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Oil and gas industry struggles to attract women - survey

Source: Reuters - Tue, 10 Dec 2013 08:41 AM
Author: Reuters
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LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Oil and gas remains male dominated even though gender diversity and womens' career prospects have improved, according to a survey in which almost a quarter of respondents said the industry was doing a poor job achieving a diverse workforce.

Oil and gas executives have long said that attracting skills and talent to a sector that has boomed over the past decade has become a major headache for companies.

"We'll never have the best industry if we can't attract the best talent regardless of gender," said Paul Caplan, President of Rigzone.

"While barriers still exist and companies can do more to ensure fairness, an oil and gas career offers tremendous global career opportunities, complex problems to solve and above average pay - all reasons talented professionals should consider energy first."

In the survey, based on 3,062 industry professionals, 11 percent were women. Some 62 percent of respondents said they believed the number of women working in the industry had increased in recent years, but 72 percent said it was still male dominated.

Twenty-three percent said it was doing a very poor or quite poor job increasing diversity, while 39 percent said it was doing a quite good or very good job.

Fifty-four percent believed women had equal opportunities for advancement to management positions, but discrimination and societal conditioning were seen as being among the main reasons for under-representation of women in the industry.

The survey was conducted by BP, the world's fourth largest investor-owned international oil and gas company by market value, and Rigzone, the online oil and gas data resource.

BP said women represented 32 percent of its hires last year.

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