The Executive Vice President of Tullow Ghana has charged companies to support and promote Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for women.
Kweku Awotwi believes this will grow the country’s female human resource and build their capacity for what society describes as a complex field of endeavour.
“We believe it is important to start early in the education process to encourage our young women in the sciences.
“That is why it is no mistake that Tullow supports the Africa Science Academy – a sixth form school for girls with outstanding math and science potential,” he told the audience at the launch of the Women in Energy (WiE) Ghana on Wednesday.
Encouraging women to take up opportunities, he said Tullow also provides internships, other tertiary STEM scholarships and on the job training, among other measures, for young people and their professionals.
The global energy industry is far off from achieving gender parity.
According to the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, which surveyed more than 20,000 people across the oil and gas industry in 2018, women make up 10 per cent of the global energy workforce in oil and gas, renewables, petrochemical, power and nuclear sectors.
The situation is no different in Ghana with available data pointing to similar disparities. Ghana is yet to have a female Minister, substantive or Deputy, of Petroleum, Power or Energy.
Khadija Amoah was recently appointed CEO of Aker Energy Ghana making her the first female to head that position in an oil company in the country.
According to a 2018 study on gender representation in the petroleum sector, by energy policy NGO, Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth, (GOGIG), there were only 3 female chairs on 33 Boards surveyed, with only 5 of those Boards having more than 1 woman represented.
Also, the UNDP’s Gender Analysis report 2018 states, and I quote, “women are primarily active in the lower-paid, non-technical fields such as administration, finance, marketing and public relations.”
Mr Awotwi said this is why WiE Ghana deserves lots of support.
Mr Awotwi with Adelaide Addo-Fening, Chair of Women in Energy Ghana
The platform was borne out of the concern about the effects of the limited presence and participation of women in top leadership positions in the various operations along the value chain in the energy sector.
The group said to increase women’s leadership and participation in the sector members will also advocate for increased numbers of women in a leadership position.
This, WiE Ghana said will be in recognition of the contribution from women in the energy sector.
Endorsing the goals of the WiE Ghana, the Tullow boss said the statistics “gives us time to reflect on the place of women energy professionals in Ghana and throw up some suggestions about how to attract more of them into Ghana’s Energy industry and examine our role in empowering and supporting them to achieve their full potential.”
He wants other companies in the energy sector to undertake programmes and policies to promote women as Tullow has done in appreciating women as “part of our diversity and inclusion initiatives over the last few years.”
“Of course, companies themselves must establish gender policies that ensure women are empowered and feel comfortable working in our industry,” Mr Awotwi said.