May 10, 2023
Diversity in the tech industry continues to be a hot topic.
Leading companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, have taken some heat for the underrepresentation of women in their workforces—women only occupy 23%, 17.8% and 24.1% (respectively) of technical roles at those organizations.
In the oil and gas industry—where my company, Trellis Energy, operates—the numbers are even worse: Only 15% of the global oil and gas workforce is female.
While there has been much discussion about diversity in tech, insufficient progress has been made.
As the Vice President of Product and Engineering at Trellis Energy, I’m proud to say that we are bucking the trend. Fully half of our technical leadership team and 31% of our engineering team are women.
Ample evidence has shown that greater gender diversity in leadership roles is good for business.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics found that companies with women in C-level positions see significantly higher net margins.
A study by Credit Suisse found companies with more women on the board of directors delivered higher returns on equity, better stock performance, and higher dividends.
The oil and gas industry has an opportunity benefit greatly from hiring more women as it tackles a looming challenge often referred to as the “Great Crew Change,” where 50% of the workforce is expected to retire within 5 to 7 years.
The industry is becoming increasingly digitized and faces a shortage of workers with the right technical skills.
New technologies, software, and sensors are being deployed throughout the supply chain, upstream to downstream. These increase automation and create efficiencies, but they also generate a tremendous amount of data. As a result, engineers with backgrounds in information technology (IT), computer science, and data analysis are becoming increasingly important.
Oil and gas companies can navigate both the looming retirement wave and digital transition by hiring more women to fill these technical roles.
To address gender disparity and meet the demand for technical talent across all industries, it is critically important that we encourage more girls and young women to pursue education and careers in STEM (science, engineering, technology, and medicine).
The proportion of Bachelor’s degrees in computer science being earned by women is dishearteningly low—having plummeted from 37% in 1984 to just 18% today.
To keep female talent on a STEM career path, companies must provide quality mentorship and work-life flexibility.
I can personally attest that receiving mentorship and moral support from my professional peers has been instrumental in my career and encouraged me to pursue leadership roles that I might otherwise not have considered.
At Trellis Energy, we’re proud of our track record for hiring and promoting women within both technical and leadership roles.
As a company, we’ve experienced first-hand how diversity in the workforce brings unique perspectives and new approaches to solving problems that contribute to greater business success.
This diversity is a key component helping our talented technical team develop the innovative software solutions that help energy asset owners improve their businesses and move into the digital age.
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