Women Empowerment in Energy Sector: Hopes and Challenges

Written by: Top 50 Women Forum’s Team

Reducing inequalities is one of the most important goals of the 17th “Sustainable Development Goals” of the United Nations. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a set of ambitious and interrelated goals addressing the grand development challenges people face in Egypt and around the world.

The main practicality of the goal we’re spotlighting today is to empower women in the energy sector and provide them with equal opportunities with men, as the energy sector is still one of the least diversified sectors between the two sexes in the labor market.

There is also a popular belief that jobs like research, exploration, and technical work in specific sectors such as oil, natural gas, and power stations should be limited to men, as these jobs require certain physical capabilities. Surprisingly, this isn’t just happening in Egypt but even in the most developed countries too.

However, with the daily change in the international community and the global economy’s determinants, in terms of energy markets, and the shift towards clean energies and innovative and technological solutions in obtaining and reserving energy, we will find a more influential and effective role for women.

Female energy experts, entrepreneurs, and researchers, can find tremendous opportunities for professional growth in this sector.

Empowering women in the energy sector can help fight energy poverty, foster energy sustainability, and accelerate the energy transition. Despite this, the energy sector remains one of the least gender diverse.

But we have to highlight a certain point: to achieve actual results on the ground, women empowering in the energy sector require more serious efforts, as women make up only 22% of the global labor force in oil and gas, according to the International Energy Agency.

Moreover, another study issued by the World Bank on January 2022 showed that women’s representation in the energy sector in the MENA area ranges between 7-9%, while the global average is 32%.

The study, titled “Toward More and Better Jobs for Women in Energy”, was conducted by the bank’s Energy Sector Management Program. The research sample features Egypt, among various countries in the region.

The study’s results revealed that, in Egypt, women’s participation in the energy sector is below 10% on average.

In the same regard, women face countless challenges through their work in many sectors, not just the energy sector.

However, we can say that the challenges facing women empowerment in the energy sector are more urgent, as the sector’s transformation process towards clean energy requires innovative solutions and business models with greater participation of innovation and effective actions by both genders, and work on equal opportunities between women and men in the concerned sector.

Globally, women face numerous challenges, including the lack of proper training and opportunities, inappropriate policies that fail to attract or keep female employees, inflexible workplaces, unequal pay, and support deficiency for women entrepreneurs.

There are other reasons related to why energy policies and gender-neutral programs are not gender-neutral but instead reinforce gender biases, but in all fairness, the whole picture is not so bleak.

On the sidelines of the international and Egyptian efforts to empower women in the energy sector, what is being achieved by the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS) represented by the “Equality in Energy” conference is a glimmer of hope.

The event taking place in Egypt on February 2023, aims to achieve more equality and empowerment of women in the energy sector and encourage women to achieve more creativity and achievements in this field by presenting several awards for some categories, namely, “WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP”, “STEM STAR OF THE YEAR”, and “NEX-GEN FEMALE OF THE YEAR” awards.

Several women in the energy sector compete to earn the crown in each category. Women empowerment in the energy sector is not easy, but it is not impossible either; the Egyptian and international efforts in this direction show a lot of promise.

EGYPS 2023 set to drive the energy transition conversation and address the reshaping of global markets

Cairo, Egypt, 9 January 2023 – With the global energy transition underway, the 6th edition of the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS) returns to Cairo from 13-15 February 2023 at the Egypt International Exhibition Center to propel the dialogue on energy security and climate action through collaborative industry efforts.

Taking place under the patronage of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and with support of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, EGYPS 2023 brings an expanded agenda across its conferences with focused programmes covering Strategic, Technical, Finance and Investment in Energy, Equality in Energy, and Sustainability in Energy topics. More than 65-panel discussions, two thousand delegates, and over 260 speakers will convene, engage in dialogue, and identify solutions and strategies that will support the reshaping of global energy markets across the entire oil, gas and energy value chain.

