THE proportion of women working in the UK's offshore oil and gas industry fell to a fresh low last year in spite of long-running efforts to make it more attractive to them.

Oil & Gas UK found 2,237 women worked offshore in 2013. These represented just 3.6 per cent of the total of around 62,000 people who travelled to work offshore in areas like the North Sea.

Some 2,138 women travelled to work offshore in 2012, representing 3.8 per cent of the total 57,000 people working off the UK. Oil & Gas UK found 30 per cent of the women who worked offshore in 2013 were in catering. The industry body said: "Given the current level of demand for skilled employees, and the high level of activity on the UK Continental Shelf, it is in the industry's interest to increase its focus on tackling this lack of gender diversity as it represents [an under] utilised pool of talent."

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