By Erin Douglas Houston Chronicle
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Survey analysts suggest that the renewable energy sector is likely attracting young people due to its modern approach and environmental conscience.
Women at the beginning of their career in the energy industry are flocking to renewables, a new survey by a Houston-based recruitment agency found.
Based on a survey of 1,200 female professionals working in the energy industry, of women working in renewables, 63 percent are less than five years into their career.
However, the NES Global Talent's survey found, of the women surveyed, oil and gas had the most people working in the sector, indicating the prevalence of oil and gas in the energy industry.
But oil and gas may soon have problems recruiting young talent, the results suggest: Only 28 percent of women in oil and gas are less than five years into their career.
Survey analysts wrote that the renewable energy sector was likely attracting young people due to its modern approach and environmental conscience, "resonating" with women early in their career.
Over half of women working in the energy industry are less than a decade into their career; the most experienced women tended to be in oil and gas, the survey found. About 63 percent of those surveyed were the bread-winners in their household.
All sectors of the energy industry are behind in closing the gender gap, survey analysts write, and inclusivity has been a challenge for years.
In Houston, the "energy capital of the world," 27.8 percent of the oil and gas extraction and mining industry is made up of women. The city's female labor force participation rate is 68.7 percent, about four percentage points behind the national rate, according to the U.S. Census.
Respondents said that more flexible working hours and better communication could make their company culture more welcoming and encouraging to women and that enhanced benefits, maternity leave and remote access to work would attract more women to the sector.
The biggest challenges the energy industry faces, those surveyed said, are a lack of suitable roles for women and a lack of mentorship in their field.
Hart Energy, an energy research and publishing firm based in Houston, will host a luncheon Feb. 12 at the Hilton Americas in Houston for women working in the energy sector. The event will celebrate 25 influential women working in the oil and gas industry.