• Ocyan celebrates increase of female employees in offshore roles

    DATE: 05/25/2023

    Published by: Ocyan

    Ocyan has in its calendar the annual celebration of “International Women’s Day at Sea” (18/5), established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at the end of 2021. The date aims to celebrate and stimulate the expansion of women’s activities in the maritime segment, promoting visibility, recognition and inspiration to the female universe. In this regard, the Diversity and Inclusion program led by Ocyan has been contributing to reducing gender inequalities with concrete actions: between 2019 and 2022, the participation of women in leading positions in the company rose from 19% to 32%.

    From the research “O mar também é delas” (The sea is also of women, in free translation), developed  by Ocyan in partnership with the Ipsos Institute, it was possible to draw a profile of the offshore women (who work on rigs, platforms and platform ships) from several companies in the oil sector in Brazil. “The scenario outlined by this research helps us understand the challenges the oil and gas industry faces in making the offshore environment increasingly inclusive for women. Gaps were identified for improvements in the process of attraction, recruitment, development and retention of talents, which allow insights for improvements aiming at the well-being of the onboard professionals”, says André Luiz Barros, Head of Communication, Social Responsibility and Diversity at Ocyan.

    In the sample, 60 women aged between 18 and 55 who work on board oil platforms were able to share their wishes and concerns about the future in offshore activities.  Despite the challenges, expanding the presence of women is one of the goals of Ocyan, which has a rig with a female protagonist in the performance ranking of its main customer: it is the Norbe VI, led by general manager Clarisse Rodrigues, who followed the construction of the vessel from the beginning. This same rig has engineer Carla Malafaia as its commander. Of the total women surveyed, 34% say that working offshore can inspire other women to undertake this type of activity.

    The Ocyan survey mapped out the potentialities and barriers for the expansion of the female presence offshore. Among the professionals consulted, 50% answered that they feel very competent to perform a technical function and deal with challenges that stimulate them daily. However, some 93% of the women heard lament that it is still too often the case on ships that men think women are not capable of handling heavy equipment or equipment that requires strength. On the other hand, for 47% of the professionals, the salaries are very attractive, although they understand that companies need to improve and adapt the infrastructure of the vessels to facilitate the reception of women.

    “I started working at Ocyan in 2015 and worked my way up to other positions until I became the People Logistics Coordinator. I always showed interest in working offshore, but the burden of being away from my family made me postpone this choice”, recalls Ellem Felix, from the OND II rig. “When I received an offer to work offshore I decided to take the risk, as I would have more time in my free time, possibilities for career advancement and new challenges”, she says, who is now a logistics technician.

    The engineer, who works 15×15, comments that the offshore work routine makes it possible to dedicate more time to her 4-year-old daughter on her 15 days off and that she has the support of her husband, nanny and family while she is on board. “These are daily challenges, including leaving Rio de Janeiro and reaching Oiapoque, where the probe is located, as it takes me more than 24 hours to get to work and I am incommunicado much of the time, a constant worry of maternal life,” she explains. One of the benefits of women who work on board, generally for 15 days, is having the possibility to live intensely the other half of the month together with their children.

    The routine of offshore work is one of the reasons why many women give up the profession. Despite the low number, 24% of the women answered that being away from the family is the greatest difficulty of working offshore. On the other hand, 31% of the women said that working on a scale allows a better conciliation between the professional and personal agenda. Although difficulties are still encountered, the survey reveals that 85% of women believe that the sector has advanced in the debate and actions on gender equity. As for advancements, 72% believe that more women are being hired into the offshore environment.

    “We need to continue investing in practical actions aimed at mitigating some of the challenges experienced by women when they are offshore. Our Diversity and Inclusion Program allied to targets linked to the UN Movement They Lead 2030, of which we are signatories, has the commitment to raise this rate to 50% by the end of the decade”, says Nir Lander, vice president of People & Management.

    Ocyan has been creating a more comfortable environment for women, besides taking care of the establishment of policies to foster female opportunities and participation in leadership positions, as well as to attract young talents to increase the female universe at sea.

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