At 18. 6%, Women Remain Under-represented In Energy Workforce -Kyari


The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mallam Mele Kyari has stated that women are grossly under-presented in the energy sector, disclosing that as of Fourth Quarter of 2023, women represented 18.6% of the sector total workforce and 23.1% of leadership.

Kyari stated this in his Keynote Address at the 2024 Strategic Women in Energy, Oil and Gas (WEOG) Leadership Summit and Awards, with the theme “Invest in Women for Accelerated Progress”, held at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Auditorium on Tuesday in Abuja.

He attributed this to the low level of participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields which is the major channel for the industry’s workforce in the oil and gas industry.

The NNPC boss said, “studies have also shown that at the middle of the technical talent pipeline (which is middle to senior management levels), there is lagging progress for women which is greatly impacted by the degree of flexibility of work”.

He said, at NNPC, some steps had been taken to unlock their full potential, adding that “by empowering women and providing them with equal opportunities, we can unlock immense potential and drive meaningful change across the energy landscape”.

“We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and empowerment, where women have equal access to opportunities for growth, advancement, and leadership.

“Through initiatives such as mentorship programs and leadership training, we are actively working to build a more diverse and resilient workforce.

“Investing in women means more than just increasing gender diversity; it means recognizing and harnessing the unique talents, perspectives, and capabilities that women bring to the table. From engineering and technology to leadership and management, women have proven time and again their ability to excel in every aspect of the energy sector.

“Moreover, we recognize the critical role that women play in driving sustainable development and mitigating the impacts of climate change. By empowering women as leaders and decision-makers in the energy sector, we can promote more sustainable practices, accelerate the transition to renewable energy, and ensure a brighter future for generations to come”, Kyari noted.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders, both within Nigeria and on the global stage, to join hands in supporting initiatives that empower women and close the energy gaps.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of PTDF, Aminu Galadima said, women in energy have consistently been breaking barriers, making significant contributions, and leading positive change in various aspects of the oil and gas industry, therefore, pledged his support.

Earlier, the National President of WEOG, Oladunni Owo advocated the inclusion of women in decision-making in the industry, which according to her, would stimulate industry growth.

She said, the event was organised to commemorate International Women’s Day, noting that the International Women’s Day amalgamated into International Women’s Month and concluded as a period when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

She noted that the IWD has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike.

On her part, the WEOG Committee Chairperson, Dame Hasiya Audu said, “apart from celebrating women’s achievements, International Women’s Day also gives focus to issues such as gender equity and equality in all spheres including the workplace and at all levels including Boardrooms and decision-making tables of all Industries world-over including the Energy, Oil and Gas Industry, which is an industry where less than 20% of Senior Executives are female”.

She said, “investing in women is particularly important to Africa as our economies are declining and the poverty levels are increasing by the day.

“It’s particularly important for African women and men to push for accelerated progress by Inspiring Inclusion and co-spitting to ensure a better Nigeria for ourselves, our children and society. These Progresses will help eliminate poverty and build prosperity”, Dame Audu said.

“When more women are economically empowered, economies grow. Where women are intensely represented in government, governance thrives.

“Decision-making tables that have a tangible representation of women guarantee the positive transformational rate of such Organizations.

“Where women are free to live their lives without the perpetual threat of violence, families flourish, and businesses benefit”, she said.

Highpoint of the event was the Presentation of Awards, NNPC Ltd. Boss, Mele, Kyari, the Authority Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Engr. Farouk Ahmed, NNPC Limited as a Company, PTDF, and others.

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