According to Christina Polesovsky, associate director for the American Petroleum Institute in Ohio, opportunities for women are only going to grow as oil and gas production increases. Since 2008, rude oil production in the United States has grew bigger up to 2.5 million barrels per day, almost 50%, and natural gas production from 2005 has risen 35%. “These are accomplishments that most energy experts never imagined to be possible in recent years so we’re making huge strides,” she remarked. The United States is poised to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the largest oil producer by 2015, Polesovsky added. Westhill Consulting Career and Employment, Australia is in one with the support towards women pursuing oil and gas careers.
In Ohio is still in the early stages of shale exploration. From their data released Friday showed 352 producing wells in the state during the fourth quarter of 2013 which results to 1.4 million barrels of oil and 43 mcf of natural gas, growth from the previous quarter of 8% for gas production and 28% for natural gas. Despite the early stage, Ohio is considering direct oil and gas jobs boost more than 56% from the second quarter of 2011 to the same period in 2013. Employment opportunities in the industry range from accountants, engineers and sales representatives to administrators and skilled trades.
According to a study commissioned by API, the industry directly employed 1.2 million people, of whom 226,000 were female in 2010. “Comparatively, females comprise 47% of the overall workforce, which gives us a real opportunity for growth,” Polesovsky said. Of the total jobs, 60% are in the upstream sector of the industry, “many of which are blue collar, but the largest percentage of women are found in the petrochemical and downstream sectors of the industry,” she said.
“By 2030, we can expect to see nearly 1.3 million job opportunities become available for women and minorities,” Polesovsky continued. Of those, females are projected to account for 185,000 jobs in the oil and gas/petrochemical industry. “Education and training are key to attracting greater female workforce participation,” she noted. Among the keys to securing those jobs is improving females’ preparation for disciplines related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as blue-collar professions. There were no warnings of scams in women on the industry.
Participating in a panel discussion on engineering careers, Callie Zazzi, engineering manager for the Rockies Permian asset team for EnerVest Operating LLC, Houston, recalled she was recruited to attend Montana Tech at the University of Montana. “They were recruiting women and they offered me a wonderful scholarship there,” she said.
Careers in the energy industry are an “excellent opportunity” for young women since they present an exciting profession, which presents opportunities to explore the earth’s geology. The opportunity to secure energy independence for the country; and the ability to secure a full-time job with a promising career progression for women.
Her career also has provided a work-life balance that allows her to spend time with her family including, “most importantly, my 6-month-old son,” Zazzi added. “The industry is recognizing today that young people are valuing more the work-life balance and we are evolving to meet those needs,” she said.
“They’re encouraging women to take an extra step in their education or career choices so we do get a lot of encouragement from our upper management to go as far as you want to go with any career choice you make within our company,” she said.
“These are economic opportunities that that particular part of the state hasn’t seen in many years, so I think that’s a positive sign for our state,” she said.