GENDER INEQUALITY; A CASE STUDY OF WOMEN UNDER-REPRESENTATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR (AN ANALYTICAL APPROACH) #STANDTALL

April 18, 2015 | By
GBEMILEKE OGUNBODEDE

GENDER INEQUALITY; A CASE STUDY OF WOMEN UNDER-REPRESENTATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR (AN ANALYTICAL APPROACH)  #STANDTALL

Sex is a property of the biological features or attributes of an organism; gender is

socially constructed and created. From the sociologist analysis, gender is the distinction between biological sex .Gender relations are the result of the way social processes act on a specific biological categories and form social relations between them. From the biological perspective; biological differences rooted in sex constitute the raw materials which, through a specific process of social production, get transformed into the social relations we call “GENDER”.

Inequality has been described by many authors, but most emphasized on the aspect of it been when there is no equality in an environment or a society. Inequality refers to the condition of absence of equality or disparity

Gender is a major point or area of social and economic stratification and, as a result, of exclusion. Regardless of one’s socio-economic class, there are specific gender differences in material well-being, although the degree or rate of inequality varies across the part of the world and also varies over time.

Due to this representation which affect women that means women, unjustly, have become the shock absorbers of austerity. They are paying a far higher price proportionately than men, finding themselves cemented into a lifetime of low earnings and under-utilized qualifications.

Looking at the anthropological perspective in human history taken as a whole there is different variation in the character of social relations between men and women. Historically, In some societies at some points in time coming women were virtually the machines (slaves) of men, completely disempowered, discouraged and vulnerable. A feminist economists point out, 65% of jobs in the public sector are held by women; 310,000 public sector jobs will be axed in five years until 2015. Eighty per cent of the “new” jobs are in the private sector, (according to TUC) They are low skill, low paid. A far higher proportion of female income therefore also comes from benefits so, again, women are hit hardest by benefit cuts.

The Society of Women Engineers (2006) conducted a retention study of more

than 6,000 individuals who earned an engineering degree between 1985 and 2003. One-quarter

of female engineers surveyed were either not employed at all or not employed in engineering

or a related field, while only one-tenth of men surveyed had left the engineering field.. I will say here that is not only in the energy sector that women are under-represented, but also when it comes to other sector relating to science and engineering.. here is the analysis, the % of women involve in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are relatively low when compared to their male counterpart , this also happens in the developed countries.. there has been many research in the time past over the issues of under-numbered of women in the stem sector, for example, many theory has been able to be generated from this research, one notion states that that men are mathematically superior and innately better suited to STEM fields than women are remains a common belief. with a large number of articles addressing cognitive gender differences as an explanation for the small numbers of women in STEM. Another notion believes that girls’ lack of interest in STEM. Another notion believes that the STEM workplace is also a factor, with issues ranging from work-life balance to bias.

The STEM issue in the university days has also lead to the industrial sector too, where few women are found in the industrial sector involving STEM Basis(operation engineer on oil and gas field and the likes). The technical area of the energy sector includes the fields operations, drilling engineering, all involving the electrical, and the mechanical aspects of engineering). Mostly the technical area of energy sector is the main marker of the sector where majorly the products or the outcome or the productivity from this sector are the determinants of the workforce of the sector, which are majorly occupied by men when compared to that of women. This under- representation of women in the energy sector is similar to that of the WOMEN IN THE STEM.. the factors of this under- representation is categorically caused by what I called the social factors , which will be discuss in the write up. The social factor include; Workplace Environment, Bias, Family Responsibilities. Not only the social factors are the causes of females under-representation in the energy sector there is one I TAGGED as the socio-cultural factor which beckons on the fact that in Africa or the world belief that females are not meant to be in a working place where most activities are meant not to be done by

 

Most female researcher found that many women appear to encounter a series of challenges at midcareer that contribute to their leaving careers in STEM industries Women cited feelings of isolation, an unsupportive work environment, extreme work schedules, and unclear rules about advancement and success as major factors in their decision to leave.

Most females decides to leave the energy sectors due to their family responsibilities, or mainly few of them that’s looking up to becoming a staff of an energy sector decides not to nurture the ambition of working in this sector, so the family responsibilities from my own perspective comes in where the females under representation in the sector is mainly affected by the responsibilities that is in their capacity, whether the responsibilities is coming from the aspect of her home or family where she is in charge of all the doings in the house, so with this most females working in this sector decides to stop work, moving to an industry where she will have time to to take charge of her responsibilities at home.

Conduct departmental reviews to assess the climate for female departments in the industry. Although the climate within the department is important to both female and male faculty, it appears to be more important for female departments and their overall satisfaction. When female departments experience negative climates, they report lower job satisfaction and consider leaving their positions. Also the energy companies should ensure mentoring for all junior female staffs that are coming in the energy sectors; Both formal and informal mentoring of junior staffs that are female are important, since this mentoring really goes a long way and the latter is crucial to support the integration of women into science and engineering departments. Formal mentoring programs should be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness, and departments should foster informal mentoring by encouraging senior female staffs to actively reach out to junior female staff and also when it comes to Supporting industry work-life balance.; The industries should implement effective policies that support work-life balance. Stop-tenure-clock policies should allow majorly females departments stop their tenure clock for parental leave for anywhere from three months to a year after the birth or adoption of a child. These policies ensure that parents are not penalized for reduced productivity during the tenure-evaluation period. Providing on-site, high-quality child care also supports work-life balance and is important to female department satisfaction in particular.

Lastly each countries should come up with programs (energy- oriented) which will enhance the performance of women in the energy sector, therefore making it for them to improve on their contribution to the sector rather than leaving the sector due to their performances when low it is when is been measured. This program should not only be done by the government of this nations, but by NGOS’s and all others, so by making them know that what man can do ,woman can also do. This program (energy-oriented) or structures really goes a long way in ensuring that most women will be build up interest in the energy sector, which this intiatives will be totally supported by both men and women of the society.

 

By; Gbemileke, OGUNBODEDE

 

 

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