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Virginia Adams

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
In what ways and to what extent is the global oil and gas industry able to deliver enduring empowerment outcomes for women in Asia-Pacific? A case study exploring the employment and skills development of Timorese women on Timor Sea offshore facilities.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Big business is increasingly being enlisted as a development agent to help redress women’s disadvantage in developing countries through facilitating basic empowerment thresholds such as decent work. Ms Adams’ research brings to light a rare masculinised corner of global industry where, through business-as-usual practices, opportunities have opened for women from a poor, patriarchal host-country to significantly surpass basic empowerment thresholds. A case study was undertaken involving Timor-Sea offshore oil and gas operations on which nearly 40 Timorese females have had skills training and jobs, to evaluate the sustainability of their empowerment into uncertain futures. A human capital approach explored links between industry stakeholders’ decision-making and inputs and the women’s agency and achievements, revealing significant stability in the psychosocial areas of their empowerment.

Professor Glenn Banks
Professor Stuart Carr
Dr Rochelle Stewart-Withers