Oil industry could be more pro-active in attracting women into the sector

Mar 11, 2015

A senior oil and gas industry executive believes there is an opportunity for the industry to become more pro-active in attracting women to join the sector.

Jodie Hatherly, INPEX Australia’s General Counsel and General Manager Legal, and a panelist at the AOG Women special event at AOG 2015 on March 13, says that while the industry fares well in some areas of gender equality in employment, there are others where there could be some improvement.

“Generally, in my experience, women are doing as well as, if not better than, male counterparts in areas such as finance, accounting, law, HR, External Affairs and Government Affairs. However, one of the challenges that the industry faces is there is still a relatively low percentage of females graduating with technical skills required in the industry, such as engineering and geology degrees,” Ms Hatherly said.

“This means women are generally under-represented in the technical field, which skews a lot of the statistics.  However there is no escaping the statistics from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency which show that the current pay gap is around 18.2% nationally (up 0.7% from 2013) and WA is the worst performer with an average 24.8% pay gap (an extra 91 days of work per annum to earn the same as male counterparts).  In the mining sector the gap is around 23.8 %, so we are one of the worst performing sectors in terms of pay equity,” she added.

Asked whether she believed that young women are receiving enough support to enter the oil and gas industry, Ms Hatherly said that this might be an issue for all young people joining the sector.

“Our challenge, as leaders, is to educate and support managers to look for more than technical skills in a candidate (where practicable) and look for other potential skills where a new young person may add value to an existing team,” Ms Hatherly said.

“Connecting and inspiring women in oil and gas” is the theme for AOG Women High Tea, one of the most popular events on the AOG calendar, which is this year sponsored by INPEX.

The event runs from 1 – 4pm on Friday March 13, and is an opportunity to hear inspirational insights from Jodie Hatherly, and the likes of U.S. Consul General in Perth, Cynthia Griffin, Network Ten TV presenter, Narelda Jacobs, Deidre Willmott, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia, and Rebecca Lewis, Subsea Production Team Lead at Woodside.

Developed as a conduit for aspiring and inspiring women from throughout the oil and gas industry, AOG Women in Oil & Gas provides an afternoon of networking, keynote speakers and panel discussions on issues impacting the growing number of women in the oil and gas industry.

High tea will be served throughout the event, while there is also chance to win an Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl & Champagne Diamond Pendant valued at $2000, provided by Willie Creek. They will also provide goodie bags for all event attendees.

To find out more about the AOG Women event, please go to: http://exaexpo.com.au/network/aog-women/

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