Sunday, March 25
Shaima Salmeen, Schlumberger; Norina Utot, Petrogas; Kellie Okonek, BP; May Alzanki, GlassPoint Solar
Networking involves building authentic relationships with people in the field of your interest as you grow in your career path. A network can be established within a place of work, or via actual professional events, virtual events or through the internet. Networking encourages interaction with other people, knowledge sharing and exchange, seeking advice and mentoring, and learning valuable experiences from each other. Networking can be one of the integral elements of one’s career progression especially if one can share challenges to resolve them, as well as achievements and aspirations.
This panel session will explore numerous aspects of the notion of professional networking, such as how to network, sustain them, utilise networks, what are the challenges of networking and how to address them especially when it comes to women professionals in oil and gas industry.
The rise and recognition of women working in oil and gas industry is becoming a regular topic of discussion with an increasing number of women taking high ranking positions in a variety of energy sector roles.
The challenges faced by the industry have created an opportunity for the talent pool of women to be used more extensively and more efficiently. Gender diversity in the energy sector is increasing, aided by the increased awareness of the subtle inhibitors of women’s experience in the workplace. However, women who have cultural challenges to overcome may find such inclusion an even greater challenge. While government and company organisational cultures contain strong expectations, there are still unconscious biases against gender diversity in the industry.
With the increased drive of initiatives towards a diverse environment, we bring together leaders to discuss the benefits of diversification in the business along with their own experience regarding integration.
Although women occupy a portion of the talent pool that makes up the oil and gas industry, historically, more men occupy roles within the sector. Additionally, challenges faced by women in comparison to men within the industry vary in terms of severity. While all areas within the oil and gas industry promote female recruitment, there is a perceived gap with respect to retaining females while providing them with career growth opportunities equivalent to those of male colleagues. A common goal amongst women within the industry is to achieve a work/life balance, to which various obstacles can be encountered related to movement to geographical locations, cultural differences, mobility, dual careers, work type, and family preferences.
Women can perform in all industry roles during operations both on and offshore from finance to field engineering, operating to upper management. This session highlights challenges faced by women within the oil and gas industry within varying roles and positions while striving to maintain a work/life balance, without sacrificing the prospects of career development. The goals is to help provide clear information related to working conditions and challenges to help increase the number of women joining the oil and gas industry.
Saif Al Manji, Engineering for Kids; Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, SQU; Aseel Humoodi, ADNOC; Mariam Al Amri, Youth Vision; Salma Al Hjeri, Mubadala; Asma Al Ghabshi, Oman Air; Haima Al Khusaibi, GlassPoint Solar
Exposing female youth to engineering is essential at a very early age to help them drive their interests and make a fair decision on their future careers. Traditionally, this was done at a much later stage, i.e. when they reached university. However, it is essential that this is shifted to a much earlier age, even before they plan which school subjects to pursue in high school for example. This would not only help them understand what engineering is all about, but it may also attract more of them to various fields of engineering. Innovative ways of how this could be done needs to be assessed and discussed with concerned bodies.
It is also important to provide the female youth who pursue engineering with continuous support. This would empower a new generation of female engineers who truly understand what difference they can make, how vital their contribution is to the growth of the country and how to excel in their jobs.