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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY This is a Man’s world...or is it? BY RABIAA RAHMAN-QUERESHI When I first started working with McLean Events in 2013 on events such as erpec, I was suprised by how few female faces I saw – it must have been only a handful. However, over the past few years, attending exhibitions and travelling to our advertisers’ sites to make films for ENTV, I am pleased to see that the number of females in the industry continues to grow year on year. Whilst researching this article I found a number of great schemes run by the oil majors to help achieve gender parity in the industry. ExxonMobil’s ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering’ events across the US are aimed at inspiring young women to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. Similarly BP are one of the official sponsors of International Women’s Day, they run a number of initiatives across the business to recruit, retain and develop female talent. March 8, marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. This year’s theme is ‘Be Bold for Change’ and I thought what better opportunity to reach out to some of the women in this industry to find out how they came to work in retail petroleum, the challenges they have faced and the successes they have enjoyed along the way. Lise-Lotte Nordholm Director, Global Dispenser Products Wayne Fueling Systems I’ve seen a few surprised faces when I’ve entered meeting rooms but I feel that I’ve always been respected and listened to. What is the ‘boldest’ move you made at work? Difficult to choose, but a quite recent one must be when we decided to let our Helix dispenser express its personality in a Marilyn Monroe inspired advert with the iconic white swirling skirt. It came with the message “They say beauty is only skin deep, we beg to differ”, and to differ from the expected and traditional is certainly what we did here and what we aspire for in everything we do. Have you ever experienced challenges based on your gender within the industry? No one can deny that it is a very male dominated industry, but I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised on how little challenges I have faced based on my gender. I’ve seen a few surprised faces when I’ve entered meeting rooms but I feel that I’ve always been respected and listened to. I think the important thing is to feel confident about who you are, the products you represent and understand the complexity in the industry, and that will be reflected in the people you meet. What do you love about working within the oil and petroleum sector? It is a truly exciting industry to work in. The international scene, dynamic landscape with ever changing regulations, new fuel requirements, and the continuous drive to make the overall fueling experience a pleasant one all contribute to making sure that you have new opportunities to face every day, so no risk of a boring day at work. 20 erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd.


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