To begin with, some of highly trained and educated people prefer to migrate from developing and less industrialized nations to wealthy, more developed countries. This phenomenon otherwise known as the ‘brain drain’ suggests that individuals leave their countries for better opportunities elsewhere as there are few opportunities to use their talents or skills locally.
As a result, temporary migration allows employees to build physical assets, amass savings and assets, and, most crucially, learn new skills and experiences. Migrants represent an inflow of both human and financial resources when they rejoin their native nation. Enhanced productivity and knowledge dissemination might be a source of economic growth for the origin country if migrants repatriate. Usually, the brain drain phenomenon occurs with both men and women in the industry; however, there is a certain favorable investment in experienced and talented women – especially in recent years – as the brain drain phenomenon is less likely with women in organizations in this industry. The reasons behind women’s tendency to stay longer at jobs and work multiple jobs in parallel will be discussed further in this article.
General Overview of the Brain Drain in Egypt
While brain drain does in fact occur in countries all over the world with women in the oil and gas industry, Egypt continues to promote the employment of women – not only in the oil and gas industry – but in all industries. The Egyptian oil and gas field has provided a win-win situation in which multiple programs and incentives are provided so that companies hire women while at the same time offering women benefits (i.e. work flexibility, soft skill development, etc.). As suggested by a Petrochemical Operations Manager who prefers anonymity, “Egypt is a place where people have deep roots. There are engineers working from outside Egypt and they are gaining experience in the industry that will allow them to build highly valuable technical and non-technical skills”.
The gender disparity among employees is not uniformly distributed throughout industries, and it manifests itself in different ways in different professions. In general, men tend to lose more jobs than women during recessions. That’s because occupations in cyclical industries like the oil and gas as well as the energy industry tend to employ more men than women, and they’re usually the first to go when the economy tanks. However, to some extent, this proves that women in such industries are typically considered to be irreplaceable.
In fact, apart from industries, there is also another reason why women may be gaining ground: Women are somewhat more inclined to do two or more jobs than males. As found in a study conducted within the last 5 years, nearly 5.4% of working women and 4.6% of working men reported having multiple jobs. Women are much more likely than males to work part-time.
Furthermore, one main reason companies must concentrate on employing more women and encourage them to take on the managerial role is that women are far more likely than men to stay with a company. As per the poll, women’s attrition rates are significantly lower than men’s at all levels. The attrition rates for women at the entry-level, management, senior executive, and C-suite positions were 28%, 12%, 8%, and 4%, respectively. The percentages for men, on the other hand, for the same level job positions were 34%, 16%, 12%, and 8%, respectively.
It was found that organizations that focused on recognizing and investing in implementing best practices and policies tend to promote women’s involvement. The important organizational environment includes having an emphasis on workforce profile, flexible hours, women’s employment and retention, perks and work-life programs, maternity leave, organizational culture, and safety and wellbeing. These are just some of the many reasons why women are less susceptible to brain drain and are more reliable in such industries.
It should also be noted that the brain drain statistics for women are impacted by reasons unrelated to their experience or qualifications. For instance, while some studies have found that there is a high level of brain drain in women, this is due to higher education leaves, personal situations or even lack of women’s rights in other countries. These situations prove that women in the industry could be well-qualified or have the relevant expertise, but due to other unrelated reasons, the brain drain calculations for women may be high for other insignificant or unrelated reasons.
To conclude, there is a significant cultural hurdle here; the oil and gas business is accustomed to getting expertise only from inside and is sometimes hesitant to break away from this practice where more women are hired instead. Businesses must persuade a substantially larger percentage of women to join, remain, and advance within their organizations. This is especially important in helping to reduce the pool of available and talented personnel.
Organizations that indirectly mitigate the brain drain implement policies, initiatives, and work cultures that clearly encourage women in the workplace, and witness improved participation, productivity, and loyalty as a result. These organizations highlight the benefits of concentrating on gender equality at work, as well as the critical elements. Women who work for such oil and gas organizations are more optimistic and are valued and appreciated by their employers when it comes to the workplace environment; and they believe their professions are advancing at the pace they would like.