Abdul Munim al Kindy CEO of Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) Ltd, says that there are no restrictions on the employment of women in the petroleum sector, and that many women enrolled both in the administrative side and in engineering posts in ADCO's oil fields, have proven their skills and expertise.
The first entry of the Emirati women in the oil fields in ADCO was about seven years ago, he says. “We had asked the senior management of the Supreme Petroleum Council and ADNOC in Abu Dhabi to allow us to appoint some Emirati women to work in our fields for 6 months and then evaluate the experiment. At first, the working of Emirati women on the field was not acceptable because of traditions and the fear of risks in the fields. However, after this successful experiment, Emirati women have proven great capability and adeptness.
“We now have around 109 women working in ADCO oil fields, for example, there are three field engineers in Al Dhabea, Abu Dhabi who have succeeded remarkably in the performance of their duties. ADCO is keen to create a favourable working environment for women, to develop appropriate procedures to enable them to carry out their duties within the limits permitted by the traditions and Islamic law, and provide them with the opportunity to work in the fields near populated areas in Abu Dhabi and the Western region.”
Al Kindy has noted that because of the considerable support ADCO has received from ADNOC, the Senior Management in ADNOC has encouraged other ADNOC companies like GASCO and TAKREER to follow, by explaining that ADNOC has made great strides in that direction and showed a positive basis for women to be involved in all areas of employment, to reach senior leadership positions. Because of this, there are many leaders in ADCO including a female Senior Vice President.
ADCO was ranked fifth globally at the level of the oil companies, in terms of the proportion of women workers, which reached 12 percent, pointing out that ADCO and the other counterparts succeeded in eliminating discrimination in many posts that have been topping all the offers of jobs for oil companies in the UAE to work in the oil fields.
ADCO's CEO confirmed that the company is eager to attract University graduates both women and men in fields including petroleum and chemistry. The oil sector in the country will need more than 5,000 Emirati architects and engineers over the next five years, but there is a shortage in the number of graduates in this field. It is important to note that that ADCO supported 24 graduates to pursue doctoral studies.
“Finally,” he concluded, “we can't afford to estimate the courage displayed by Emirati women at the beginning of their careers in the oil fields, especially that the fields were, until recently, an environment dominated by men. They are without a doubt inspiring young Emiratis to build a successful career in the oil sector.”