New figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) find that more women are starting to land jobs in the booming oil and gas industry.

According to the BLS, of the 3,900 positions that were added during the first quarter of this year, almost half – 1,800 – were filled by women. Those jobs included engineering, drilling, research, sales and marketing.

And job prospects for women in the field are expected to continue to get better. A report from IHS Global Insight found that positions specific to drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are expected to total 2.5 million by 2015.

Paul Caplan is president of Houston-based industry research firm Rigzone said that overall women now make up 18 percent of the oil and gas industry workforce, KUHF reports. 

Officials at the University of Pittsburgh told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the demand for female engineers in the energy industry is so strong that those who don't even specialize in oil and gas can expect to see job offers in the future.

"The companies want them, and when we start to discuss a recruiting relationship, they always want to know the statistics about women. The companies want to have a balanced workforce; it's a big societal issue," Don Shields, director at Pitt's Center for Energy in the Swanson School of Engineering, told the news source.

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