The two-day Strategic Conference features ministers, C-suite executives, and CEOs of the largest energy companies to share industry insights within the framework of 3 pillars: geopolitical and global economies, energy transition and energy solutions, and the next generation of oil, gas and energy ecosystems. The conference will address the growing importance of North Africa and the Mediterranean in supporting sustainable global energy supply and demand. Ministerial-led discussions include the participation of His Excellency Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Arab Republic of Egypt;  Commissioner for Energy at the European Union, Kadri Simson; Chairman of the Palestinian Energy & Natural Resources Authority, Zafer Milhem; Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons and incoming OPEC 2023 President, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima; OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al Ghais; OAPEC Secretary General, Ali Sabt BenSabt; General Director of Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME), Dr. Houda Ben Jannet Allal; Chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes, Lorenzo Simonelli; CEO of Wintershall Dea, Mario Mehren; President and CEO of Axens, Jean Sentenac; CEO of AspenTech, Antonio Pietri; CEO of DESFA, Maria, Rita Galli; CEO of Saipem, Alessandro Puliti; CEO of Energean, Mathios Rigas; CEO of Capricorn Energy, Simon Thomson; CEO of Methanex, Rich Sumner; CEO of HELLENiQ ENERGY, Andreas Shiamishis; CEO of ThyssenKrupp, Dr. Cord Landsmann; Executive President, UEG and CEO of Kuwait Energy, Song Yu; Vice President of Global Exploration at ExxonMobil, John Ardill; Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Republic of Djibouti, His Excellency Honourable Yonis Ali Guedi; Minister of Petroleum and Energies, Senegal, Her Excellency Dr Aissatou Sophie Gladima; CEO of Sonatrach, Toufik Hakkar; Secretary General of Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Nasser Kamel; and President, Energy of Bechtel, Paul Marsden.

The Finance and Investment in Energy Conference returns, bringing global investors, industry leaders, and financial and economic experts. The conference will address stimulating industry growth and transformation.  Panelists will examine forward-looking partnership models for the new energy investment landscape, balancing ESG with energy security and net-zero targets.  Plus, a look at the implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on oil and gas investment markets.  To date, confirmed speakers include President of MEDREG, Abdellatif Bardach; CEO and Head of E&P Business Unit at Hellenic Petroleum Upstream, Anastasios Vlassopoulos; CFO of Dragon Oil, Ahmad Ali BinObood; Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of Africa Finance Corporation, Sameh Shenouda; Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer of Elsewedy Electric Group, Sherif El Zeiny; Managing Director – Africa Energy Investments Corporation, African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), Zakaria Dosso; and Director of Exploration and Research Innovations, National Authority of Petroleum and Minerals (ANPM), Mateus da Costa.

The Equality in Energy Conference hosts a full day of sessions defining the workforce and workplace of the future, championing equality, diversity and inclusion.  Organisational change management and inclusion and diversity specialists to lead the conversation on how the industry is creating equal, diverse and inclusive workforces and workplaces of the future to deliver sustainable low-carbon business models. To date, confirmed speakers include Chief Human Resources Officer of Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG, Walter Schön; Chief Sustainability Officer of Elsewedy Electric, Manal Hassan; Group Director of Energy Policy and International Affairs, Hellenic Petroleum, Liana Gouta; Executive Vice President, People, Communications & Transformation at Baker Hughes, Deanna Jones; Senior Vice President Oman, UAE, Iraq and North Africa at Worley, Amru Alabidi; Vice President, Human Resources of Apache, Brandy Jones; President, Automation Solutions, Middle East & Africa (MEA) at Emerson, Vidya Ramnath; and Vice President, Customer Satisfaction & Quality of Schneider Electric, Manal Messiha.

With an ever-increasing focus on sustainability, EGYPS 2023 hosts its Sustainability in Energy Conference with an agenda set to address the rise of CSR, ESG and HSE across the industry.  Bringing together global energy leaders, sustainability and HSE experts to explore how oil and gas operators are integrating sustainability practices into their business models and workplaces ensuring a positive impact on the planet, their employees, and the communities in which they operate.  To date, confirmed speakers include Chief Sustainability Officer of Baker Hughes Allyson Book; Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety at Apache, Jessica Jackson; COO of Capricorn Energy, Paul Mayland; Group Senior Vice President Sector Lead Upstream, Midstream, LNG at Worley, Jim Lenton; and Vice President Socioeconomic Development at TotalEnergies, Laila Chemane-Chilemba.

