Advocates’ report examines gender diversity in the oil, gas and mining industry
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 11:00 AM

The Advocates for Human Rights has released a report that examines the benefits of female inclusion and ways to support women in traditionally male-dominated industries.  The Advocates also makes recommendations to the industry and to governments around the world to remove barriers that exclude women from certain employment. 

The study resulted from a request of the United Nations Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane (CMM), which supports activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines, as well as improve underground safety conditions.
While its mandate is environmental and safety-focused, the UN Group of Experts also recognized it needed to pay closer attention to the global issue of female diversity and inclusion. 
“We have worked with the UN Gender Network, a global coloration among academics, civil society, member states and individuals working at the UN to understand the causes and impact of gender equality policies within the United Nations,” said Rosalyn Park, director of the Women's Human Rights Program for The Advocates for Human Rights.  “Because of our work with the UN Gender Network, the UN Group of Experts reached out to us to request similar research on women in the extractive industries, such as oil, gas, and mining.”
The Advocate’s research demonstrates the numerous benefits that women and diversity bring to industries, including a larger talent pool for recruitment, greater profitability, improved performance, better safety records, and overall economic empowerment to women and communities.
The Gender Diversity in the Oil, Gas and Mining Industry report also makes recommendations to governments and the private sector to support women and gender equality, and discusses government obligations, including changing laws that prohibit or restrict women from certain employment.
For example, Russia is the sixth largest coal-producing country and a top oil and gas producer. Yet, Russia’s Labor Law bans women from 456 professions on the basis that they are “harmful” or “dangerous” for women.  The bar prohibits women from working in jobs such as certain mines, welding, drilling, butchering, pipe cleaning, furnaces and gas conduits, offshore crane operators, as well as professional categories such as carpentry, plumbing and transportation.  Despite numerous challenges and a finding by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which such bans violate principles of equality and non-discrimination, the law remains on the books today. 
The UN Group of Experts invited Park to present the research at its annual meeting in Geneva.  The panel included Branislava Jovicic of Balkan Green Energy News in Serbia and was facilitated by Raymond Pilcher of the UN Group of Experts.

Read the report