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‘Why gender equality is critical to oil, gas, mining sector’

Oil and gas plant

Stakeholders, at the just concluded Oil Council: Africa Assembly, have canvassed for gender equality in the oil and gas industry.

A panel discussion, which focused on,‘From Encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Subjects to Balancing the Boardroom: Gender Diversity and Equality in the African Energy Industry’ had representatives from indigenous companies in Africa and International Oil Companies (IOCs).

The panelists included Principal Reservoir Engineer, Oando, Oluseun Solanke; Senior Regional Manager, Halliburton, Lamé Verre; Chief Executive Officer, Petrofund, Nillian Mulemi and Co-Founder, Mozambique Women in Energy (MWE), Taciana Peao Lopes.

Though Solanke said the industry has started appreciating the value of gender balance, she insisted that Nigerian government must take a more active role in pushing gender balance, as actively as it does local content policies.

The experts noted that women’s economic participation is an important ingredient for economic development and growth, as disproportionate employment numbers affect not only women’s livelihoods, but also the well-being of their communities.

They equally stated that the loss to the industry is threefold, whereby oil and gas companies have a smaller number of highly qualified candidates to choose from, when filling positions, especially in the middle and higher ranks, since many talented women, either never join the industry or drop out prematurely.

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