The Principal Reservoir Engineer, Oando, Oluseun Solanke, was quoted in a statement as saying, “The industry has begun to appreciate the value of gender balance and how it impacts the populace. We need to see the Nigerian government taking a more active role in trying to push gender balance as actively as it does local content policies.”
She spoke in Paris, France, during the Women’s Energy Council panel discussion at the Oil and Gas Council’s Africa Assembly, with the theme, ‘From Encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Subjects to Balancing the Boardroom: Gender Diversity and Equality in the African Energy Industry.’
The panellist discussed how the challenges women face in the workplace varied between international oil companies, national oil companies and independents, and how oil and gas companies could encourage more participation in STEM subjects and entry into technical fields for women, among other issues.
Giving a keynote speech at the Africa Assembly, the Vice-President, Africa, ExxonMobil Corporation, Pam Darwin, said, “After a 35-year career in the industry, I personally believe that to improve diversity in the energy sector, we need to invest in energy in developing resources and widening access to energy; education by investing in students with a focus on STEM fields; empowerment in grassroots’ efforts to promote women entrepreneurs, and employment to tackle the challenges of diversity.”
At the just-concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, the Chief Legal Officer, Oando, Ngozi Okonkwo, commended the organisers of the event for the increased female participation and consideration.
She said, “I’m excited that there’s a significant increase in the number of females on the panel I moderated. It is very important because it shows that the industry is recognising the relevance of women because this is an industry that is clearly male-dominated.
“There have been a lot of changes with respect to women in the workplace and women are rising. I am happy that as a conference, we recognise the importance of women. The views of women are important and the viewpoint that they have should also be shared with the entire industry at a conference like this, so it’s really important and exciting.”