Aberdeen conference sees oil sector push for female recruits

image captionThe industry says it has well-paid jobs for people with suitable skills

A major oil industry conference will hear calls for more women to be recruited to the sector.

Oil, gas and engineering companies will back the campaign at Offshore Europe in Aberdeen.

An open debate on women's under-representation in the industry has been planned by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

It said the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers in Europe.

Students and women already working in the industry will attend to talk about their experiences and answer questions.

Oil and Gas UK Operations Director Oonagh Werngren will be one of the speakers.

She said: "Building and sustaining the number of women studying Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects will help companies benefit from the broader talent pool and diverse perspectives that female participation can bring to challenging technological issues in the industry.

"An event such as this outlines the need to increase the contribution and progression of women in oil and gas and highlights the advantages to be gained from both embracing diversity in the workplace and enhancing the opportunities for those involved."

The Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, based at Edinburgh Napier University, was established to increase the number of women moving into technical roles.

Centre manager Linda Somerville said: "The oil and gas industry has a skills shortage and yet there are qualified women, and those currently studying, who could do these jobs.

"This mismatch needs to be addressed by employers thinking more widely about the culture of the workplace and how they can adapt to recruit and retain women in oil and gas."

Female pupils from local schools have been invited to the event.

WISE Director Helen Wollaston said: "Most girls don't realise how many exciting opportunities are available in Oil and Gas to those with the right qualifications.

"Creativity, communication, problem solving - which women tend to be good at - are critically important in science and engineering. And you can earn good money."

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