Empowering African women for the oil and gas industry

breakfast 112The working scene from the Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club luncheon. (Image source: Gayle Meikle/Frontier Communications)

Empowering African women for the oil and gas industry; Oil Review Africa Partners With Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club in 2017, sponsored by Rockhopper

The statistics are sobering when it comes to women studying and taking up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training Government Gazette of 2014, eight out of the top 10 occupations where there is a skills shortage in the country are STEM-related. Globally, just 14 per cent of the STEM workforce is female. This drops to just seven per cent in South Africa. In Ghana, according to the Ghana Education Trust Fund, 221 men received scholarships to study oil, gas and energy-related courses between 2010 and 2015, compared with just 49 women.

But there are glimmers of hope. In Nigeria, for example, while women only make up 17 per cent of all scientific researchers, there are some excellent role models gaining prominence. After all, you cannot be what you cannot see - and visibility of leading women in the oil and gas industry is essential if the current generation of school and university students is to be motivated.

For girls and women keen to work in the oil and gas industry, Professor Deborah Enilo Ajakiye is an inspiration. With a PhD in geophysics from Ahmadu Bello University, she has been working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on its exploration projects for alternative crude oil reserves in the country’s inland sedimentary basins as is Sandy Stash, Group VP - Safety, Sustainability and External Affairs, Tullow Oil. With over 30 years in the oil and gas and mining industries, Sandy Stash has vast, global leadership experience in operations and engineering, business, risk and crisis management, external affairs and communications, sustainability, safety and health, complex litigation, and organizational transformations and start-ups. She spent many years representing business internationally on controversial natural resource, social and sustainability issues with the general public, national and local media, and local, regional and national governments.

More needs to be done to encourage women to enter the oil and gas industry across Africa. This needs to start at school - it is essential that across the continent, girls have the same opportunities as boys to attend school and the same encouragement to study STEM subjects. Interest and aptitude in STEM subjects among girls need to fostered and the prospect of studying in fields such as engineering and geology at university level has to be seen as a real possibility.

Development of the oil and gas industry for the generation of electricity will play an essential role in ensuring girls get the education they need. When families have access to electricity, lives become easier, girls do not end up missing out on school to help gather fuel for their homes, there is light by which to study, and the chances of girls reaching their full potential as women increase enormously.

Oil Review Africa is delighted to announce that it is the Lead Media Partner for the Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club in 2017, part of Frontier Communications Clubs & Networks. The Global Women in Petroleum & Energy Club was founded in 2001 to recognise the ascending and significant role of women fulfilling key roles in global oil, gas and energy industry. The club has provided a platform ever since, always with women's advancement at its heart. It offers an important platform for women to network, share experiences and enhance leadership and works to champion the interests of women in geoscience, management and at board level within worldwide oil, gas and energy. Oil Review Africa will be attending the 8th Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club Luncheon in London on Thursday, May 25, 2017 with guest speaker Sandy Stash, Group VP - Safety, Sustainability and External Affairs, Tullow Oil to meet and network with women and men in the industry and discuss the ascending and significant role of women fulfilling leading roles in global oil, gas and energy.

Introducing Sandy Stash to our audience will be Fiona MacAulay, chief operating officer at Rockhopper Exploration. Fiona is a geologist with more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry including time at Mobil, Amerada Hess and BG. She joined Rockhopper in 2010 immediately following the Sea Lion discovery and was an integral member of the senior team which managed the appraisal of the Sea Lion field and discovered the Casper, Casper South and Beverley fields. Rockhopper Exploration, an international oil and gas exploration and production company, focused in two distinct geographic areas – the North Falkland Basin in the South Atlantic and the Greater Mediterranean are also sponsoring the luncheon. 

We are confident it will continue to be a positive event that makes great strides towards empowering women in the oil and gas industry to reach out, be mentors and be the change they want to see at every level. 

Book your place now at the 8th Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club Luncheon in London on Thursday, May 25, 2017

Georgia Lewis, Editor, Oil Review Africa

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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