case studies, Blogs and useful tips

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IOW - Project Closeout

Our project may be coming to an end, but our ask is you continue to share your stories and good practice with us!

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IOW - Women’s-fit PPE isn’t just about comfort, it’s about safety.

This case study is an output from an initiative ran by AXIS Network and Step Change in Safety to drive inclusivity offshore. Red Wing joined in on the project to help identify why in 2021, women were still struggling to access female-fit PPE. According to the OGUK Workforce Report 2019, women represented 3% of the offshore workforce.  

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IOW - Getting the fit right with Supply Chain

We recently met with Austen Buchan (Managing Director, Mo&Co) to hear how they are working with their customers to ensure there is a range of suitably fitting PPE for all.


IOW - The "Lone Female" Phenomenon 

The “Lone female” or “Single Female” phenomenon is one that is not exclusive to the offshore industry; it’s been around for years in pop culture. Always featuring heavily in Romance Films/tv shows and books. The figure is always portrayed as a lonely & sad, almost always pitied character; which coincidentally is how you end up feeling when you’re told that you can’t go offshore or have to de-mob early because you’re a woman and the platform needs the bed space. Grabbed your attention?  

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IOW - Guidelines for Mobilising Offshore

Mobilising offshore for your first time, or your first time to a new asset can be quite scary or daunting; but for companies across the sector this is something that's done all day, every day. It's sometimes easy to forget the fears and concerns that individuals may have. We created the attached document as a guideline for you to download and edit to align with your business, an aid to be distributed to employees and vendors prior to mobilisation.


Download our tool below, and adapt to your business needs. We hope this helps!

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IOW - The Power of Feedback

We recently met with Sarah-Alice Davies (Shell UK, Brent Charlie Wells Supervisor) and Jason Grant (Aberdeen Drilling School, Managing Director) to hear how the drilling school have recently adopted gender-inclusive language in their courses. For more on the importance of gender-inclusive language, we recommend the book Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado-Perez.

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IOW - Survival Suits Case Study

We have all struggled one time or another. They're either too tight, or maybe we indulged a bit too much on the pudding this trip, but there is one common consistency - for the majority of men, the suit received prior to boarding the helicopter will fit in a safe manner. And whilst there will naturally be some individuals where the suit is a bit loose around the neck or wrist, or it's just too tight; there will be another suit available. For women this is a different story.


For the majority of women, they have experienced the above scenario multiple times whilst going offshore. All because the survival suits are not designed for the female anatomy. Whilst men have larger necks and wrists, perfect for obtaining the desired seal; women are smaller in both of these areas but their larger hips and chest will drive them up a suit size, meaning often the offshore helicopter survival suits will be too big at the seal points making them unsafe. What's the solution? We spoke to one company who sought to combine equality, inclusion and innovation in their provision of aviation survival suits, ensuring a safer and more comfortable trip offshore for everyone, regardless of their gender.

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IOW - 2-piece overalls

We recently met with Kelly Thomas & Susannah Stott (Shell UK) to hear about how Shell have widened their range of coveralls available to ensure all body types are catered for. Kelly is currently leading the review and reorganisation of PPE provision in Shell Aberdeen as part of the 50 50 ops initiative which is led by Susannah.

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IOW - Offshore Expressing

Returning to work after having a baby is a challenging time for most parents. Even more so when the workplace is offshore, and you don’t get the opportunity to spend the evening with your child.


Many fathers across the offshore industry will know this wrench well, but a growing number of women are also returning to offshore roles after becoming a parent. One of the key differences in a mother’s return to work in comparison to a father’s is the possibility that the mother may be breastfeeding the child.


We spoke to mum of two and Decommissioning Team Lead, Caroline Lawford about her experience of going offshore whilst still breastfeeding. 

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IOW - Food, Glorious Food

Food is important. Food gives us energy, it helps our bodies, and our minds, recover, but its more than that. Food is part of many people’s culture, sewed deep within us; we seek comfort, inspiration, aspirations from our daily consumption. Food, for many, is joy - never underestimate the power of a packet of chocolate biscuits to help your work! If you have dietary requirements, whether allergies, personal choice or as part of your religion eating offshore can be a concern. Read about this assets effort to create a more inclusive environment, woven in with one persons personal experience below.

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IOW - Dedicated Female Facilities

Women have worked in the offshore environment for decades and even though their numbers have grown from a very limited minority, it is no longer surprising to find a representation of women in all levels of offshore operations. What is more surprising is how the speed of facility upgrades continues to flag behind the progress of incumbent roles, and as any member of any minority group can attest to, it can often be daunting to rock the boat and request for change. So, time progresses, and the attitude becomes one of acceptance and silent distress. Peaked your interested?  Read more here written by Olayide Akinsomi, one of the Inclusive Offshore Working project team, based on her experience of working on various offshore installations and proposing solutions to collectively drive step change that creates an inclusive environment for women.

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IOW - A Change of Strategy

As part of our ongoing research into gender inclusivity in business, we caught up with Holly Paterson from Sky in January 2020 to chat about her organisation's change of strategy to attract and retain more women in the Home team.

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IOW - The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement

What started out as a campaign to improve PPE offering to offshore workforce, Rock Rose uncovered other critical issues blocking the path to inclusivity offshore whilst engaging with key stakeholders. Read what they uncovered, and how they fixed the problem. 

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IOW - Working Offshore whilst Pregnant

For most women, discovering you are pregnant throws up a multitude of emotions, but anxiety about your job shouldn’t be one of them. Offshore roles are not always compatible with pregnancy, but companies may prevent a ‘leaky pipeline’ and achieve greater gender balance offshore by being clearer in the options available to women if they become pregnant.

We spoke to mum of two Caroline Lawford about her experience of working offshore whilst pregnant.


IOW - Communication is key to make the most of female-fit PPE offshore

We recently caught up with Kristin Hamilton and Kenny Robertson from the Red Wing Shoe Company to discuss the challenges to increasing access to female-fit PPE offshore and more on how the company caters to both genders through its safety footwear and PPE offering. 

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IOW - Inclusive Environments Attract Talent

We caught up with Lindsay Patterson, a Senior Engineer of Operations providing Electrical Engineering Support to the Mariner Field, Mariner A Production platform and Mariner B FSU in the UKCS Equinor, based in Aberdeen to hear all about her varied working experience, and how an inclusive environment can make all the difference.

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IOW - Inclusive Environment

The first time you arrive at a site or offshore platform, the feeling can be daunting. Not knowing what to bring or what to expect is challenging. Often, the offshore is a hierarchical environment and traditionally, leadership is demonstrated by command and control. However, to foster an inclusive environment, people need to feel safe to be themselves. To foster an inclusive environment this will require incremental changes and a desire by everyone to make this happen... Read Lydia Balogun-Wilson's thought leadership below.

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IOW - Size Matters

We recently met with John Watson (SPIRIT Energy, Senior HSE Adviser Supply Chain) and Victoria Newbatt (SPIRIT Energy, Senior Category Specialist Wells & Subsurface) to hear about how SPIRIT challenged their approach to PPE procurement and developed a range for to suit all personnel, regardless of size and shape.

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IOW - Working towards greater diversity in the energy sector

Earlier this year, we worked with our pledge partners - Petrofac Training - on improving their survival training programme. Petrofac implemented a number of measures, see below interview between P&J and Petrofac for details!