What difference can women make in energy? That is the question the participants of the Bosphorus Energy Club’s annual meeting tried to answer this year.
But the search for answers has revealed that in order to make a difference women first need to be present in the sector, as energy is one of the most male-dominated sectors.
With only 35 percent of its workforce made up of women globally, private energy companies have the second lowest female employment rate in the world after manufacturing companies. While only 16 percent of board members in the top 200 energy companies are women, women also earn less than men in the oil and gas sector.
Women who work in energy companies are mostly employed in human resources or finance departments, GE Turkey President and CEO Canan Özsoy said at the Bosphorus Energy Club meeting.
More female graduates are needed from engineering departments of universities in order to help balance the ration, Özsoy added, noting that the male-female ratio at Istanbul Technical University is eight times wider than that of some of the most renowned universities in the U.S.
“We have a good women talent in Turkey. But the challenge is after graduation. As employers we have to help get them recruited,” she said.
“One such change necessary in the sector is digitalization. While I do not believe that field work has been a factor discouraging women from taking employment in the sector, increasing digitalization in the sector could make it easier for women to be employed in the energy world,” Özsoy added.