Changing the LPG Industry: Women in LPG
As growing numbers of women enter the economic mainstream, they will have a profound effect on global business and social change. Some people may ask why women need a special network and support programme, but when you start to evaluate it, there are many overwhelmingly compelling personal, professional and business reasons that support the significant benefits of advancing women in leadership in the corporate and entrepreneurial world.
Having more women in management positions improves a company’s financial performance and can boost company returns. Evidence shows that companies with women on its board can out-perform their rivals by a 42% higher return on sales by enhancing company decision making through use of all available perspectives, ideas and skills,reflecting that gender diversity of customers and employees is beneficial to the industry. The industry also suffers from negative perception of being old fashioned and uninteresting, indeed a recent graduate survey showed that the oil & gas industry as a whole is one of the most unpopular career paths.
Many companies support mentoring and development of senior women as a pipeline to talent at board level, firstly because Board Members can gain insight and learn from the relationship but most importantly because it makes good business sense. It is estimated that over the next 5-10 years women will make up 80% of the growth in the world labour market and organisations need a clear strategy to attract and retain women at all levels. If you really take the time to digest all the arguments for gender equality, the economic facts alone are overwhelming and the long term gains for businesses who support and inspire women to participate in the LPG Industry are already proven to be significant.
According to Energia, an NGO focusing on women’s issues in the energy industry, most LPG consumers are women. Many women make and manage the purchasing decision and it is largely women who are using the product. However, 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 indeed in other areas of business. There is an opportunity for the global LPG industry to take medium and long term actions that can address the issue of attracting, retaining and developing women in the LPG industry. As the authoritative voice for the global LPG industry, the WLPGA is uniquely positioned to develop and implement these actions.
So to address this issue and develop a strategic response to the issue of attracting, retaining and developing women, and in fact young people in general, to work in LPG, the WLPGA has set up a new global network, Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG) which was launched in September 2015. The network’s mission is to support and help empower women in the worldwide LPG Industry by leadership, coaching, mentoring and promoting role models to enable a change in organisational attitude to become more inclusive and authentic for all genders at all operational levels. WINLPG aims to bring women, and men, together across all business sectors, ages and levels to discuss and support the development of diversity within the LPG Industry. WINLPG aims to create a network of members on a global basis who can support women to make a difference to themselves, their teams and ultimately their organisations. It will provide a platform and opportunity for like-minded people at all levels to meet, formulate strategies, cultivate relationships and develop ‘making a difference’ plan. It will give a global opportunity for women and young people to communicate directly with successful female leaders, coaches and mentors who can help them with purpose driven solutions to career, business and organisational challenges.
What will WINLPG do?
WINLPG has three pillars of objective. First of all to support and retain women already in the industry through a network through which women can further their professional development and access colleagues and mentors. Secondly, to promote role models and case studies via media and at industry events and, thirdly in the more long term, to work with universities to educate and attract women to the industry. WINLPG has a goal of increasing the number of women in middle management to 40% and at Board level by 30% by 2030.
The network set-up will mirror existing three WLPGA networks and in the immediate term will meet three times a year with a flagship meeting to be held at the time of the World LPG Forum. Regional workshops will be scheduled to tie in with other industry events and the first regional workshop will take place in Bogota in March 2016 at the time of the Latin American LPG Association’s annual conference. WINLPG will be chaired by Nikki Brown, Managing Director of Cavagna UK and will be coordinated from WLPGA by Alison Abbott.
In conclusion, it is important to emphasise that WINLPG is not a club, and its focus is not about the promotion of women just because they are women. It is about the promotion of women despite being women but maybe even more importantly WINLPG wants to encourage and give support to an industry driven philosophy where individuals are chosen for a position because they are the best person for the job despite gender, sexuality, race or age.
If anyone is interested in joining WINLPG, please contact Alison Abbott.
The issue is that gender balance is not optimised in the LPG industry and WLPGA is in a unique position to start to make a change, this change to be driven by a network that will recommend actions and activities as part of the WLPGA strategic planning process.
Alison Abbott, WLPGA Communications Director
About the WLPGA
The World LPG Association (WLPGA) is the authoritative voice of the global LPG industry representing the full LPG value chain. The primary goal of the association is to add value to the sector by driving premium demand for LPG, while also promoting compliance to good business and safety practices. The WLPGA brings together private and public companies involved in one, several or all activities of the industry; develops long-term partnerships with international organisations; and implements projects on local and global scales. The association was established in 1987 and granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989.
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