There were already some other groups such as Women in Mining and Resources and Women in Oil and Gas, but we were very careful to make sure WIE represented all women in the energy sector – attorneys, people in HR, business analysts, people in finance and risk, and so on – and not just those from a traditional technical background.
What is the group’s main objective?
Our mission is to enable women to advance their careers in the energy sector by delivering education, training, advocacy and networking. We don’t want to be just another networking group. There are many, many opportunities to network out there, but our organisation is about moving the conversation forward and trying to get the energy industry behind an action plan for increasing gender diversity in leadership positions.
What’s the current state of gender diversity in the industry?
There are roughly 40,000 women in the energy sector in Australia, depending on how you cut it. That’s about 30 per cent of the workforce. But in leadership roles, women only make up around 6 per cent. That’s really where the concern is – as well as pay parity. According to the WGEA, the gender pay gap for energy has increased by 2 per cent since last time they measured it. So we’re moving backwards, across the whole sector.
What about gas specifically?