Empowering the Future: Celebrating Women’s Growing Influence in the Energy Sector

Written by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President & CEO, WSPA

This International Women’s Day, we enthusiastically celebrate the dynamic and increasing role of women in the energy industry, a sector that is at the forefront of global innovation and sustainability efforts. The 2024 theme, ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,’ resonates deeply with our commitment at WSPA and across the broader energy sector to empower and elevate women in every facet of our work.

Women are increasingly becoming the driving force behind pivotal innovations in the energy sector, contributing significantly to advancements in renewable energy, safety practices, energy efficiency, and groundbreaking technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS). This shift marks a significant departure from historical trends and is a testament to the sector’s evolving dynamics.

While it’s true that women have traditionally been underrepresented in the energy workforce, with only 22% in oil and gas and 32% in renewables as of recent data, there’s a notable shift underway. In leadership roles, women’s participation is on the rise. The Boston Consulting Group has highlighted that although women account for about a fifth of employees in the energy industry, their presence in technical roles and upper management is gradually increasing. Additionally, according to the 2023 United States Energy & Employment Report, women made up more than half of the new workers entering the energy industry in 2022. This change is critical, as diverse workforce and leadership teams bring a wealth of perspectives and approaches, fostering creativity and innovation.

These statistics were the catalyst to the 2018 creation of our Women of WSPA Initiative (WOWI) – a network of women connected to WSPA who work to ensure that women in the oil and gas industry have equal opportunities, representation and respect. And I am proud to say that women make up 66% of our team at the senior leadership level.

WSPA team members pictured left to right: Emily Thimjon, Ramine Ross, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, Patty Senecal, Julie Berge

Our industry is rich with stories of how women have stepped up since World War II to lead and continue to provide safe, affordable, reliable energy to our nation. An example of investment in action is the work Chevron is doing in Southern California. The company’s first female general managers across both operations and maintenance and reliability are driving stronger, more efficient and more productive operations to deliver critical oil and gas to our communities. View the inspiring video on our Resource Hub.

While we should not need a holiday to remind us all of the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment, today does serve as a reminder of just how fortunate I am to work in an organization – and an industry – that has made such big strides around this important issue.


Related blog post: Celebrating the Women of Oil and Gas


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