Women Are Drilling Their Way Into Ohio’s Male Dominated Oil And Gas Industry

Female employees like Ashley Raff make up 16% of oil and gas industry workers according to a 2018 report. Raff remembers when she was the only woman on a drilling rig in 2012.

Female employ­ees make up only six­teen per­cent of oil and gas indus­try work­ers, accord­ing to a 2018 report by the Petro­le­um Equip­ment and Ser­vices Association.

One of these women is Ash­ley Raff, a Nat­ur­al Resources Admin­is­tra­tor for the Ohio Depart­ment of Nat­ur­al Resources Oil and Gas Division.

Raff says when she start­ed work­ing as a geol­o­gist on a drilling rig back in 2012, her cowork­ers were almost all male.

I could tell that I was one of the first women peo­ple [had] seen on loca­tion. And it was a lit­tle intim­i­dat­ing,” she said.

Raff said that she worked to excel at her job and ignored any pass­ing com­ments from her male peers.

In no time I was able to earn their respect, from every­one, and I was just seen as anoth­er hand on loca­tion,” she said.

More and more women are enter­ing the ener­gy indus­try, includ­ing lead­er­ship posi­tions. An S&P glob­al report showed that the share of women on the boards of oil and gas com­pa­nies dou­bled between 2009 and 2019.