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Trousers should not be the main factor: Women Energy Club

29 october 2013, 15:53
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Illustration courtesy of sante.kz
Illustration courtesy of sante.kz
The first meeting of the Women Energy Club was held as part of the 8th KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum. The meeting was called The Role of Women in Sustainable Energy Development, Tengrinews reports.

Norway’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Ole Johan Bjornoy told about the Norwegian experience of maintaining gender equality in energy sector. “We have just had the elections and there will be changes in the government. It is clear that we will have a female prime-minister, a female finance minister and most probably a female foreign minister. As for the defense minister, I don’t know, but a woman has been heading this ministry over the past 8 years. So maybe the time has come to appoint a man to be the new defense minister in Norway,” he said at the forum.

There is a law in Norway requiring that at least 40 percent of the managerial positions are filled by women, Bjornoy said.

When asked by members of the Women Energy Club if he thought a similar thing possible in Kazakhstan, the ambassador explained that such gender equality in Norway was reached after a fierce battle. However, according to him, this system has a good effect on the country’s economy in general.

Some members of the club shared the opinions that the world of oil and gas, as well as business in general in Kazakhstan were the realms of men and women just had to bow to the reality.

Others said that women were not supposed to continue pressing forwards for positions in Kazakhstan's energy, as the percentage of women in oil and gas was very high already.

“Imagine a woman heading OzenMunaiGas? I think this is impossible. She would have to travel from one field to another and talk to a lot of men, including those who cannot speak without swearing. This is our reality. What are we talking about?” Financial Director of KazMunaiGas Assiya Syrgabekova said.

She suggested creating a database of the active women so that they have a better chance to make a career. Syrgabekova also called for a fairer competition during employment “so that trousers don’t become the main factor,” she said.


By Renat Tashkinbayev

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