Our Key Findings from the Fifth Women in Energy Global Study


Last month saw the launch of the fifth annual edition of the Women in Energy Global Study, a...

Rebecca O'Rourke

By Rebecca O'Rourke

Last month saw the launch of the fifth annual edition of the Women in Energy Global Study, a critical guide to the position and attitudes of women in the global energy industry in 2023-24

The report explores what jobs women are doing, the level of seniority they are reaching, the career issues they face, what motivates them to contribute their skills to the energy transition, and what they need to thrive.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at some of the key takeaways from the report and exploring their impact on women in the industry.

In October 2023, a comprehensive survey of women and men working in the global energy industry was launched to gain a picture of today's sector. The survey ran for eight weeks and asked a total of 24 questions. It was circulated to a combination of Energy Jobline and NES Fircroft’s email databases and promoted through websites and social media channels. Responses were collected from workers at various levels, from entry-level to managerial and directorial positions, and across multiple energy sectors.

To access the complete 44-page report and explore even more findings in detail, you can download it here.

The Current Landscape

Last year, the percentage of male and female managers was roughly equal. However, this year's data shows that there are currently more women at the lower levels in the industry, with 62% being female vs 46% being male, which is a disappointing drop.

On the other hand, there are more men at the top levels (senior management, board, and director levels), with 33% being male compared to 20% female. This gender disparity in seniority is not exclusive to the energy industry and is well-documented across the board.

The top reasons for respondents considering leaving their current roles were to seek new challenges and a lack of leadership opportunities in their current role, showing that progression and training are critical factors in whether women feel valued enough in their roles and company to stay.

According to this year's survey, most respondents believe that technology for the energy transition is the industry's main challenge today, with the skills gap coming in second. This is not surprising as technology and skills are closely related. We need the best and most innovative teams to create the right technology, and it is essential that professionals on the ground understand this relationship. This draws together two of the key themes from this year's survey.

Job Mobility and Sector Evolution

When asked which sector our respondents worked in, this year, oil and gas took the top spot with 35%, followed closely by renewables with 27%. During the survey, it was found that 15% of the respondents did not consider themselves as belonging to a clear-cut sector, with many women labelling the industry they work in as simply “the energy transition”, a descriptor that many people now identify with and a sign of the ever-changing energy landscape.

The top reasons for respondents considering leaving their current roles were to seek new challenges and a lack of leadership opportunities in their current role, showing that progression and training are critical factors in whether women feel valued enough in their roles and company to stay. Respondents also reported feeling isolated in their current role or not having enough training or mentoring opportunities would also push them to consider changing roles.

With 6% of respondents citing ‘other’ reasons, it is interesting to see what these are. The most frequently mentioned were relocation, wanting a higher or equal salary, long hours/burnout, unsupportive or toxic workplace environment such as bullying, harassment, misogyny, feeling underutilised and unrecognised, and wanting better professional growth.

Women's job mobility in the global energy sector seems to be decreasing. Many women are no longer considering leaving their current jobs within the next one to two years. 60% of women have stated that they have no plans to switch jobs.

For those wanting new challenges or to work in a different sector, the most attractive sectors this year for both male and female respondents are renewable energy (33%), oil and gas (19%) and EV/automotive (16%).

According to survey results, women considered project management, data analysis, and leadership to be their top transferrable skills. These skills are incredibly valuable in the energy sector and should not be taken for granted by companies when considering their female employees.

Opportunities to Thrive in the Workplace

In the workplace, everyone should have all the necessary tools and support to succeed, whether that is training to give them leadership opportunities in the future, a safe environment to grow or managerial and team support when needed. Unfortunately, this is not something women always have access to.

80.5% of female respondents stated they feel safe at work, while 8.5% stated they do not.

Additionally, it is becoming more common for employers to offer flexible working and enhanced maternity leave packages, with over half of the surveyed women reporting that their employer provides these benefits.

Approximately 40% of respondents stated that they have access to internal mentoring and professional development programs. However, this represents a decrease in the availability of mentoring compared to last year's statistics. This decline is unfortunate, as mentoring is a crucial tool for promoting women's success in the workplace and providing them with adequate guidance and support.

It has been found that over 50% of women would like improved professional development in their workplace and the implementation of sponsorship programs. This could be because they recognise its positive impact on promotions and career advancement. Similarly, 51% of women expressed a desire for mentorship opportunities, both internal and external.

Company Attitudes and Commitments

The majority of both male and female respondents said that their company’s diversity and inclusion objectives have remained the same as last year. While a continual dedication to these objectives is promising, there is a continual need to push these commitments year by year and avoid a complacent attitude.

Vicki Codd, Marketing Director at NES Fircroft said: “Of course, better diversity, equity and inclusion will benefit both the business bottom line and the achievement of Net Zero objectives. Diversity in teams, including gender diversity at the top, has been shown to lead to greater profitability and more innovation and will bring the skills and talent that companies need for a successful energy transition.”

Work-Life Balance

According to the report, male and female respondents reported an improved work-life balance compared to previous years. The report also highlights the continued adaptation of companies to the new flexible landscape post-COVID-19.

Last year's survey showed that 56% of women felt that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their work-life balance. However, almost two-thirds of men and women surveyed this time believe they have achieved a balance between their work and home lives, which is a welcome improvement.

Women suggested remote work, flexible hours, and employee assistance as ways their organisations could better support them. After the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing interest in understanding how energy companies have sustained the flexible working patterns implemented or expanded in 2020.

These arrangements have proved beneficial to employees, especially those with caring responsibilities. The survey results revealed that over one-third of respondents reported their employers had maintained the three critical flexible working options of flexitime, hybrid working, and remote working.


The biggest recurring takeaways from this year’s survey centre around how companies need to grow and cultivate a workplace environment where women feel supported and encouraged to grow as much as their male counterparts. There is a strong need for improved training and mentoring opportunities to ensure companies can retain the top female talent and continue attracting more women into the sector.

If companies can continue to commit to and continuously improve on their diversity targets, the energy landscape will provide a place where women at all levels can thrive and advance their careers.

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