The 2019 Women in Energy seminar focused on the energy transition, female leadership, diversity & inclusion within the energy sector and the impact and opportunities of digitalisation. I was honoured to once again act as moderator, presenting the full-day event, including a panel discussion with industry leaders Marit Brommer, Executive Director of the Int’l Geothermal Association (IGA) , Daniel Jeavons, General Manager Data Science at Shell, René Peters, Business Director Gas Technology at TNO, Ellen Kroijmans, Director of Global Project Office at SBM Offshore and Mandy Brussaard, Senior Energy Advisor at BMC Advies
The oil and gas industry went through substantial changes over the last few years. Significant reductions in the price of renewable energy technologies, coupled with a political commitment to reduce CO2 emissions following the Paris Agreement, led to an increased focus from oil and gas majors towards adapting their traditional business models. Renewables are gaining more prominence in the energy mix whereas the optimisation of energy usage has seen an increased deployment of Artificial Intelligence and cloud technologies. As companies adapt to the energy transition, employees need to adapt as well, by developing relevant skills to maintain their employability. The Women in Energy 2019 edition addressed how the changes in the energy sector will affect future employability, talent retention and opportunities they create for women, future leadership requirements in light of the energy transition and digitalisation era.
The SPE Netherlands section is the co-organizer of the WIE symposia which supports the SPE mission to collect, disseminate and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit. Concurrently it provides opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competences. WIE Symposia brings together a diverse audience to promote the importance of diversity and inclusion and highlight the value it brings to a successful business. Our ambition is to create a platform that members as well as business leaders can use to help address and tackle gender disparity as well as promote higher participation of women across different ranks. We hope to encourage the sharing of best practices on how to create equal career opportunities and to close the gender and talent gaps still present across all levels in the oil and gas industry.
Since 2011 four symposia have been organised with more than 500 attending participants including prominent speakers from across the industry, academia and politics. Symposiums have also hosted panel discussions and soft skill workshops where participants could share their views on the different topics and gain practical skills to help them develop their talent and accelerate their careers.
Many industry leaders and professional organisations have joined us on our journey to bring awareness of diversity and inclusion to employers and professionals across all sectors of the oil and gas industry. With their support this event is growing every year making the WIE symposia a well-known platform for all participants to share their experiences and develop their network.