Process Technician Lauren McIntosh from Monifieth, Dundee completed her four-year OGTAP apprenticeship with Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd and has gone on to become a permanent, full-time Production Improver with the company.
Oil and gas has traditionally been a male dominated workplace, but leaders have worked hard to address this issue and encourage more females to take an interest in engineering disciplines from an early age.
OPITO’s Youth Perception Report, a study of 500 school and college students from key energy hubs around the UK, found that a pleasing 81% of respondents showed an interest in pursuing a career in the sector, but only 20% were young women.
Speaking about her own experience, Lauren, 24, said: “I liked the idea of working in an environment where every day is different. My typical day now involves operating and monitoring plant equipment to ensure safe and efficient production of oil and gas.
“At Maersk Oil UK Ltd. most of my technical colleagues are men but we do have a strong representation of women in the business. Almost half of our UK leadership team are women in roles like asset director, subsurface director and HSSEQ director. Maersk Oil even has a female CEO, Gretchen Watkins.
“I think there is still a stereotype of women in the industry and that a lot of females don’t even see it as an option to study engineering. Some may even feel intimidated by the thought of working in a male dominated industry. This didn’t put me off and I’m sure in the future this number will continue to increase.
“I think more should be done to encourage girls from a young age that engineering is an option for them. In schools, female engineers could give talks about their experiences and why they have chosen a career and engineering and hopefully encourage others to do the same.”