Women In Energy

Published: 01/12/2016

Originally published by Catalyst.org – November 2016.


There Are Fewer Women in the Energy Industry Than in Tech1

Only 5% of executive board members are women at the top 200 power and utility companies.2

  • Women are 14% of senior management at the top 200 power and utility companies. 3
  • Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America have the most women executive directors.4
  • North America and Europe have the most women non-executive directors. 5


Women on Mining Boards Remain Underrepresented, But There Are Signs of Improvement6

Women make up 7.9% of board seats in the top 500 global mining companies surveyed (an increase of 3% over three years). 7

  • 94% of all board positions held by women in the top 100 listed mining companies were in non-executive roles in 2014 (compared to only 70% for men in the same timeframe and same companies). 8
  • In the top 500 mining companies, those with mixed-gender boards significantly outperformed in dividend yields those companies with all-male boards. 9
Retention of Women in Mining Is Difficult

One study reports that while 30% of graduate recruits are women, the proportion of those same recruits drops to 10% at mid-level management. 10
Although women executives are well represented across a range of roles including HR and finance, they are not well represented in operations—a role seen as a stepping-stone to board service.11


Women Continue to Be Underrepresented in the Australian Resources Industry

Women were 13.3% of the resources workforce in 2009 and 14.3% in 2015 (a 7.5% increase). 12
Women made up a small percentage of those employed in the following industries in 2016:13

  • Mining: 17.2%
  • Coal Mining: 13.0%
  • Oil and Gas Extraction: 22.8%
  • Metal Ore Mining: 19.3%

The mining industry has a gender wage gap.  Women have a base salary of $101,207 compared to men’s $119,731. And the total remuneration gap is even wider.14

Over half of mining companies (54.2%) have no women on the their boards. 15

  • 8.9% of the boards of mining companies have at least one-third women, and 4.2% have at least half women.16


The Mining and Mineral Industries Remain a Major Canadian Employer 17


Women are almost half the labor force in Canada, but were only 17% of the mining labor force in 2015.18

  • Women make up 22.9% of the labor force in utilities. 19
  • Women make up 19.4% of the labor force in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.20
  • On a proportional basis, mining is the largest employer of Aboriginal peoples.21

Canadian mining employees have the highest wages of all industrial sectors in Canada, with an average annual salary of $100,000.22

The Mining Workplace Is a “Gendered” Culture23­

In one survey, women report the following barriers in the mining industry:24

  • Lack of networks
  • Harassment in the workplace

Work-life integration was also cited as a barrier for women, but within the mining sector, there is an increased understanding that men want better work-life as well.25

United States

In Energy Companies Women Make Up a Small Percentage of the C-Suite (24%)26
  • Women are 6% of CEOs in the top 1,000 energy companies.27
  • Women are 10% of CFOs in the top 1,000 energy companies.28
  • Women are 35% of CIOs in the top 1,000 energy companies.29
In 2015 Women and People of Color Remain Underrepresented in the Energy Industry30

% Women
% Black
% Hispanic
Oil and gas extraction 18.3% 3.5% 13.8%
Coal mining 5.2% 1.5% 0.8%
Support activities for mining 13.2% 6.1% 19.5%
Utilities 22.4% 8.5% 11.1%


In the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industry women make up 17% of the total employment(20% in the petrochemical compared to 14% in midstream). 32
Over the next 20 years Hispanic and African American workers are projected to account for almost 40% of all new job opportunities.33

Percentage of Employees in the Oil and Gas and Petrochemical Industry Who Are Black, Hispanic, and/or Women (2015).34


Occupation %
General and Operations and Investment Managers 7% 2.3% 9.5%
Managers, All Others 18% 4.3% 10.2%
Petroleum Engineers 13% 4.4% 9.1%







The Solar Energy Industry Is a Major Source of New Jobs in the US Economy35

Women made up 23.9% of the solar workforce in 2015.36
Only 5.2% of the solar workforce in 2015 was black, while Latinas/Latinos made up 11.3%.37

Additional Resources

Catalyst, Quick Take: Women In Male-Dominated Industries And Occupations (2015).
Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Exploring Diversity and Inclusion (2016).
Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Exploring Gender Inclusion (2016).
Ivan Marten and Katharina B. Rick, “Women in Energy: Attracting Top Talent,BCG.Perspectives (January 21, 2016).


How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in Gas, Mining & Oil in Australia, Canada, & the U.S.. New York: Catalyst, 2016.