Why Women in Energy is Good for Business

The 5th Gas Summit in Mozambique is happening today in Maputo.  This is the second year it is recognizing women in energy with the Outstanding Women Forum and Reception.  Last year Graca Machel gave an impassioned speech on the value of investing in women.  It was powerful.  She is moving a nation that is on verge of transforming itself with the riches of oil and gas to include women.

Why would someone of her influence focus on the inclusion of women in a male dominated industry?  The amount of data to prove why it is important to include women is massive.  Starting with The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology that published a paper called The Case for Investing in Women.  This comprehensive paper summarizes many studies from many academic disciples detailing the difference that women, especially in leadership roles, make in the workplace.  The biggest differences are when you follow the money.  When companies have more women working in leadership roles there is a greater return on sales, better return on equity and even greater return on invested capital.  These companies have lower turnover rates, a collective higher IQ and more creative output.  Women in leadership roles have a psychological effect in overall safety, confidence and efficiency. 

The macho image of big oil is fading rapidly as more and more women are CEOs, Presidents, Board Members, Directors and VPs on down the corporate structure.  Although women are considered a rare sight on rig sites, offshore platforms and refineries the gap is closing. The Great Crew Change is opening opportunities for women to join the industry. Vicki Hollub of Occidental Petroleum and Lynn Good of Duke Energy are CEO’s of 2018 Fortune 500 companies.  These ladies lead the way for women to break through the glass ceiling.  Other majors have women in top posts such as BP, ExxonMobil and Shell.  There are women organizations connecting women in the energy industry such as Pink Petro, Association of Women in Energy and Women’s Energy Network.  This industry is changing, the “Boys Club” is being integrated with smart, hardworking, fearless women determined to have a seat at the table. The bottom line- hiring women is good for business.

Alicia Heiskell