A growing number of women in the Gulf Co-operation Countries (GCC) are interested in a career in the oil and gas sector.
Around 32% of them have a position within the industry but less than 1% have an executive role, according to Hosnia Hasmin, Vice President of Operations at Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company.
She added: “We need to keep pushing for gender balance, mostly in the GCC.”
Although 65% of oil companies in the GCC prioritise gender diversity, there are still some challenges to boost the number of women in the sector.
Ms Hasmin believes the sector is traditionally dominated by men, there’s lack of flexible work schedule and women don’t usually choose Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.
She believes strong leadership, equal opportunities on salary and promotion and expansion of technologies are key to tackling these barriers.
“New technologies will increase the number of women in the oil and gas industry”, she added.
Ms Hasmin explained a Professional Women Network set up in 2009 by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) boosted the number of women in the industry.
Around 53% of women in the Kuwait’s oil and gas industry are working in KOC, with 17% of new women joinning the sector per year, she added.