Nov 15, 2018
Oil and gas companies are approaching human capital with a broader framework, aiming to foster inclusive workspaces and diverse resources, bridging the gender disparity in recruitment, mentorship and promotion.
According to research by Accenture, the oil and gas industry faces a critical human capital shortage in the coming years. As a prime example, estimates show the supply of technical professionals in the United States upstream sector fell by around a quarter between 2014 and 2016, while demand is likely rise by around 80 percent between 2017 and 2025.
Current recruitment rates into the industry will struggle to meet that need, with only around two percent of graduates considering oil and gas as a top career choice. To ensure they have access to the skills they need, companies must look beyond their traditional talent pool – such as placing greater emphasis on appealing to women and millennials, who are currently underrepresented.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has found women make up just 22 percent of the oil and gas workforce, one of the lowest proportions of any major industry sector.
The gap is especially pronounced in oilfield services, where they comprise only 15% of the workforce. The proportion also falls with seniority, dropping from 25% of oil and gas middle management, to just 17 percent of the senior leadership. Women tend to be employed in office and administration roles, rather than technical professions that offer the most common pathway to senior positions.
“We have made enormous progress, but we still have a long way to go,” said Mae Al Mozaini, Manager - Regulatory Affairs, Saudi Aramco. “Women’s participation is essential to ensuring oil and gas has enough talent to drive growth in the coming years. This is why we need to focus on ‘inclusion’. By removing those barriers that many women face in the workforce, often in very subtle ways, to bringing more opportunities for women in the industry.”
To drive this change, this year’s edition of the world’s leading oil and gas event, the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), has repositioned its distinctive women’s programme to create the new Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Conference.
The conference, which took place on day four of ADIPEC, brought together inclusion and diversity advocates, industry leaders and decision-makers, offering a full day of discussions, debates and practical experiences. Locating the event within a powerful global knowledge-sharing platform, ADIPEC, with its proven record of hosting leading CEOs, government ministers, and industry experts, ensure the discussion is placed at the forefront of industry decision-making.
“We are a complete oil and gas event, from trade exhibition and technical conference, through to strategic talks between leading CEOs and government figures, connected to every link in the value chain from exploration to end customer,” said Jean-Philippe Cossé, Vice President – at dmg::events. “Inclusion and diversity offers new thinking and new flexibility to businesses, which will be essential to achieving success and driving bottom line results in a time of rapid change. By bringing the Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Conference into ADIPEC, we bring it into the heart of the industry’s strategic thinking.”
The Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Conference explored myriad topics including identifying and addressing cognitive and cultural bias patterns in recruitment and advancement of employees across geographies, businesses and different career levels.
A business imperative is securing leadership support and commitment to inclusion and diversity driving it from a compliance-focused perspective through to a mentorship and sponsorship approach and how this can be done will be an important discussion that the conference will cover. The programme also considered how government and the private sector can work together to promote change.
“Government-private organisation partnerships play an extremely important role in shaping any sector; be it their policies, their outlook or their roadmap,” said Omar Al Qurashi, Director – Corporate Communications and General Services, Supreme Council of Energy, and a 2018 Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Advisory Board Member.
“People are vital to any sector and creating inclusive and diverse working places are of paramount importance," he continued. "The UAE is a melting pot of cultures with over 200 nationalities calling it home. The oil and gas sector is a major driver of the UAE –and many oil producers’ – economy. It is only natural that the oil and gas industry should harness the magnitude of talent that is flowing into the country and theindustry. ADIPEC’s Inclusion and Diversity in Energy Conference is of paramount importance to bring everyone together and direct change.”