Qualified Job Seekers Find Options as Energy Industry Embraces Diversity

Qualified Job Seekers Find Options as Energy Industry Embraces Diversity

Rigzone Looks Back: Hiring professionals in the oil and gas industry are kept up nights trying to figure out where to source new STEM-educated workers to fill job openings. The key to finding a sufficient number of people to fill these positions, staffing professionals say, is to be open to diversity during the hiring process. Rigzone took a look at what could be a more diverse culture for the oil and gas industry of the future.

In recent years, the level of diversity in the oil patch has increased significantly, according to staffing professionals in Houston. In particular, the energy industry is now offering more opportunities for women.

“There has been a real broadening of paths for women as companies move toward greater gender diversity,” Carolyn Stewart, NES Global Talent business development manager, said. “It’s not just in an office setting that the change is occurring. One now sees women working on rigs, or in refineries, performing jobs once filled only by men. Companies are becoming more agile, and [now] place value on ideas and innovations.” 

According to recruiters, while some companies are targeting women specifically, even more companies are focused on finding qualified talent, regardless of gender.

“Today, some energy company clients are contacting recruiters and specifically asking if there are [qualified] women candidates for positions,” noted Cecilia Rose, president and founder of Next Door Strategies, LLC, corporate keynote speaker and executive career strategist.

Staffing professional Christine Norris, executive search consultant for Professional Alternatives, also noted that there has been a change in energy industry hiring practices in recent years. Many energy companies are willing to make an extra effort for good women candidates, Norris said.

“A couple of years ago, I placed a woman petroleum engineer with one of our drilling clients in the Midwest. She had a Master’s Degree from an international university, internships while in college, and great references. The client did not have an opening at the time but reviewed the woman’s resume and was intrigued. So, the client interviewed her and subsequently made her an offer as a field engineer, which required hands-on work and training at the drilling site.”


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Reg MacDonald | Jan. 6, 2014
I have got to agree with what is being written in this editorial as we are seeing the baby boomers retire. We are actually seeing shortages before the economy comes fully online. I am wondering what the industry is going to look like when the world economy gets back on track and a shift upward in the natural gas prices. The demands on our resources will be tremendous and equipping the rigs with personnel will be very challenging at the least. This year has been a winter freeze with one of the coldest in years along with record snow falls and in combination causing havoc and utilizing a lot of energy. The oil and gas industry is also facing competition with other industries also in the same situation and looking to retain the same workforce. The industry at times is hard to sell with its cyclical trends and companies not being realistic to training needs at the entry level where our future talent, begin their journey. I thoroughly believe that women will be a leading factor in the future of this industry and the industry is moving in a direction with new generation rigs that provide computer operated system and robotics which allow women the opportunity to engage this industry. Although hard work is still required the job tasks are moving more to maintaining this new age equipment. Recently I had two female students from Texas who came to Canada to obtain training for this industry. Both Mother and Daughter dominated the 20 day Pre Employment Program for Land and Offshore Drilling Rigs with the classroom instruction and hands on rig experience. Once they completed the program and headed back South to Texas it was on the job within a week with both working in the drilling industry and doing very well. Prior to coming to Maritime Drilling Schools Limited they lived and worked on a farm and shifted their skill to the drilling industry. The positive side of this story there are lots of opportunity in this industry for both men and women who want to begin a career whether from high school or changing jobs. Starting in this industry is very rewarding and as a person advances the pay can be very generous. Once a person obtains experience the doors open to greater opportunities domestic as well globally. The old saying in the patch is “a good days pay for a hard day of work” a person willing to acquire the skill and apply their good work ethic will survive this industry. I always tell my students to condition yourself mentally and physically for this industry and having the knowledge to know what’s expected of you reduces the fear of the unknown. Once you work your way up to a driller’s position you become an asset to the industry locally and abroad and your international opportunities become more available. When you invest in your future you’re investing in yourself and working hard and staying the course will pay off!!! When I started in this industry 38 years ago my Toolpusher started out in the galley as a kitchen helper and with hard work and study became the Chairman of one of the largest offshore drilling contractors in the world. Seeing this for myself gave me the ambition as well and I also started out in the kitchen washing dishes, making beds and doing the laundry. I remember other people coming out to the rig with their luggage and turning around catching the next boat to town. Unfortunately for them they didn’t give the industry a chance and maybe they were in a better position than I was at the time. I spent my life working through the ranks learning the industry to the point of managing rigs, building and commissioning some of the largest and most advanced rigs in the world. Over the 38 years in the industry I made well above average incomes and had the opportunity to see the world at the employer’s expense. The message I am trying to pass on is that if I had the opportunity to do it all again I wouldn’t think twice. I am a firm believer that if you want it bad enough you will get it and take every opportunity that’s given to you as long as you are ready for the challenge. Always be a positive thinker and treat everybody the way you would want to be treated yourself!!!


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