Women land 46pc of new oil industry jobs in US

28 May 2013

Nearly half (46pc) of all new jobs in the US oil industry have gone to women, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests.

Industry research and news service Rigzone compiled the data, which reveals 3,900 positions were added in oil and gas across the US in the first quarter of 2013, and women filled 1,800 of those jobs.

Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone, said he thinks nearly half the women in the oil industry are taking on jobs like technicians, geologists or petroleum engineers, CNN reported.

Other jobs in the oil industry include sales, research, marketing, and work on drilling rigs and pipelines.

It’s still early days in terms of telling whether this increase in women working these oil industry jobs is a trend, however. Overall, the number of new jobs created has been relatively small. In addition, the percentage of new hires that are women has varied in the past. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking this since 1991, and since then there has never been a full year where more than one-third of new employees in the oil industry have been women, according to CNN.

Still, there are signs this may be changing for the better for women who want work in the oil industry.

University engineering officials have said the demand for female engineers in these fields is so strong that even those who don’t specialise in the types of engineering most often associated with oil and gas, such as chemical and petroleum, can expect job offers, The Pittsburg-Post Gazette reported.

The companies want to hire women and when they begin talking about recruitment, they want to know the statistics about women, The Pittsburg-Post Gazette quoted Don Shields, director at Pitt’s Center for Energy in the Swanson School of Engineering, as having said.

“The companies want to have a balanced workforce; it’s a big societal issue,” Shields added.

Woman engineer image via Shutterstock

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Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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