The contributions of women as the largest consumers in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, have largely gone unrecognized and are reflected in their absence on the boards of companies, according to Energia, an NGO on Thursday.
Energia, a non-governmental organization focusing on women’s issues in the energy industry, recorded that most LPG consumers are women while they are in the majority in making and managing the purchasing decision of liquefied petroleum gas.
Taking these statistics into account, the World LPG Association (WLPGA) decided to focus more on women in the industry and will establish the Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG). Its inaugural meeting will be held at the World LPG Forum in Singapore on Sept. 29.
Alison Abbott, the WLPGA marketing and communications director and the future manager of WINLPG, told Anadolu Agency that the global LPG industry should avail of the opportunity to take medium and long-term action to attract, retain and develop women in the industry.
"As the authoritative global voice for LPG, the WLPGA is uniquely positioned to develop and implement these actions," Abbott said.
However, Abbott pointed out within the industry itself there are few women, not only at executive level, but at all levels. This phenomenon is shared in many sectors of the energy industry and in other areas of business also.
"Having more women in management positions improves a company’s financial performance and can boost company returns," Abbott said.
She added that evidence shows that companies with women on its board outperform their rivals by 42 percent in higher returns on sales. She explained that according to a U.K. government study entitled ‘Women on Boards,’ higher performance is achieved by enhancing company decision making through the use of all available perspectives, ideas and skills reflecting that gender diversity of customers and employees is beneficial to the industry.
Abbott said that the LPG industry also suffers from a negative perception of being old fashioned and uninteresting and a recent graduate survey, PWC 2011 survey of more than 4,000 graduates from over 75 countries, showed that the oil and gas industry as a whole is one of the most unpopular career paths chosen by women.
WINLPG aims to support and help empower women in the worldwide LPG industry through leadership, coaching, mentoring and promoting role models. Through this support, the group hopes to enable a change in organizational attitude to become more inclusive and authentic for all genders at all operational levels. At its core, the network believes that women have a unique set of qualifications and abilities that can contribute to any business.
"The issue is that gender balance is not optimized in the LPG industry and WLPGA is in a unique position to start to make a change, this change is to be driven by a network that will recommend actions and activities as part of the WLPGA strategic planning process," Abbott said.
There are also other network groups similar to WINLPG such as Global Women in Nuclear Association, Women in Mining and Women in Solar.
WINLPG will be chaired by Nikki Brown, the managing director of Cavagna U.K. and will be coordinated from WLPGA by Alison Abbott.
By Murat Temizer