Morecambe Bay Director
International Women’s Day has some very special memories for me; I first celebrated it two years ago while on maternity leave with a new “mum” friend.
We spent the afternoon discussing our new babies but also talking about returning to work and how to combine parenthood with a career. I have since returned to work, and it is good to reflect two years on about our industry and how we attract and retain women into the oil and gas industry.
This is an industry with so many opportunities, from technical apprenticeships like Lois’, to engineering and geology disciplines and the business support roles like Anita’s finance team. The things I love about this industry are the teamwork, the opportunity to solve problems, delivering value and the fact that engineering is at the heart of what we do.
What each route into the industry has in common, however, is the importance of progression to many women and men, regardless of where they are on their career path. As part of a study dispelling the myths of the gender “ambition gap”, management consultants BCG found that having children does not make women less ambitious – but this is perhaps not recognised and can be an unconscious bias as women return to work.
And with women only accounting for around 20% of the oil and gas sector’s workforce – less than many other industries including agriculture and manufacturing – it’s more important than ever that we build an industry that attracts and creates career paths for talented women. We do that by giving young women like Lois a culture they want to work in and an environment set up to ensure progression throughout their career.