November 10, 2014 10:22 ET

Initiatives to Bring More Women Into Oil and Gas Industry Still Not Working, Says New Survey of Global Workforce

Masculine Image Still Deters Women From Joining Energy Sector in the Americas

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2014) -  Findings from the latest oil and gas Global Workforce Survey, published jointly by and Air Energi, reveal that efforts to encourage more women into the industry are not yet working. The results also highlight widespread confusion among the workforce as to whether or not internal initiatives are effective.

More than 4,300 employees and hiring managers working in the oil and gas industry took part in the survey that looked at the issues surrounding the lack of women taking on key roles in the sector.

In the Americas, 41 percent of respondents reported the industry gender imbalance as a concern, with 47 percent stating that the industry culture created by a male dominated environment plays a key role in discouraging women from entering oil and gas jobs.

The survey also highlighted what action the workforce thinks should be taken to address the issue in the region. 41 percent reported that the industry should encourage more girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, while 34 percent stated emphasis on progression and leadership opportunities would encourage more women into the industry.

"Given the chronic skills gap in oil and gas, the last 12-18 months has seen many companies waking up to the fact that there is a distinct lack of women joining the industry," managing director Mark Guest said. "Encouraging girls to study STEM subjects at school is something that may impact the industry, but only in the future. There are many women around the world who already have related business, science or engineering degrees and still don't consider oil and gas as a career option. This really needs to be addressed for the long-term good of the industry."

Responses, however, showed that there is an appetite to address the situation with 65 percent stating that tackling the imbalance would allow the industry access to a wider talent pool. 37 percent reported that it would increase overall productivity and organizational success across the Americas.

"Our findings show the masculine image and perception of the industry pervades in every region and this is a crucial barrier in the minds of many women," Air Energi CEO Duncan Gregson said. "By addressing this, along with improving the scope and measurement of internal company initiatives, it is possible that we will start to see a shift in the number of women coming into oil and gas at all levels of seniority. In short, someone in every company needs to be accountable for these initiatives and have the authority to adapt them if they need to."

Many companies have chosen to address the gender gap through recruitment quotas; however, not even half (44 percent) of hiring managers that knew their company had an active policy to encourage more women into oil and gas roles could say for sure whether or not this policy was effective.

"Where cultural practices allow, organizations cannot half-heartedly seek to recruit more women on the one hand, while at the same time complain of a chronic skills shortage on the other," Guest continued. "The industry has to take an all-encompassing view of the situation in order to ever successfully address it."

The survey also looked into overall hiring activity and salary expectations around the world. 46 percent of hiring managers thought recruitment levels for permanent staff will remain steady, and 48 percent thought recruitment of contract personnel would remain the same throughout the second part of 2014 compared to the first six months. The findings reflect a more cautious industry overall with fewer hiring managers (38 percent) expecting salary rates to continue to increase, compared to 58 percent in the workforce survey conducted in the first half of 2014.

These findings come as part of the second and Air Energi global workforce survey of 2014. Views have been collated from industry professionals across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Australasia.

The report also includes insight from organizations including Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Women's Global Leadership Conference (WGLC).

Note to editors:

About The Global Workforce Survey

The joint report conducted by and Air Energi surveyed 4,348 industry professionals from every region and type of organization across the supply chain.


Launched in 1999, OilCareers (, a Dice Holdings Inc. service, was one of the first niche job boards targeting the worldwide oil and gas sector. The business attracts an international client and candidate base and carries vacancies for an impressive range of clients, including many of the world's leading oil operators and service companies.

Key statistics for

  • Over 1.5m visits from 193 countries per month
  • 1,000,000+ searchable resumes
  • 9.5m+ page impressions per month
  • 24,000+ new candidate registrations per month

About Air Energi

With more than 30 years' experience, Air Energi is the trusted people services partner of choice for clients, consultants and candidates engaged in the global oil and gas industry. It provides contract, project and permanent hire personnel and expertise to oil and gas projects and clients worldwide.

Air Energi has offices in 35 locations and serves more than 50 markets worldwide. It has regional hubs in Manchester, UK; Doha, Qatar; Houston, US; Brisbane, Australia; and Singapore. For more information, please go to:

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