One of the goals cherished by modern organizations is gender balance, as a proven way to enhance productivity, boost the motivation of employees and enrich the leadership pipelines of internal succession plans. The energy sector follows closely this trend, inclusive of major organizations of operations and services, especially in Oil and Gas. And in no other region of the world this is now more visible than in the Middle East, one of the most active and traditionally leading and strategic regions in the segment. This paper summarizes what factors were fundamental for the very visible blooming of the female leadership, particularly in the oil and gas sectorin the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC countries. Certainly, middle-eastern women do not account yet for a large or representative number inthe highest roles of private or National Oil Companiesof their countries, but things are rapidly changing, and the blooming is real.

A comparison of key elements considered diagnostic about the empowerment of women, like female workforce percentages, gender gap indexes, and representation of women in leadership roles in oil and gas are herein analyzed for the GCC, comparing those with figures of other regions of the World. Other indicators were included in the analysis, which proved to be key for developing women's leadership, in particular, communication strategies, empowering plans, training, active and visible endorsement of top leaders and other strategies of governmental agencies and corporations. Definitively, the Middle East, and particularly the GCC countries, in which our study is centered, have boldly address cultural issues and traditional barriers, to produce step-changes that are quickly transforming the oil and organizations in all countries of the region. A forecast of opportunities for women's leadership in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry in the future is proposed, in a story of learned best practices worth sharing.

The paper includes a summary of the standing and utilization of social media channels by main organizations in oil and gas. A frame of the current trends analyzed resulted in the identification of the organizations more successful in the utilization of these key channels, so relevant for the general audiences and the new generations. Some unexpected findingsshaped our conclusions about strategies instrumental for step-changes needed in political or cultural settings that may be challenging for boosting women's empowerment.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.