Making Gender Diversity a Reality in the Oil and Gas Industry

Big! That’s how I describe the movement SPE has initiated to support women.

Despite the great strides made toward gender equality over the last century, there are still many areas where women are under-represented in the workforce of the oil and gas industry. Therefore, the SPE Board of Directors granted approval for a standing committee to address this crucial issue. The SPE Women in Energy (WIN) committee was formed in 2016 and serves to promote gender diversity in the exploration and production (E&P) industry.

WIN is part of a societal shift, and with the huge transformation that’s happening globally toward gender equality, we need to ensure SPE women members understand some of the myths behind becoming a leader. WIN works to create opportunities for women to enable them to step into leadership roles and pursue their career goals.

Professionals in the E&P industry supporting diversity—that is what WIN is all about. We have created a strong program to promote and empower diversity within SPE, from entry into the field through retirement.

WIN’s charter focuses on improving diversity starting from primary school through executive management:

  • Attracting/recruiting women into the STEM field. SPE will help to attract and educate young women about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and opportunities in the energy industry by working with the Energy4me program.
  • Female leadership/representation. Partner with the Emerging Leaders Alliance program to ensure greater diversity of SPE-funded delegates, and work with event committees during the speaker selection process to identify more women for panel sessions, presentations, and workshops.
  • Section/chapter initiatives. Recruit leaders to represent WIN throughout SPE’s global sections and focus on diversity networking events and programs. (We specifically need leaders to set up local WIN committees within their home sections.)
  • Education and outreach. Partner with leading experts in diversity to provide resources to WIN members and the greater SPE community.

In short, the committee wants to help people from all career levels, cultures, and languages as they climb the corporate ladder. WIN’s goal is to encourage more women to practice leadership through SPE and witness women blossom into amazing leaders.

“We have a strong group of advisory members who support and sponsor our efforts, elite women from the majority of SPE disciplines to help guide and mentor our WIN committee,” said Maggie Seeliger, senior vice president, strategy and marketing, oil and gas, at SNC-Lavalin and WIN standing committee advisor. “We now have members in Australia, India, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Poland, and the US, among others.” WIN teams have high diversity regarding location, age, and experience level.

Around the world, the energy industry is one of the most gender-imbalanced sectors; it is still considered as one of the industries with lowest diversity according to Forbes magazine. We are not using the full talents of the population, meaning that, when it comes to making the decisions that affect our world, women are not at the table.

Read the full story here.



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