By 2040 the global demand for energy is projected to increase by about 37% (IEA, WEO 2014[1]) with natural gas expected to growth faster than any other fossil fuel. In fact, by 2030 natural gas is projected to become the leading fuel in the OECD energy mix. The aggregate global investment required to cover the global energy needs over the coming two decades is estimated to amount to an astounding sums of over $48 trillion (IEA, WEIO2014[2]).

Gas companies bare a great responsibility for mustering the required capital and effectively employing a highly skilled workforce to optimally direct and manage the hugely valuable assets in order to meet the global increase in energy demand. Furthermore, with society´s expectation towards environmental and social responsibility continuously growing, gas companies will also be required to work much harder in order to maintain their license to operate and secure public acceptance.

In order to ensure the delivery of natural gas in a safe and reliable manner, the gas industry must attract and develop the most competent employees. Gas professionals will have to be capable of providing solutions that are not only technically feasible and economically effective, but which are also accepted by society.

As competition for top talent is increasing throughout the global workforce market, the gas industry should pledge its full commitment to ensuring that talented human capital is continuously available. The industry must comprehend incontestably that any underperformance by the human element, translates into wastefulness that must be compensated by additional capital investments, proportional to the human deficit.

Six years ago, the IGU established Task Force and charged it with understanding the key issues impacting the attraction, development and retention of talent in the gas industry.

Every three years TF1 combines a team of 50-60 HR specialists and gas professionals from top gas companies across the world in order to produce an independent benchmark report dedicated to human capital in the gas industry.

The 2015 TF1 report `Delivering on Talent´ will be launched during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris this June. It entails a mountain of information regarding human capital in the gas industry, being a rewarding read for HR professionals in general as well as energy executives who think strategically. Below is one of the many stories to be found in the 2015 TF1 report.


Women in the Gas industry Today

During the workshop dedicated to Women in Engineering organized in Paris by the UNESCO and the IGU, Mr. Getachew Engida Deputy Director General of UNESCO stated that “No country can afford to ignore 50% of its human resources.” TF1 believe that neither can the gas industry.


Figure 3.3.1 Percentage of Female Employees in the Workforce

Source: IGU 2015


In contrast with the above, the TF1 report show that presently women account for only a reduced percentage in the gas industry´s workforce and tend to work mostly in support/ non-technical functions, while being largely omitted from executive positions. The findings in figures 3.3.1 and 3.3.2below illustrate that the gas industry continues to remain a male dominated industry where 3 out of 4 employees are men and over half the gas companies globally employ over 95% male managers.


Figure 3.3.2 Percentage of Female Employees in the Workforce in the Following Positions

Source: IGU 2015


Furthermore, women´s interest in the gas industry is significantly lower than the interest shown by men. Figure 3.3.3 below suggests that about 60% of companies globally, have less than 30% of their job applications coming from women.


Figure 3.3.3 Percentage of Female Applicants in the Total Number of Applications Received by Region

Source: IGU 2015


Despite the modest results presented above, gas companies seem to be doing a good job in accommodating female professionals once they have joined the sector. Figure 4.3.1 below shows that the vast majority of female professionals working in the gas industry feel they can indeed fulfil their career expectations within the gas sector. Furthermore, although gas companies hire on average considerably more men than women, it is the women that tend to stay longer with their companies. Figure 3.6.1 illustrates that, the average attrition rate for female employees is significantly lower than that of the entire company.


Figure 4.3.1 Possibility to Fulfilling                     Figure 3.6.1 Annual Attrition Rates over

Career Expectations within                               Past 3 Years by Region

the Gas Industry

Source: IGU 2015


Let no mistake be made, the gas industry is investing sustained efforts towards becoming more female friendly. As illustrated in figure 3.3.8 below, three quarter of gas companies globally have in place one or more special programs dedicated to support their female employees.  Most of these programs focus on women returning from maternity leave.


Figure 3.3.8 Recognition and Encouragement Programs for Female Employees

Source: IGU 2015


However, in too many cases these efforts appear halfhearted, to a degree ineffective and overall, they fall short of making the gas industry a `female friendly industry´. To remedy these circumstances, gas companies should not limit their actions to what is convenient, but must extend their efforts to what is actually required.

The TF1 report dedicates ample attention to how the gas industry can become more attractive and more accommodating to women. Our findings suggest that, in order to attract more female professionals, the first step is to focus on communicating that women can find good opportunities within the gas industry. In order to be perceived as `female friendly´, the gas industry should focus firstly on offering more flexibility to their women employees, by which they facilitate a better integration of a successful professional career with a fulfilling family life.

Additional information regarding the `Women in the Gas Industry´ story and many more similar ones, can be found in the full TF1 Report `Delivering on Talent´. We gladly invite you to join TF1 at the 26th WGC on Thursday the 4th of June starting 5 pm for the launch of the full Report, or visit the IGU´s website to receive a free copy.


[1] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2014

[2] International Energy Agency, World Energy Investment Outlook 2014


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