First-Hand Perspectives of the Pro-Female Notion in the Oil and Gas Industry in the Gulf

Albertus Retnanto, Anto Mohsin, Afsha Shaikh, Insha Shaikh, Darrell Pinontoan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The oil and gas industry in the Gulf has been vital in contributing to Qatar's economy. With the industry's rapid growth, there was a need for an exponentially larger workforce. Gender imbalance still remains one of the industry's challenges in a largely male-dominated field. However, the good news is that the female workforce has gradually increased. The rise in female engineers and scientists in the industry has resulted in, among other things, better opportunities to access higher education and training in the oil and gas field. However, there remain some obstacles that aspiring female engineers face. Based on interviews conducted with several engineers who work in multinational oil and gas companies in the Gulf states, we discuss existing challenges and issues many women engineers still encounter today. The interviewees also noted some improvements and provided helpful advice for the females aspiring to be engineers. We interviewed several female and male engineers, some of whom occupy managerial positions while others work in the fields. The interviews were conducted on Zoom over several weeks, and we then transcribed the interviews. We then analyzed the interview transcripts using a corpora analysis software, LancsBox, with each transcript separated as its own corpus. KWIC (keyword in context) tool was used to isolate a single keyword (for example, "female" or "girl") to find out how often those keywords were used and in what context in a sentence for each corpus, which helped identify the various themes that were discussed during the interview, such as gender and the workplace, challenges in the workplace, barriers to work and life balance, to list a few. The interviewees recounted their experiences, and from that data, we describe their challenges, successes, and recommendations to make the oil and gas industry in the Gulf accommodating for both genders. The challenges they describe include a lack of appropriate facilities for women on the field; sexist or difficult treatment from male counterparts, managers, and family members; a gender pay gap; and a lack of policies or incentives that support women to achieve executive positions in their companies. Some of the successes they shared include strides being made to encourage women to enter STEM programs in schools and STEM careers, a changing environment for the prevalence and inclusion of women in the oil and gas industry, and a change of culture in the world surrounding the image of women in the STEM industry. Several female interviewees mentioned familial support in their educational pursuit, suggested the creation of mentorship programs and recommended having more female role models in the industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2022, ATCE 2022
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613998595
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, ATCE 2022 - Houston, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2022Oct 5 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
ISSN (Electronic)2638-6712


Conference2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, ATCE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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