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BP launches diversity report


British multinational fuel giant BP has launched a new report into the number of women in the oil and gas industry, a traditionally male-dominated sector that has improved diversity levels in recent years.

The study was conducted with online resource Rigzone and questioned some 3,000 figures across the industry.

While 72 per cent believe oil and gas is still largely staffed and ran by male executives, it does appear that positive steps are being taken, as they have been across other sectors such as finance.

Some 60 per cent of respondents expressed the belief that more female workers will be entering the industry over the coming decade, although there was slightly less confidence that they could reach the apex of their profession.

Kirsty Bashforth, group head of organizational effectiveness at BP, said the sector offers many opportunities to women who are keen to develop their career.

"While the industry acknowledges it still has work to do in terms of a gender balanced pool of talent, the results of this survey demonstrate that industry initiatives and programs to engage women about careers in oil and gas are making an impact and we need to keep focused for them to continue to do so," she added.

Women represented nearly 32 per cent of BP’s hires last year, highlighting just how important diversity is to one of the sector's leading companies. Accessing the best talent and building up the business means acting to counter gender imbalances, concluded Kirsty Bashforth.

The financial services industry has undergone a similar shift in recent years, as reported in Marks Sattin's annual Market Insight report. While it previously suffered from a reputation for machismo, more women have entered the industry and a number of initiatives have been set up to attract female talent.

However, there is still a worrying salary gap in the world of accountancy, with the difference between male and female pay widening by £2,000 since 2012.

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