits from a greater breadth of perspectives and achieves more financially. 

So how do senior leaders establish an environment that bolsters diversity and attracts, retains, and promotes those individuals whose profiles are unlike the dominant figures in the room? 

Implement Quality D&I Programs and Policies

The first step is to create foundational programs that can track progress and maximize your performance. You don’t know what you do or how well you do it until you track it. 

Set D&I goals, monitor how well your company achieves them, hold managers accountable for meeting them, and embed those goals in your decision-making. 

These policies and programs could take the form of guaranteed equal pay, updated regulations on maternity/paternity leave, improved anti-discrimination policies, and more direct communication between levels of management. 

Create Strategic Operating Models

Companies need to establish plans of operation that target a more diverse talent pool. This operating model should attract and retain the right people, and it should also ensure that diverse individuals can advance into senior-level positions. 

To start, ensure the company’s processes and policies are gender-neutral, transparent, and impartial, like taking a merit-based approach to promotions and raises. 

Steadfast Commitment From Senior Leadership

In order to see change, company leaders need to be on the frontlines when it comes to demonstrating D&I measures and ensuring accountability. It sets an example for all employees to see that D&I is valuable and engrains the mission as part of the company culture. 

The more the leadership supports diversity and inclusion and strives to attain its goals, the sooner they will be achieved, and the sooner everyone will benefit from the profits. 

Connect With Our Minnesota Engineering Recruiting Services

To stay competitive in the Digital Age, engineering firms should attract the best engineers in their fields, regardless of gender. If you’re not working to bridge the gender divide, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on top-tier engineering professionals. 

At One Tech Staffing in Minnesota, we can help your oil and gas industry firm reach out to the best men and women in the field so you’ll have the advantage. We work with a wide range of engineering and technical industry professionals, from project managers to land surveyors to hardware engineers. 

Connect with one of our engineering recruiters by calling us at 952.884.9199, or contact us to learn how we can help your organization meet D&I goals and prosper in the coming years.