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Diversity in the Oil Industry - Women Join the Fracking Crew

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 14-Jan-2015

In an industry that's been historically dominated by male workers, the oil and gas industry has taken a number of active steps to promote enrollment of female workers. With the Bakken Shale formation booming and consistently promising growth in the Gulf of Mexico, companies have been scrambling to fill jobs. Many recruiters have set their sights on a largely untapped set of potential workers: women.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, women currently account for 19% of the oil and gas industry workforce. However, with views surrounding the industry and women changing rapidly, that number is expected to grow tremendously. The American Petroleum Institute projects that roles for women in the oil industry will grow by 70,000 by the year 2030.

Available Jobs for Women in the Oil Industry Include:

  • Science and math-based roles, such as those involving geo-science, geology, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering, make up a number of jobs that require specialized education.
  • Business roles, such as managing projects, accounting, and human resources are equally important in keeping drill sites running efficiently, keeping them staffed, and helping companies to expand beneficially.
  • Information technology roles are important to maintain and develop the complex types of technology that keep rigs running efficiently, including surveying and drilling technology.
  • Trade-specific roles such as carpenters, electricians, and welders are essential for implementing the functions on a rig, including the necessary construction to keep the industry growing.
  • Other assorted roles, such as physicians, trainers, and instructors are important in the oil industry, especially in remote drill sites and on offshore rigs.

With laws in place such as those established by Title VII, companies and supervisors are barred from discriminating against women based on their gender. Growing regulations against sexual harassment have also contributed to a more welcome environment in a number of oil and gas roles. With a wide range of well-paying jobs opening up to those who are willing to train for them, many women are turning their sights to the oil and gas industry as a valuable resource for potential employment.

Gender Discrimination Laws

Employers cannot legally discriminate against an employee or applicant based on gender. This means that employers are legally required to pay both sexes equal pay for performing the same job and cannot use gender as a basis for determining pay rates, titles, benefits, or promotions. If an employee believes he or she has been discriminated against based on gender, a case can be opened with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and lawsuit can be filed against the employer.

Sexual Harassment Laws

In addition to gender discrimination laws, employees are also protected by sexual harassment laws against unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. The Supreme Court has divided sexual harassment into two general categories: hostile environment and tangible employment actions. A hostile environment is one in which an employee experiences general harassment from co-workers, supervisors, vendors, or any other party that he or she may encounter on a daily basis at work. An example of a hostile environment could be a pattern of inappropriate jokes or crude behavior that makes the victim feel harassed or uncomfortable. A tangible employment action is one in by a supervisor or co-worker of influence that either directly suggests or implies that if an employee does not comply with the advances, he or she will be fired.

Categories: Industrial Injury

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