Submitted by Baker Hughes
Attracting a diverse workforce requires addressing the unique needs of employees. Coveralls are essential personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job at Baker Hughes, but they’re not one size fits all. Workwear traditionally designed for men is often ill-fitting for women and interferes with their ability to work comfortably and safely.
Baker Hughes’ Oilfield Services and Equipment procurement team in Mexico addressed this need by reaching out to the company’s Women’s Network Employee Resource Group to learn more about the unique needs of female employees. They then worked with a vendor to find more inclusive, gender-specific PPE that provides protection without sacrificing fit and comfort.
“Having coveralls designed for women is a positive step in keeping our people safe, meeting the needs of the modern workplace, and ensuring that all employees feel confident, proud, and productive when they’re wearing the Baker Hughes brand,” said Michelle Contreras, Baker Hughes Procurement Specialist.
Development of the women-specific PPE supports Baker Hughes’ goal of ensuring the company has access to and supports diverse pipelines of talent, and to prioritize development and retention.
Equal safety and protection
Workwear and other PPE should be designed for women equally — not sized down like a long-standing theory that recommends buying one size smaller than a woman would typically wear to accommodate for men’s sizing. This recommendation isn’t ideal given that differences in body size and shape (physiology) may be small, but the proportions can be meaningful.
Baker Hughes Women’s Network members explained that when coveralls are too big in the waist, neck and arms, it can interfere with the use of tools and operation of equipment. Excess fabric in the sleeves can get caught in machinery, presenting a serious hazard for arm and hand safety. And a collar that’s too wide around the neck won’t effectively keep out debris and splatter.
The new coveralls for women are better proportioned with a tailored fit in the chest and hip areas. The torso is shorter and flares near the waist, which is also cut higher. The coveralls are designed for ease of movement and have utility pockets for gauges and gear.
New overalls designed, sized and styled specifically for women, became available for all Baker Hughes teams beginning January 2023 and are available in a range of sizes.
Learn more about Baker Hughes’ strategic goals and the progress made in the 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report.
Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR) is an energy technology company that provides solutions to energy and industrial customers worldwide. Built on a century of experience and with operations in over 120 countries, our innovative technologies and services are taking energy forward - making it safer, cleaner and more efficient for people and the planet. Visit us at www.bakerhughes.com.
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