Diversity in Energy: From the Classroom to the Boardroom

For decades, junior and community colleges have played a role in educating the future energy workforce pipeline. Their reach has extended to students from diverse backgrounds, connecting them to internships, scholarships and shadowing programs.

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The oil and gas industry faced serious layoffs in 2020 due to the sharp collapse in oil prices caused by the pandemic. However, as it reached the latter half of 2021, the market had already recovered a significant amount. Even with price improvements, the shadow of COVID-19 still looms with multiple strains and variants threatening another shutdown. As a result, some companies are hesitant to make any big hires until the smoke clears.

However, with production already picking up momentum, companies will need to fill large roles, and many are looking to hire more diversely in terms of gender and ethnicity. Hiring employees of diverse gender and ethnicity is beneficial in two ways: it allows energy businesses to explore a previously untapped pool of talent that can be profitable to their team, and it satisfies investors concerned with a company’s ESG statistics.

Even amid a global pandemic, community colleges and universities are preparing their students to enter the energy workforce pipeline by offering access to scholarships and internships, hosting companies at career fairs and collaborating with nonprofit organizations to provide a network to help them succeed.

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Madison Ratcliff

Madison Ratcliff is an associate editor for Hart Energy's editorial team.