Towards an inclusive oil and gas industry — Business — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Underrepresentation of women is not new in the workplace, but it is believed that the oil and gas industry will take it to a whole new level.

Compared to 18 other industries, the sector ranked last for female participation at entry levels. Compared to other engineering, science, math and technology industries, oil and gas ranked last. To reverse the trend, stakeholders believe diversity needs to be cemented through local content provisions. FEMI ADEKOYA writes.

Globally, the oil and gas industry is going through a period of turbulence: unstable oil prices, changes in the regulatory landscape, and geopolitical instability. The Russian-Ukrainian war has also affected the dynamics of the industry. Added to this is the fact that the workforce in the sector is aging and the effect is being felt; the skills gap is always widening and there is a talent shortage with digitization becoming more and more apparent.

To counter this, the industry has gone to work to meet human capital requirements for digital skills such as machine learning, advanced analytics, and robotics. They are now paying more attention and increasing budget allocations to these movements.

A joint research report by the World Petroleum Council and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) showed that women held 39% of entry-level jobs and dropped to 13% of senior-level positions in the industry. The research also found that many people agree that gender diversity is a felt weakness in the sector.

However, since 2017, companies in the oil and gas industry have increased the number of diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives they have adopted by 50%. This shows that the industry is making a tangible effort to achieve gender parity and improve diversity.

At the local level, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has called for the active inclusion of women in the management of various trusts and funds contained in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

NCDMB Executive Secretary Simbi Wabote said that with the 2021 PIA in force, the active inclusion of women in the administration of these funds should be taken advantage of, and said that the Act provides for the establishment of a Host Community Development Trust. (the Trust) and the Host Community Development Trust Fund for Communities.

Wabote, speaking at the Nigeria Women in Oil and Gas 2022 conference themed “Seizing Opportunities for Women in Oil and Industry,” said the 2021 PIA also prescribed a financial contribution to an environmental remediation fund for the rehabilitation or management of the negative environmental impacts of oil operations. .

According to him, these opportunities require the active participation of our women, noting that efforts aimed at repositioning women as formidable players in key areas, including the oil and gas industry, are already yielding positive results.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said that women make up 48 per cent of the global workforce, but highlighted that they only make up 22 per cent of the workforce in the oil and gas sector. .

However, she stated that the Nigerian government has been deliberate in gender-friendly policies aimed at increasing access to finance, award of contracts and support for research and development in the interest of women operators in the industry of the Nigerian oil and gas.

She noted that the Federal Government, through its association NCDMB, has launched a $40 million fund to empower women in the oil industry, apart from the Nigerian Content Initiative Fund (NCI), which is equally available to women. (and men) who meet the criteria.

In her words: “Recognizing the importance of women in nation building, and specifically in the growth and development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, the NCDMB has taken a commendable step by launching the Sector Working Group of Diversity under the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum. (NCCF) as provided in Section 58 of the NOGICD Act.”

He added that the oil and gas industry plays a critical role in the world’s socio-economic development and will continue to play this key role despite the growing call for energy transition.

She added that harnessing the natural endowment, strength, intuition, knowledge and experience of women for the growth of the industry has become a fundamental truth.

She said that to take advantage of the changing landscape, women in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must work together to increase the participation of women in the industry, generate growth, develop skills and capabilities, identify opportunities, mentorships and coaching, to that the industry can progress as a whole.

He stated that gender diversity and inclusion decreases with seniority, and argued that there is only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions.

“The percentage of women in the industry falls over time from 36% to 24% between mid-level and executive,” indicates a recent study by the Global Energy Talent Index Report.

The NCDMB chief said that Nigerian women in energy is a strategic response to building a strong and sustainable pipeline of professionals and companies that adapt to the changing needs in the energy landscape.

He stated that one of the key challenges hindering women’s participation in oil and gas industry activities is the lack of available funds, saying that the Board has partnered with NEXIM Bank to establish a $40 million fund. for women in energy.

He also stated that there is an additional $300 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) which also provides an available long-term financing with single digit interest rate.

In his remarks, NEXIM Managing Director Abubakar Bello said that the partnership with the Board fits within the Bank’s framework to support inclusion, as well as its strategy to grow the service industry in Nigeria and bring it to the point of Export to West Africa. region and other oil and gas economies.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Board Chairwoman Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo said the oil and gas industry is traditionally male-dominated, saying the industry is perhaps one of the most challenging for women professionally.

He said that it is imperative to promote the participation and involvement of women in this sector.

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