Is Gender Diversity an Issue in Oil Industry…???


Few months back, a discussion about “Gender Diversity” on one of the social networks caught my attention. So after little research I considered to write on this topic because being female and part of this system, I can better understand that surviving in a male- dominating Industry is really challenging and demanding.

A non-traditional or male-dominated industry like Oil Industry contains 25% or fewer women in total employment. While women have made headway into certain industries and occupations, there is still a great gap between women and men in many industries and occupations. One school of thought is that there seems generally to be a shortage of women taking math and engineering courses.

Survey Report

The study conducted by BP and Rigzone, examined female representation in the energy workplace from the perspective of 3,000 oil and gas professionals. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) believed oil and gas remains a male-dominated industry, and there is still a lot of progress to be made. One in five (20%) strongly agreed gender based discrimination occurs within the industry.

More than 60% said they expect the greatest increases in female representation to be among professionals just entering the industry and those early in their career.

“You represent an important pillar to development and function as a nation. I hope your work encourages young girls to take interest in Science so they can take their rightful place in industries that have been known to be male dominated,” said Science and Technology Deputy Minister, Advocate Tshililo Masutha.

Adapting a particular strategy you may diagnose the problem in the system, and with a positive mind set you will be successful in resolving the dilemma. For example:

What are the barriers to increase the proportion of women in the industry…???

1. Respondents cited societal conditioning
2. A lack of qualified candidates
3. Family care responsibilities

What strategies do we follow for improved situation of women participation…???

  1. Implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs to improve gender balance
  2. Strengthening Communication
  3. Enhancing trained capabilities
  4. Women startup capital-credit facilities
  5. Enhance market access
  6. Accountability and transparency

Why do Leadership Positions tend to go to men…???

Despite the field is becoming predominantly female, the leadership positions still tend to go to men, and main reason for these facts is:

1. Family planning
2. The gender pay gap
3. The strong networks among men

Women do apply for leadership positions. This shows that planning a family is not as significant a factor as it is, however, women have always had a role at the workplace, and the housewife culture has never gained ground. Women are used to coping with both family and work as demonstrated by many female ministers.

How women can beat the system which is against them…???

  1. Women need a game plan and a clear indication of what they want to achieve
  2. Equip them with knowledge of how the systems work
  3. Make yourself relevant and always engage with the system
  4. Develop confidence-work
  5. Work together with men in opening doors and reaching equal opportunities


It is the common stereotype that women have to get married and be housewives, but one should strongly believe that women also have a role to play in the selling of oil and gas. If they would have succumbed to social pressures, they would also be lost to the industry mainly because of guilt.

How to choose a better carrier for yourself…???

When it comes to select a better opportunity, male and female oil and gas professionals were united on the top three decision points:

  1. Intelligibility in pay structure
  2. Ease of accessing mentoring and funding programs
  3. Flexible working arrangements

However, female respondents placed more importance than male respondents on mentoring and sponsorship programs and pay transparency, while female respondents placed more importance on childcare specific benefits. At the same time, both men and women placed nearly equal importance on flexible work arrangements when selecting an employer.

To read the concluding remarks on this topic, must read the next portion of this article, which will be published soon!!!

About author

Mehwish Khanam

I am Final Year Student of Petroleum & Gas Engineering at University of Engineering & Technology Lahore and Ambassador of YoungPetro in Pakistan.

View all posts by Mehwish Khanam