Future Oil and Gas Opportunities for Women and Minorities

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
All-woman survey crew in Idaho in 1918.
All-woman survey crew in Idaho in 1918.

18 percent of AAPG members are women, up from 10 percent in 2006.

On April 8, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Women and Minorities.” The subcommittee chairman, Doug Lamborn, noted that his committee has advocated for the job growth that comes from a pro-growth policy for domestic energy, and wanted to highlight the opportunities for underrepresented segments of the population, women and minorities, if the U.S. energetically develops its oil and gas resources.

Let’s look at the data without spending too long analyzing the motives of the committee.

The first witness was Ms. Julie Gressley, Consultant, Economic Impact Analysis at IHS Economics. She highlighted the findings of the IHS report recently prepared for the American Petroleum Institute (API). the report is available here.

Some of the reports findings:

  • The upstream oil and gas industry employed 721,000 in 2010, of which 15 percent were women.
  • Over the period from 2010 to 2030, the upstream and downstream oil and gas and petrochemical industry is expected to provide 1.3 million jobs, including 405,000 for Hispanics and African Americans–that is a significant level of growth, to 32 percent.
  • Women’s share of this  job growth is projected at 185,000. What is wrong with this number? It appears that women’s jobs in oil and gas are projected to grow at the current level–15 percent of the workforce.
  • The report does project that the proportion of women in professional and management positions will grow as the share of women in administrative support, semi-skilled and unskilled positions will decline.
  • The occupational job growth to 2030 will be 63 percent blue-collar and 23 percent scientific and managerial. The report does not break out geoscientists but includes them in scientific and managerial.

Testimony from the other witnesses is available here.

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