Spanning the entire oil, gas and energy value chain, the EGYPS Technical Conference has been created from a global industry-wide call for papers campaign featuring 19 technical categories and a thorough two-stage Technical Committee review, comprising over 80 industry specialists.  Across the three days of EGYPS, over 180 technical experts will be speaking in 45 sessions, delivering insights on the latest technical excellence across the world.

Driving excellence across the industry, EGYPS 2023 will host two Awards Ceremonies.  Having received an exceptional mix of global and regional entries across eight categories, the Awards Juries selected 30 finalists through a two-stage evaluation process.  In celebrating both winners and finalists, the Sustainability in Energy Awards Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 14 February and the Equality in Energy Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 15 February 2023.  See the category finalists on www.egyps.com

Egypt to Host the Largest Edition of EGYPS 2023, Driving Global Efforts towards Sustainable Energy

Cairo, Egypt – With an inflow of investments projected to expand by $26 billion, Egypt continues to increase its energy exports and strengthen its positioning as a dynamic and growing energy hub.

The final preparations for hosting the largest oil, gas, and energy Show are well underway. Themed “North Africa and The Mediterranean: Supporting Sustainable Global Energy Supply and Demand”, The Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS) 2023 is held under the auspices of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and with the support of the Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources from 13-15 February 2023.

EGYPS 2023 will bring together C-suite officials of international energy companies and attract over 32,000 attendees, including global industry experts, leaders, and decision-makers from the oil, gas, and energy community. More than 260 speakers will address sustainable climate-conscious production of oil and gas, energy transition and decarbonisation, and actions to deliver a net-zero future.

For the first time, EGYPS 2023 will witness the participation of over 50 new companies, along with the presence of more than 50 affiliates to the Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, the upcoming edition will take place with an expanded exhibition space, hosting more than 500 exhibitors, including 28 National and International Oil, Energy, and Service companies, namely Chevron, Kuwait Energy, Cheiron, Dragon Oil, ExxonMobil, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope), Apache, bp, TotalEnergies, Enppi, Petrojet, and Schneider Electric.

The sixth edition will feature 13 international pavilions hosting world-class companies and products from leading energy countries, including China, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Scotland, India, Turkey, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.

“Next year, EGYPS has an expanded agenda enabling the exchange of ideas and information, which includes the Strategic Conference, focusing on 3 main pillars: Geopolitical and global economies, energy transition and energy solutions, and the next generation oil, gas, and energy ecosystems”, said Christopher Hudson, President at dmg events, the organiser of EGYPS.

EGYPS 2023 will outline both the potentials and challenges to ensure energy security, in addition to leveraging on the outcomes achieved by the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).

Hudson added, “The Show would deliberate a number of important topics including sustainability in the energy sector – for the first time at EGYPS – the conference on finance and investment, the conference on gender equality in the energy sector, and the technical conference.”

Shaped by engineers, and created for the industry – the EGYPS Technical Conference has been curated by over 80 technical experts under the guidance of Technical Chairman Dr. Samir Elkareish, Vice Chairman, Energy Transition, EGAS, will represent a global industry-wide call for papers campaign featuring 19 technical categories and a thorough two-stage Technical Committee review

In the same context, Salman Abou Hamzeh, Vice President of dmg Events, highlighted that EGYPS has been reflecting opportunities to spearhead the petroleum sector’s growth and ongoing evolution. From policy to innovation breakthroughs, EGYPS is a prestigious platform that attracts the best minds and provides a collaborative environment for sharing ideas with high-level, relevant audiences from the government, civil, energy, academic, and business sectors.

The exhibition will feature dedicated zones on Digitalisation in energy, and for the first time, the Offshore and Marine zone, empowering the global energy sector to forge new cross-sector collaboration and improve existing business alliances to maximize value across firms and foster future growth.

The 2023 edition will also host the Young Professional and Youth Engagement Programme, supported by headline sponsor ExxonMobil. The programmes bring together the passion and talents of industry students and young professionals, to stimulate engagement and knowledge exchange.

EGYPS 2023 will also feature two Awards Ceremonies that celebrate outstanding talents and impactful projects namely Global Equality in Energy Awards and Sustainability in Energy Awards