Bahrain’s Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa has exhorted women to join the energy industry, saying it’s an opportune time with a promising change in the landscape, including a boom cycle and digitalisation, on the horizon.
He said this in his welcome address at the 6th Leadership Excellence for Women Awards and Symposium (Lewas), held virtually, where he detailed how policy and environment are essential to ensure more women take up diverse jobs in the energy sector.
He said: "We have to be conscious of the fact that some jobs require late night shifts and involve harsh environments. We need to understand what policies and procedures organisations need to accommodate to make sure they are giving women equal opportunities."
He also pointed out: "There isn’t a better time to join the industry, as we’re most likely in the end of a low cycle; preparing for the next boom cycle. Women who choose this industry now will have the biggest career development than any other sector, especially with what digitalisation is doing to this sector."
The minister further added: "It is a very exciting time when we look at technology in the industry and in many ways, you know the new jobs that come with technology open up new and exciting career paths for everybody. Digitalisation is now critical; people have to continuously optimise in terms of energy efficiency.
"The availability of reliability, safety, industry 4.0 are all cutting edge technologies that need new skills. Together with old experiences of operating large oilfields combined with artificial intelligence, the energy landscape is constantly evolving."
He further highlighted the importance of going beyond academics to focus on more hands-on vocational training for advancing the industry.
The Lewas symposium took place from October 27-29 and attracted over 1,100 participants from 57 countries to reimagine resilience from a global, personal and organisational perspective.